Ride-hailing firms shorten operation time in Saigon amid new COVID-19 travel restriction

, Ride-hailing firms shorten operation time in Saigon amid new COVID-19 travel restriction

Tech-based transport service firms like Grab, Be, and Gojek have shortened their daily operation time in Ho Chi Minh City in accordance with a ban on outdoor travels from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am the next day.

These firms on Monday said they would halt daily delivery services from 5:00 pm to 6:00 am the next day until further notice, meaning they will close their services one hour before the starting time of the travel restriction imposed by local authorities, starting Monday, as a measure to curb surging COVID-19 cases.

They will only deliver orders and provide on-demand shopping services from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm every day in Ho Chi Minh City.

A Gojek representative said that the firm’s staff will ship only essential foods or goods worth less than VND2 million (US$87) and will be entitled to check any package before delivery and to refuse any item that does not meet its rules.

Grab said it will re-launch its GrabAssistant, now called GrabExpress, to serve clients who desire online shopping.

Accordingly, the company will render on-demand shopping services for goods weighing no more than 30 kilograms, at a charge of VND15,000 for the first three kilometers and VND5,000 for every following kilometer.

All tech-based transporters said curtailing their daily service period will affect their clients as well as the income of their staff, but they still do so for the sake of epidemic prevention and control.

Many supermarkets have decided to close at 5:00 pm, five hours earlier than normal, every day from Monday.

In addition to the night-time travel restriction, city authorities have been enforcing regulations under the prime minister’s Directive 16, including the closure of non-essential businesses and services, a stay-home order, a ban on gatherings larger than two people, and the suspension of public transport.

Residents are prohibited from going out, except for seeking medical treatment and buying food at designated points.

Since early 2020, when the pandemic erupted in Vietnam, the city has documented over 69,100 COVID-19 cases, including more than 16,600 recoveries and 698 deaths, the municipal Center for Disease Control reported on Tuesday morning.

Nationwide, the total number of patients has so far reached 109,111 cases, including 21,344 recoveries, according to the Health Ministry’s data.

This article was originally published in Tuoitrenews

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