Wednesday, August 4 2021

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Hanoians hopeful of business recovery following new reopening

Update: June, 22/2021 - 16:58

Vân Nguyễn & Bảo Hoa

HÀ NỘI — Citizens in the capital city say they are excited with the reopening of some services and hopeful for the slow recovery of businesses as indoor dining, drinking venues and barbershops got back to business yesterday.

Life has become much more convenient for Hanoians who often eat out in the morning - something they've been unable to do for almost a month.

The first thing the 79-year-old resident Đào Thị Linh, who lives in Điện Biên Phủ Ward did after a health check-up on Tuesday was to enjoy a bowl of noodles with chicken at a local restaurant in Tống Duy Tân Street.

“I was coming back from a health check-up this morning and saw this restaurant open, how convenient for customers! In the last couples of weeks they were all closed, some mornings I craved a good breakfast but no restaurants were open,” said Linh.

 

A cafe in Hà Nội places a plastic shield on every table to ensure customers keep a safe distance from each other. — VNS Photo Bảo Hoa

“This morning my friend and I came to have breakfast here, this place is famous. It’s clean and hygienic, and their food is delicious,” she added.

Ninth-grader Ngô Khánh Duy, who has just finished her entrance exam to high school, gathers with his three other friends to have a quick update about their life post-examinations.

“Normally we go to café quite often because it is quiet and calm here," Duy said.

"Before the pandemic I would go to a café once or twice a week to chat with my friends or bring along textbooks to study together. It is much better here than at home. Staying at home just makes me gain weight.

“When I learned that the pandemic has been well contained [in Hà Nội] and restaurants and cafés are allowed to reopen, I immediately messaged my friends if they want to go to café the next day and they are all very excited,” he said.

Some regulations still remain. Customers must ensure a safe distance between them and plastic shields must be installed. 

This may be an inconvenience, but it's something most feel is necessary. 

Duy added: “Sitting with a shield in between makes it hard for us to talk but it is necessary to prevent and control the pandemic. Once the pandemic is contained, it helps to reduce workload and pressure for the government.”

Though being hit hard by the pandemic in the last month, business owners in Hà Nội are hopeful for the slow recovery, but some say this could take a month.

Đào Xuân Trường, manager of Puku Café said: “The Government has allowed us to reopen the restaurant and we are so happy about that. We were informed at about 8pm Monday that we could reopen. So we had some staff members come in and clean up, and we tidied up the next morning as well to welcome customers.”

Trường’s café has prepared hand sanitisers and ensured their customers keep a safe distance while having a plastic shield on each table.

Nguyễn Thị Ánh, who owns a noodle restaurant, said the closure in late May hit her business very hard and it may take some time to recover and attract customers.

“It has been tough for us," Ánh said. 

Local people wear face masks in a cafe on the first day Hanoi allowed the reopening of  some services. — VNS Photo Bảo Hoa 

"Even with the reopening, my business is slow to recover because customers are still concerned with the pandemic situation to eat out. It takes at least 15 days to have a certain number of customers and it may take a month to have the number that we did before the pandemic.

“Despite this, I totally support the preventive measures of the Government to curb the pandemic so the whole country can be safe. I hope that the pandemic will end soon, so the people can resume their businesses.”

Reopen services with cautions

Hà Nội authorities said the city would loosen services by services with the essential ones allowed to resume first.

According to Secretary of the Party Committee of Hà Nội Đinh Tiến Dũng, with the complicated developments of this wave of COVID-19, the capital city was among the localities with hundreds of infected cases.

He emphasised that the new reopening must be engaged with the strict measures, and Hà Nội must not be caught off guard.

 

A member staff at an eatery in Tống Duy Tân Street prepares to welcome customers after the city decided to reopen some services including dining and drinking. — VNS Photo Bảo Hoa 

Dũng said: “We have accomplished the very first steps to control the epidemic. The overall situation in the country is still complex. Hà Nội is also the centre of exchange and trade, so the risk of getting COVID-19 is extremely high.”

Emphasising that the ultimate target of the city is to protect residents, Dũng calls upon the city's population to continue to accompany and support the guidelines, policies, and measures of the city and to be ready to sacrifice the immediate and personal benefits for the general goal, and the safety of themselves, their families, and the society.

Hà Nội has reported a total of 263 cases of infection in the fourth wave of COVID-19 which started in late April and hasn’t recorded any new cases in the community in the last seven days. — VNS

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