3 May, 2020 @ 12:30
1 min read

Chinese shops open in Madrid for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown


SHOPS and businesses in the Chinatown area of Madrid have opened their doors for the first time since the COVID-19 state of Alarm came into play.

The area of Usera in Madrid houses over 10,000 Chinese citizens and is home to many shops, restaurants and food outlets, all of which have been closed for 50 days.

However EFE in Madrid have confirmed that several food shops have reopened in the area, bringing new life to the previously deserted downtown Madrid.

Understandably, the shops have had to adopt the strict measures enforced by the Spanish government to ensure the coronavirus does not reappear, with some business owners going the extra mile, taking tips from their home country to stop the spread.

A Chinese supermarket in the Usera district has adopted temperature testing to any customers walking through their doors, hoping to catch anyone harbouring the virus without knowing from entering the shop.

The workers are also being made to wear full protective suits as well as masks and gloves.

“We have taken extreme measures to make sure that we can open safely,” explained another shop owner, Aurora.

“We allow at most six people in at any one time and we provide clients with hand sanitizer and gloves in accordance to government rules.”

Head of the Chinese Business Association in Spain, Shengli Chen Pen insists that the opening of businesses in Madrid is done so with ‘great caution’ and that ‘many measures’ have been taken to ensure they can reopen safely.

“We have to do everything by the book and put the health of the country first before profit,” he continued, “all Chinese businesses have to respect the new norm.”

Across the country, Chinese stores were the first businesses to be hit when the outbreak arrived.

The apparent source of the virus in China caused anger among certain factions of the country, with some Chinese stores being the target of vile abuse and vandalism.

However the extra measures that these businesses are taking and a better national understanding of the virus, Chen Pen is hoping that the industry can rebuild itself.

“It has been a hard six weeks, but we are strong and we will recover.”

James Warren

"James spent three years spent working as a junior writer at various English language newspapers in Spain before finding a home at the Olive Press. He previously worked for many years as a bid writer for an international motorsports company. Based in Cordoba since 2014, James covers the southern Subbetica region, northern and inland Malaga and the Axarquia area. Get in touch at [email protected] with news or trustworthy tips that you would like him to cover in these areas"

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