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. 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. 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 from the second floor to lower pate to a customer. Since most stores are closed, some street vendors sell in front of them. A family sells thuoc lao (Vietnamese tobacco) between partially closed doors on Hang Ga Street. 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. Money and goods are exchanged through a gap under a plastic screen. A pharmacy also uses a plastic screen. A cafe closed since March 26, 2020 offers delivery. A restaurant on Cha Ca Street displays its dishes at the entrance to enable people to order takeaway. 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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