Hanoi shops, buyers adjust to social distancing

By Ngoc Thanh   April 7, 2020 | 01:00 am PT
Both shoppers and sellers in Hanoi are finding ways to adapt to the social distancing campaign meant to contain the coronavirus.
Many stores in Hanoi’s Old Quarter have been closed for days, except for some essentials services. Others have been keeping their business by selling for acquaintances solely, allowing them to handle cash without looking at others or opening the doors.

Many shops in the city’s old quarter have been closed for days, except for some selling essential goods. Others have been selling solely to acquaintances, taking and giving cash under almost fully closed shutters without coming face to face.

Opening their doors partly, sellers put their products on the entrances and quickly sell them to locals.

Some open their doors partially, put their products at the entrance and quickly sell to locals. Vietnam started a 15-day nationwide social distancing campaign on Aprill 1, 2020. The campaign, which requires people to stay home and doesn't allow public gatherings of more than two, is expected to last until April 15.

Most of them are acquaintances, so they are sympathetic to this way of selling. Dozens of people shop here every day, said Thuy, owner of a pate restaurant on Hang Khoai Street.

Thuy, owner of a pate restaurant on Hang Khoai Street, said: "Most of them are acquaintances, and so they are sympathetic. Dozens of people shop here every day."

Thuy uses a rope to transfer her pate from the second floor.

Thuy uses a rope from the second floor to lower pate to a customer.

As many stores close, some street vendors use their front spaces to sell.

Since most stores are closed, some street vendors sell in front of them.

The small space between the two doors is where a family sells thuoc lao (Vietnamese tobacco) on Hang Ga Street.

A family sells thuoc lao (Vietnamese tobacco) between partially closed doors on Hang Ga Street.

Keeping her business opening, owner of a grocery store on Hong Mai Street put on a crystal clear wall to avoid close contacts with her patrons. Due to the Covid-19, to keep sellers and shoppers safe, please speak out loud the amount of products you need (color, kilogram, how much...), according to the notice on the wall.

The owner of a grocery store on Hong Mai Street has a warning on the plastic screen to customers to avoid close contact. "Due to Covid-19, to keep sellers and shoppers safe, please say loudly what you need (color, kilogram, how much...)," the notice says.

Transactions are conducted through the gap under the wall.

Money and goods are exchanged through a gap under a plastic screen.

A pharmacy adopts the same solution to avoid close contacts.

A pharmacy also uses a plastic screen.

A coffee shop keeps serving delivery orders after closing since March 26.

A cafe closed since March 26, 2020 offers delivery.

A restaurant on Cha Ca Street displays its food at the entrance.

A restaurant on Cha Ca Street displays its dishes at the entrance to enable people to order takeaway.

A man uses a stick to get his bottle of water from a vending machine outside Dong Xuan Market.

Outside Dong Xuan Market, a man uses a stick to get a bottle of water to avoid touching the vending machine.

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