Forbidding dancing at karaoke bars is a new point in the draft regulations on cultural activities in Vietnam.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the regulations help: prevent and roll back the use of ecstasy and many social evils in cultural activities and public cultural services.
The ministry said that it is inconvenient for tourists that discotheques and karaoke bars are not allowed to stay open after 12 at night. The new rules permit karaoke bars and discotheques of five-star hotels in Hanoi and HCM City and of
four-star hotels in other provinces to open until 2 in the morning. Dancing, erotic acts, prostitution, and drug us are banned at karaoke bars.
The new decree will take effect on September 1, 2009. The draft decree has been sent to local authorities, ministries and posted on the website of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the online version of the Culture Newspaper for
comment until April 30, 2009.
In the latest move to crack down on the use of karaoke parlours for prostitution, a draft regulation would require karaoke parlours to maintain separate karaoke equipment for the use of staff.
Under the draft, which has been submitted to the Prime Minister for approval, members of the public would be barred from using karaoke equipment reserved for staff only.
I think this idea in the draft regulation is fair and professional, said Le Anh Tuyen, head of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's Legal Department: Previously, the failure to distinguish between business and non-business uses
of karaoke equipment has created an opportunity for social evils, allowing karaoke to be used as a disguise for other activities, like prostitution.
The latest draft no longer contains, however, a controversial prohibition of dancing in karaoke halls . In contrast to the April draft, the latest version simply states, Dancing is permitted only at dancehalls with proper equipment and
conditions as noted in this regulation.
The latest draft also allows hotels rated at four stars or higher to operate bars, karaoke parlours and dancehalls until 2am, a change based on increasing demand by foreign tourists for entertainment facilities that stay open later. According to
Tuyen, the ministry was considering whether to allow three-star hotels to operate bars until 2am.
The regulation would retain existing provisions requiring bars be located at least 200m from hospitals, schools and pagodas. Some it HCM City had asked that the distance be reduced to 100m, Tuyen said, but the proposals were rejected.