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Residents enjoy ‘new normal’ breakfasts as Ho Chi Minh City resumes dine-in service

Residents enjoy ‘new normal’ breakfasts as Ho Chi Minh City resumes dine-in service

Thursday, October 28, 2021, 18:50 GMT+7
Residents enjoy ‘new normal’ breakfasts as Ho Chi Minh City resumes dine-in service
A family eats breakfast at a 'pho' restaurant in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Residents across Ho Chi Minh City woke up on Thursday morning excited to finally be able to visit their favorite restaurants for some delicious breakfasts following a months-long ban on sit-down service due to COVID-19.

Owners and employees at eateries throughout the city began cleaning their tables and preparing their kitchens early in the morning to get ready for dine-in customers, signs of a 'new normal,' or living safely with the coronavirus.

“A bowl of pho is best served hot," said Huynh Tran, an employee of a pho restaurant in Tan Binh District.

"You have to eat the dish right at the restaurant to be able to taste every flavor.”

A woman enjoys a bowl of pho in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre

A woman enjoys a bowl of 'pho' in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre

Tran Thi Loan, a local resident, said she decided to wake up earlier than usual so that she could be the first to arrive at this pho restaurant.

“The venue isn’t so crowded early in the morning, and therefore it’s safer,” Loan added.

Other restaurants specializing in Vietnamese breakfast staples, including bun bo (beef noodle soup) and com tam (broken rice), as well as coffee shops, were also open to serve white-collar workers on their way to work and locals who had just finished morning exercises.

Residents play chess at a café in Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre

Residents play chess at a café in Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre

Phan Thi Thanh Huong, a bun bo vendor in Binh Thanh Dristrict, greeted each customer with a resounding “Good morning! What would you like to order?”

Huong said many of her patrons had called to confirm whether she would reopen.

“I am happy but also worried because the virus is still out there," Huong admitted.

"Therefore, following pandemic prevention and control regulations is among my top priorities.”

A woman washes tables to prepare for sit-down service in Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre

A woman washes tables to prepare for sit-down service in Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre

As part of pandemic response measures, multiple eateries installed partitions on tables and asked customers to fill out electronic health declarations before entry.

Other restaurants checked customers’ vaccine passes and reminded them to socially distance.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has allowed local F&B establishments to offer sit-down service from Thursday following a ban that lasted for about five months due to the complicated COVID-19 pandemic.

An eatery offers dine-in service in Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

An eatery offers dine-in service in Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Eateries have to close before 9:00 pm, operate at 50 percent of their capacity, and meet safety criteria promulgated by the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.

City authorities required restaurants and diners to stop offering in-person services in May to stall transmissions that have decelerated over the past few weeks owing to social distancing measures and a nationwide vaccination campaign.

The southern metropolis has been the hardest-hit locality in the country since the fourth outbreak began on April 27 with over 428,000 local infections.

Local authorities have been loosening restrictions since the beginning of this month after vaccinating the majority of the city’s adult population and achieving optimistic results in prevention and control efforts.

A pho shop installs partitions on tables as part of pandemic prevention and control measures. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A 'pho' shop installs partitions on tables as part of pandemic prevention and control measures. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A coffee shop resumes sit-down service in Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre

A coffee shop resumes sit-down service in Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre

A customer scans QR code to file a health declaration upon arriving at an eatery in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

A customer scans a QR code to file a health declaration upon arriving at an eatery in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

Partitions are installed at a pho restaurant in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

Partitions are installed at a 'pho' restaurant in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

A married couple drinks coffee at a café in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A married couple drinks coffee at a café in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A bun bo vendor in Thu Duc City has not offered dine-in service as her employees have yet to return to Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A 'bun bo' vendor in Thu Duc City has not offered dine-in service as her employees have yet to return to Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

An eatery still sells takeaways in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Bong Mai / Tuoi Tre

An eatery still sells takeaways in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Bong Mai / Tuoi Tre

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