0
Downtown Hanoi lifeless as Covid keeps crowds at bay

At Sunday noon, all food and beverage establishments in Hoan Kiem District started suspending in-person dining and only allowed takeaways. Customers were asked to leave the premise on the spot.

Ta Hien Street, a usually crowded location with many beer shops, stands desolate despite it being the weekend.

Downtown Hanoi lifeless as Covid keeps crowds at bay

A policeman reminds citizens to abide by Covid-19 prevention protocols. Some street stalls are requested to close down.

On Friday, Hanoi increased the coronavirus risk level in multiple districts to “high,” followed by appropriate measures to prevent infection.

Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Tay Ho, Hoang Mai and Nam Tu Liem districts would restrict large gatherings. Restaurants and cafes can only allow takeaways and must be closed before 9 p.m. Wet markets are suspended.

Downtown Hanoi lifeless as Covid keeps crowds at bay

On Hang Be Street, multiple shops display signs stating they only serve takeaways.

“The ward informed us early so the decision didn’t catch us by surprise. The number of customers however dropped,” said the owner of a local steamed rice roll shop.

Downtown Hanoi lifeless as Covid keeps crowds at bay

People stop by an ice cream stall to purchase takeaways.

Downtown Hanoi lifeless as Covid keeps crowds at bay

A restaurant in Hoan Kiem is less busy than usual.

Downtown Hanoi lifeless as Covid keeps crowds at bay

Trinh Cong Son pedestrian street in Tay Ho District is also desolate.

Following the city’s decision to suspend pedestrian streets back in April 2021, shops either closed down or adopted limited operations due to a lack of customers.

“There are few customers, and now with only takeaways allowed, business would be all the more difficult,” said Dung, owner of a local cafe.

Large public gatherings as well as sport and physical exercises around the West Lake are also banned.

Downtown Hanoi lifeless as Covid keeps crowds at bay

Areas around the Sword Lake are nearly empty.

Around two and a half months after the “new normal” period began, Hanoi has had to suspend several non-essential activities due to Covid-19 surges.