App-based passenger transport firm Grab and its competitor Be restored car transport services in Hanoi on Thursday following a two-month hiatus due to COVID-19.
The firms' announcement follows a dispatch issued by the municipal administration on Wednesday that, from 6:00 am on Thursday, loosened COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting buses, taxis, and app-based under-nine-seat vehicles.
Responding to the mandate, Grab reopened its GrabCar transport service on Thursday, declaring that it had prepared safety measures, including installing hand sanitizers and mandatory face mask wearing in their vehicles.
The firm also assured the public that each of its drivers has received at least one COVID-19 jab and will be tested for the virus every week.
Passengers using Grab’s transport services must comply with epidemic safety measures and fulfill medical declarations as mandated by the Ministry of Health.
In the current stage of reopening following strict prohibitions on various modes of public transport, the Ministry of Transport is handing out limited approvals for GrabCar’s partner drivers to operate and the company will prioritize those partners who meet all the requirements, as well as those who have remained steadfast in the job over the past few months, Grab stated in an announcement.
To celebrate its resumption, GrabCar is offering various discounts, with up to 50 percent off fares for rides booked between October 14 and 31.
Meanwhile, Grab’s competitor BeGroup also relaunched its car ride-hailing service BeCar on Thursday.
The resumption of these services is expected to appease the commuting demand of residents, as well as generate income for app-based drivers in Hanoi after the capital city went more than two months under strict social distancing measures that banned all non-essential travels and public transport.
Hanoi has documented 4,561 COVID-19 cases, including 37 deaths, since the pandemic erupted in Vietnam in early 2020, according to the health ministry.
Overall, the Southeast Asian nation has registered 853,842 coronavirus patients, including 788,005 recoveries and 20,950 deaths in 62 out of its 63 provinces and cities, except Cao Bang.