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As social distancing rules ease, Hanoians queue up for artisan mooncakes

As social distancing rules ease, Hanoians queue up for artisan mooncakes

Sunday, September 19, 2021, 15:33 GMT+7
As social distancing rules ease, Hanoians queue up for artisan mooncakes
People stand in queues leading to a makeshift sales location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A makeshift sales location of Hanoi-based bakery Bao Phuong, whose mooncakes are highly sought after during the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam, saw long queues of buyers in front of them at as early as 4:00 am on Sunday.

A top-of-mind choice for Hanoi residents when it comes to mooncakes -- a sweet treat commonly eaten to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, falling on Tuesday next week -- Bao Phuong stores in Tay Ho District usually draws in huge crowds in the run-up to the festival.

On Wednesday, police of Tay Ho District’s Thuy Khue Ward forced two locations of the bakery to close as the operators did not ensure spacing between queuing customers.

To ensure epidemic safety, local police have assigned makeshift selling locations for Bao Phuong and other artisan mooncake brands, while mobilizing officers to monitor the crowds.

As seen by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents, buyers lined up in front of Bao Phuong’s booth at Chu Van An Elementary School since as early as 4:00 am on Sunday.

Queues leading to a makeshift sale location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

People stand in queues leading to a makeshift sales location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Queues leading to a makeshift sale location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

People stand in queues leading to a makeshift sales location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Queuers had to go through barricaded ways and undergo body temperature checks while maintaining a safe distance before getting the opportunity to buy the mooncakes.

The booth was open between 8:00 am - 11:00 am and 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm, but its stock had run out by 9:00 am due to overwhelming demand.

“We must ensure social distancing, ticket-based monitoring, and queuing solutions before allowing the stores to open,” said Nguyen Anh Tuan, deputy secretary of the Tay Ho District Party Committee.

“Protecting the people’s health and lives is our utmost priority.”

Queues leading to a makeshift sale location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

People gather at a makeshift sales location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Viet Dat, a resident from Thanh Xuan District, waits for his turn to buy Bao Phuong mooncakes on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Viet Dat, a resident from Thanh Xuan District, waits for his turn to buy Bao Phuong mooncakes on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

After nearly two months of social distancing, Tay Ho District, as well as 18 other districts in Hanoi, managed to contain the coronavirus spread, which allowed them to relax the ban on non-essential businesses and outdoor travels from Thursday.

However, large gatherings are still prohibited, and safe spacing rules are in place in these areas.

The capital city has recorded 4,394 coronavirus cases and 49 deaths since the pandemic erupted in Vietnam in early 2020, the Ministry of Health reported.

Queues leading to a makeshift sale location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

People gravitate to a makeshift sales location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Queues leading to a makeshift sale location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

People stand in queues leading to a makeshift sales location of mooncake maker Bao Phuong on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A customer goes through a body temperature check before buying mooncakes from Bao Phuong bakery on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A customer goes through a body temperature check before buying mooncakes from Bao Phuong bakery on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Bao Phuong staffers prepare mooncakes at a makeshift sale location on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Bao Phuong staffers prepare mooncakes at a makeshift sales location on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A customer picks up mooncakes from Bao Phuong bakery on Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A customer picks up mooncakes from Bao Phuong bakery on Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, September 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

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