HCMC to reopen groceries markets with pandemic arrangements

By Thi Ha   July 24, 2021 | 10:12 pm PT
HCMC has approved a new market model that will have 12 stalls selling essential goods, following all pandemic-related safety measures including distancing and health declarations.

The municipal Department of Trade and Industry sent a guidance document Saturday for reopening markets to local authorities in all 21 HCMC districts and Thu Duc City.

Accordingly, a market will have 12 stalls - four selling vegetables and fruits, two selling poultry, two selling pork and beef, two selling seafood, and two selling eggs. These stalls must be placed at least two meters away from each other and separated by plastic dividers on three sides to avoid contact among sellers and buyers.

Few people shop at Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District, HCMC, on the morning of July 20, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat.

People shop at the Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District, HCMC, July 20, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat.

The entrance and exit will be separated, with areas for making health declarations, body temperature checks and parking.

Local officials have been asked to restrict crowding at such markets by providing access tickets and controlling the number of shoppers by allotting time slots.

Each household will be given 10-15 access tickets to the markets for 30 days, depending on the local goods supply chain. In locked down areas, people will buy essentials at supermarkets or markets twice a week, using the access tickets provided.

Market vendors will have to commit to strict compliance with Covid-19 prevention measures. Market management offices must regularly check for infection risks, ensure safety, and report on the situation to the trade department by July 30.

The city had earlier wanted two of three wholesale markets to reopen partially with several safety measures including organizing traffic flow and goods gathering points.

On July 19, HCMC allowed traditional markets to reopen with strict prevention measures to ensure supply of food and other necessary items.

According to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, 32 out of its 188 traditional markets were operating in the city as of Sunday.

The city, home to 13 million people, is the most infected locality in the country, with more than 58,000 cases recorded in the ongoing Covid-19 wave that hit Vietnam on April 27.

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