Mixed bag imposing Covid safety regulations in HCMC

By Tat Dat, Vien Thong   October 18, 2021 | 06:07 am PT
Mixed bag imposing Covid safety regulations in HCMC
A security guard checks vaccination status of a customer at a supermarket in An Phu Commune, Thu Duc City. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat
Businesses in HCMC are striving to strictly comply with Covid-19 safety regulations to ensure safe reopening, but some have shown negligence.

Central Retail, which operates outlets under the brands Go, Big C, and Top Markets, said all customers are required to have been vaccinated with at least one dose or to have recovered from Covid-19 as the city requires.

The chain will continue to strictly carry out safety requirements, said Marketing Director Nguyen Thi Bich Van.

Lender ACB has done the same at all its branches. The company have also assigned people to help elders who are not tech-savvy.

Gong Cha bubble tea is also requiring customers to show a ‘green pass’, a mobile app that records the users’ vaccination status.

Local residents comply with the city’s regulations, and as the city has a high vaccination rate, there is not much difficulty for people to obtain a green pass, spokesperson Tran Ngoc An said.

Some businesses are also using QR codes to record the travel history of employees and customers. These codes are placed at the entry points of buildings.

Nguyen Bich Tram, CEO of female fashion chain OLV, said it takes only 30 seconds to complete the check-in process using a smartphone.

"Using QR codes has many benefits for customers. It reduces the time for medical declarations to provide more comfort while shopping."

However, some companies report technical challenges in implementing QR codes.

Coffee chain Barxiu Coffee has been forced to say no to some customers who were not able to scan the code and declare their travel history.

For Gong Cha, customers have to refill all personal details every time they scan the code, which is time consuming. Some customers gave up and left.

There are also businesses that have deliberately neglected the city’s regulations.

A bubble tea shop on Do Xuan Hop Road in Thu Duc City does not require customers to show their vaccination status and did not printout out QR codes.

"My shop only has two staff. We can’t even serve people quick enough, how can we take care of those things?" said the shop owner.

A convenience store also in Thu Duc City put the QR code printout on a small stool but did not require anyone to scan it.

There are 2.3 million locations nationwide that have registered for QR codes as of Oct. 11, but only 200,000 of them record frequent activity, according to the Center for Covid-19 Prevention Technology.

The center said QR code scanning plays a major role in tracing people’s contacts. In Hanoi, authorities had recently found 379 people linked to a Covid-19 case in Aeon Mall Ha Dong and Dinh Market within minutes.

It is also thanks to QR codes that Hanoi detected 5,500 people linked to 21 Covid-19 cases at food supply company Thanh Nga in early August.

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