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Thai Restaurant Association asks PM not to restrict in-dining services



As the 4 day New Year long weekend comes to a close, there are a number of proposed restrictions looming as the CCSA battles to contain the latest outbreaks of cases, particularly in and around Bangkok and the nearby easter provinces.

There is currently a proposal to restrict Bangkok’s restaurants to take away services only, as well as full travel restrictions for the residents of Rayong, Chanthaburi and Chon Buri, including Pattaya.

Now the President of the Thai Restaurant Association has addressed the issue of banning in-dining at Bangkok restaurants with an open letter to the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, asking him to consider not restricting Bangkok’s restaurants to take away services only.

The letter is one of many protesting more strict restrictions and measures to control the current Covid-19 outbreak claiming that, without financial aid and support, the industry won’t be able to handle another shutdown. Today the CCSA will meet to discuss increasing measures and restrictions that have been proposed by the Public Health Ministry. But the country’s restaurant industry says they cannot cope with another set of lockdowns without significant financial help from the government.

Association President, Thaniwan Kulamongkol says the restaurant industry was already imposing strict Covid-19 preventative measures and were willing to implement even stricter health standards and compromises to stay open, even reintroducing table partitions, stricter controls on social distancing etc.

“A total take-out-only option would devastate many workers, especially those informal workers and without much money who would be facing for some a second layoff or furlough of the year.”

She also says that many restaurants were not setup for takeout and would have no choice but to close, further devastating the economy, especially if the order hit Bangkok.

She says that if restaurants close or move to take-away-only services this will put a significant strain on the Thai farming industry, due to restaurants and retailers not ordering as many food items.

Thaniwan said in the letter that there wasn’t sufficient proof that current clusters of infections were coming from restaurants and the CCSA had been unable to provide scientific proof of restaurants, especially outdoor dining and street food, being high risk for spreading the virus.

The PM has not yet responded to the letter. Last Friday the Bangkok Metropolitan Association proposed that they “may” have to restrict the city’s restaurants to take away services only of the number of local cases continued to rise.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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