HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

By Quynh Tran   October 7, 2021 | 12:48 pm GMT+7
Several traditional markets in HCMC have reopened, with transparent screens and other distancing requirements as protection against Covid-19.
HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

The renowned Ben Thanh Market in District 1 reopened on Oct. 3 after three months of closure.

Of its 1,442 tenants, 70 have returned, most of them vendors of fish, meat, vegetable, and other food items.

Customers and sellers are separated by transparent screens and boundary lines.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

The market, which spreads over 13,000 square meters, is however deserted since there are no thronging tourists.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Sellers are required to be fully vaccinated and buyers should have had at least one shot and need to report their travel details.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Loan, who has been selling vegetables at the market for more than two decades, said she has never seen it so deserted except during Lunar New Year holidays.

“We are glad to see each other again after nearly four months. I am selling modest quantities to get started”.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Nearly 10 eateries are open, but only for delivery and takeaway.

Huynh Thi Lien, a noodles vendor, said: “My customers are mainly other vendors. There is mostly no profit because of low demand and high prices of ingredients. I have not raised prices though because everyone is in difficulty because of the pandemic”.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Some vendors use baskets to receive cash, which they disinfect before handling. There are some 200 customers a day, most of them vendors, shippers and people living nearby.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Luu Nguyet Quynh, a local resident, has been coming to the market every day since it reopened.

“It feels good to be back at the market and talk to people, and to select the right food and quantity without having to order online.”

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Well over 1,000 stalls are yet to reopen, most of them selling jewelry, souvenir and clothes. These are considered ‘non-essential’ items, which were sold mostly to foreign tourists before the pandemic.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Medical workers have set up a station at the market to test vendors for free every three days.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Five kilometers away, An Dong Market in District 5 began to stir Tuesday with 30 out of 200 stalls opening.

Only fully vaccinated vendors are allowed to reopen.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Customers need to have been vaccinated at least once or contracted and recovered from Covid-19 in the previous six months.

HCMC traditional markets reopen cautiously

Around 70 customers show up daily, and many vendors only open in the morning.

As of Tuesday 21 out of 234 markets in the city have reopened.

 
 
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