Man Plays Golf Under Bridge, Gets Fined For Breaking Social Distancing Rules

3 minutes reading time

Man gets fined for playing golf outdoors during social distancing

Hanoi, Saigon, Da Nang, and many other Vietnamese cities are currently under the highest form of restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19. Authorities are urging residents to only go out for essential reasons, and by that we mean they are adamant. Patrols and security posts are placed on the streets to monitor activities, and a hefty fine awaits any who breaks the rules.

But this one man from Hanoi seems to have a different definition of “essential activities” than most. Apparently, golf is an indispensable part of his life, so despite social distancing orders, he goes out to play.

Here’s how his story ends. Hint: not happily for him, but well for the good of society.

The man was spotted playing golf outside when Hanoi was under social distancing orders

Image credit: A Little Hanoi

On the morning of 1st August, many people who passed by Nguyễn Chí Thanh Street in Hanoi found themselves puzzled by a rather peculiar happening.

Under an overhead bridge on the street, an older man in casual clothing was spotted carrying golf equipment and playing by himself.

The man’s choice of location to play was unconventional for sure, but under normal circumstances, it probably wouldn’t have amounted to much save for a few curious glances. However, as Hanoi was under strict social distancing orders, his action quickly alerted police officers in the area who were seen coming to talk to him.

golf social distancing 2
Image credit: A Little Hanoi

It is unclear why the golf player did what he did. Perhaps he just got really frustrated at being cooped up at home and thought a little game outdoors by himself wouldn’t hurt.

But whatever his reasoning was, authorities disagreed. According to VNExpress, the man’s game was cut short, and he was asked to go home after getting a VND1 million (~USD43.45) fine.

Hanoi collects VND8 billion in fines from lawbreakers

Image credit: A Little Hanoi

The case of this golfer might have been a bit stranger than usual, but at the end of the day, it’s just another example of people disregarding rules and paying for their decisions. And there have been many of those.

Just 8 days after Hanoi began its social distancing policy on 24th July, authorities have collected over VND8 billion (~USD350,000) in fines for violations such as going out when not necessary or gathering in large crowds, VNExpress says.

Since the latest Covid-19 outbreak began in Vietnam on 27th July, the capital city has recorded 1,247 infected patients.

We all need to be responsible to face this pandemic

It seems many people still think that even during the restriction period, a little walk outdoors still won’t hurt as long as they don’t come into contact with anyone.

But here’s the thing, with how dire the Covid-19 situation in Vietnam is currently, authorities cannot afford to be lax. Only by strictly enforcing social distancing rules can they show that things are serious and deter potential lawbreakers, minimizing risks of the outbreak spiralling out of control.

So, for the well-being of both your person and your wallet, stay home for now. We all know it’s no fun, but there are still many ways to remain productive. Try reading that book you’ve never had time to, or learn a new skill via YouTube tutorials.

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Cover image adapted from A Little Hanoi

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