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Pattaya massage shops petition government to be allowed to reopen



PHOTO: Alan Caishan on Unsplash

Massage shops in Pattaya are appealing for permission to reopen as the city has not recorded a new case of the Covid-19 virus for 36 days now. Their plea comes as the government considers the possibility of allowing lower body massage only, to lessen the risk of virus transmission. However, the Thai Massage Association says it would be impossible for its members to generate anywhere near enough revenue if such limits are enforced.

The Pattaya News reports that the owner of Rose Massage in the city, 41 year old Somchob Chimphimai, says she is fortunate she has not had to pay rent as her family owns the building where her massage shop is located. However, the forced closure order means many of her employees are relying on food donations, lining up with thousands of others for charity handouts.

Given Pattaya’s running streak of zero cases in 36 days, Somchob and other massage shop owners are petitioning the government to be allowed to reopen, with dozens of masseuses taking their protest to Bangkok earlier this week. Somchob insists the current lack of tourists is not a problem for her business, as many of her regular customers are either local Thais or expats.

The final decision on any reopening rests with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, who say they remain concerned about the lack of social distancing massage entails. As a result, massage shops are still considered “high risk”.

The next phase of easing of restrictions is due on June 1. A decision on what businesses will be allowed to re-open from that date is expected by the end of next week. Let’s hope that their plea for an easing of restrictions has a happy ending.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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