Many coffee shops in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City have been letting customers enjoy their drinks right on the premises even though the municipal authorities have only allowed takeaway service amid the current pandemic situation.
According to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters, many cafés and eateries in Thu Duc City ignored the prohibition to provide sit-down service on Sunday and Monday.
Many of these venues are located in small alleys, while some are on bigger streets.
Competent authorities did not take any action against these violations even though the local administration had recently stressed that the sit-down service would remain shut.
|A café in Hiep Phu Ward, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, October 11, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre|
At a coffee shop named P.X. on Pham Van Dong Street, about 20 customers were seen on Monday morning.
Most of them did not wear face masks and sat quite close to one another.
An employee told the Tuoi Tre reporters to enjoy their drinks and not to worry, adding that the venue was only open in the morning for the time being.
A similar situation was also noticed at a coffee shop on Street No. 2 in Truong Tho Ward, but the owner used several steel sheets to block the view of people outside.
|A café sets up tables and chairs on the roadway in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, October 11, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre|
At another venue in Hiep Phu Ward, the owner did not seem to be nervous at all, stating that they had been welcoming customers for days.
Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 411,655 local COVID-19 infections and over 15,700 deaths since the fourth outbreak hit the country on April 27.
The city had imposed social distancing measures at various levels since May 31 before loosening multiple restrictions from October 1, as the majority of its adult population had been vaccinated with at least one shot.
|A café in Truong Tho Ward, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, October 11, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre|
However, eateries and beverage joints are only allowed to sell takeaways at the moment.
At a meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control on Monday, Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, deputy director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, stated that the city has not planned on resuming sit-down service.
The service could result in gatherings of large crowds and pose high risk of COVID-19 transmission, Phuong elaborated.
|People drink coffee and have a chat at a coffee shop in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, October 11, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre|