Indoor eating, museums and bus services reopen as Hanoi return to normal

Thursday, 2021-10-14 08:40:57
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Many restaurants and cafés in Hanoi begin to offer indoor services following the city government’s approval. (Photo: Duy Linh)
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NDO - Hanoians rejoice as they now can eat and drink indoors, visit museums and use public buses after the capital city switched to the new normal state starting from October 14.

It was raining and slightly cold in the early morning but Hanoi residents were eager to begin their new day going to parks across the city for morning exercise.

At Thong Nhat Park in Hai Ba Trung District, there were already people there at around 5am jogging, playing badminton and shuttlecock. Signs asking the public to comply with mask-wearing and distancing guidelines were set up at the entrances to the park.

“I have been unable to get fresh air at the Bay Mau Lake inside Thong Nhat Park for a long time so today I came very early”, said Nguyen Van Thang, a resident of Kham Thien Street.

Similar scenes can be seen at other parks such as Bach Thao, Tuoi Tre, Yen So and Nghia Tan.

At the headquarters of the People’s Committee of Quoc Tu Giam Ward in Dong Da District, all 18 public servants were present from the early morning of October 14 to get ready for a new working day following the city government’s message to allow the reopening of public offices.

Museums also began to open on October 14 but most were empty as tours have yet to be organised. Nevertheless, signs on COVID-19 prevention measures are still placed at the entrances and passageways.

Hanoi residents get on a bus at the Long Bien Bus Terminal. (Photo: Duy Linh)

Knowing that public buses would reopen on October 14 morning, Nguyen Van Huy got up early to travel from his home in Long Bien District to his son’s house in Hoan Kiem District. Despite having to wait longer than usual as buses are operating at half their normal capacity, Huy was happy as taking a bus is safer and protects him from the bad weather.

During the morning rush hour, most buses were relatively empty with only one or two passengers as the buses left the terminals. Nguyen Tuan Tu, a bus driver, said “I am very happy I can go to work again after months of suspension due to COVID-19. We, drivers and conductors, have been fully vaccinated.”

Tu said the number of passengers on the first day of reopening fell about 70% as pupils and students have yet to go back to school and many did not know of the bus service resumption.

On the first morning that Hanoi allowed indoor eating, famous pho restaurants in the Old Quarter were packed with customers. At the restaurants, seats were separated by plastic barriers and both owners and attendants were wearing masks when serving patrons.

Nguyen Duc Kien in Hoan Kiem District said “It was a little cold this morning and nothing is more enjoyable than savouring a bowl of pho at the restaurant.”

Seats inside a pho restaurants separated by plastic shields. (Photo: Duy Linh)