Small business reopens in Tehran, after one month closed by COVID-19



Small business reopened in Tehran today, a week later than in the rest of the country, thus beginning the gradual return to economic activity after a month of closure imposed by the authorities due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Clothing, decoration or electrical appliance stores, stationery stores and real estate agencies, among others, resumed their activity as they were considered low risk, although the influx of customers was very limited, according to Efe.

Large spaces such as shopping malls remain closed to prevent the pandemic from rebounding in the country, where there are a total of 80,868 patients, although the rate of contagion and the death toll is decreasing.

The Ministry of Health reported today that in the last twenty-four hours 1,374 new infections and 73 deaths were recorded, bringing the death toll to 5,031.

In this context, the shopkeepers filled out in order to reopen a form on the website of the Ministry of Health and received a code that gives them permission to work.

A QR CODE

Mayid Rahimí, a real estate agent in northern Tehran, explained to Efe that obtaining that code “was not complicated”: “In a few minutes they sent us the (quick response) QR code.”

All the stores that were closed during the past month and that resumed their work today have hung the paper with that printed code on the front door or in the window.

As for the restaurants, everyone has the right to serve at home, but only small premises can accommodate some customers, whose number depends on the size of the site.

Only two customers at the same time can accept a local roast chicken on Valiasr street, whose owner lamented in statements to Efe that after the long closing today “no one has come to eat.”

“We hope that little by little people will be encouraged,” said this small businessman who, like most, hopes to have some income again so as not to end in ruin.

THE REST OF BUSINESS, IN THE AIR

Regarding the possible reopening of medium and high risk businesses, such as cinemas, theaters, gyms and shopping centers, it will be decided based on the evolution of the situation.

The Iranian president, Hasan Rohaní, announced that the Ministry of Health is reviewing the conditions of these businesses, but again asked citizens to respect the motto “we stay at home.”

It will also be decided later – Rohaní continued – about schools, universities and other educational centers, closed for two months, at which time all kinds of cultural, sports and religious events were also canceled.

In the framework of gradual reduction of the limitations, Iran plans to remove the ban on inter-city travel from April 20, another important measure that paves the way back to normal life.

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