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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Restaurant operators repeat calls for financial aid



Covid-19 prevention measures in a Bangkok restaurant - PHOTO: Flickr/ILO Asia-Pacific

Thailand’s restaurant owners are pleading for state relief as they struggle to stay afloat amid tight Covid-19 prevention measures. Taniwan Koonmongkon from the Thai Restaurant Association says the PM’s aim of re-opening the country fully by October provides some hope but for now, restaurants are struggling.

“Restaurant operators feel hopeful after the premier on Wednesday set a goal of fully re-opening the country to foreign visitors within 120 days to pave the way for an economic recovery, but we are still waiting for relief from the government.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, the TRA is calling for a 300,000 – 500,000 baht loan scheme for its members, in addition to delaying their VAT payments, and a 30% reduction on utility bills.

“The pandemic has had a huge impact on eateries. Some 50,000 restaurants are already out of business and another 50,000 are close to throwing in the towel. Some restaurant owners only have enough money to pay staff for 2 months.”

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has announced an easing of some restrictions for restaurants in the dark red provinces of Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan, in central Thailand. From today, customers can dine in until 11pm and air-conditioned premises can increase capacity from 25% to 50%. However, the ban on serving alcohol remains in place nationwide.

According to Taniwan, restaurant operators are still in urgent need of assistance, despite the restrictions being eased and tentative plans to re-open Thailand in 120 days.

“Restaurant operators welcome the premier’s roadmap to reopening our country in 120 days, but such a plan does not help the restaurant industry if the government does not respond to our requirements.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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