HCMC – After three months of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic, over 60 vendors at the Ben Thanh Market, the most famous traditional market in District 1, HCMC, resumed operations from October 3. Although the number of customers is lower than that seen during the pre-social distancing level, most vendors are very happy at being allowed to reopen.
According to the management board of the Ben Thanh Market, most of the vendors are selling essential goods such as food, meat, fish, vegetables and fruits. Kiosks selling other goods such as textiles and garments, and clothes have not been allowed to reopen.
To ensure safety, the kiosks are separated by temporary partitions and both vendors and customers have to keep a safe physical distance from each other, said Ngo Van Ha, head of the market’s management board.
The vendors have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or should have fully recovered from the disease. On October 2, more than 300 vendors at the market took free Covid-19 tests.
All customers visiting the market have to present their health declarations via a QR code at the market’s entrances.
After several days of reopening, vendors at the Ben Thanh Market said they are very happy at being able to return to work, but at the same time worry that the consumer demand might not recover soon. Besides, many customers have turned to online shopping, which allows contactless payments and offers door-to-door delivery services.
Tran Thi Loan, a vendor at the Ben Thanh Market, said, “On the first few days of reopening, the market has been quite deserted. I hope that once the situation improves, there will be more customers.”
Nguyen Thi Ha, owner of an eatery at the market, shared, “I’m happy but worried at the same time because there are just a few customers.”