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Chiang Mai restaurants want dine-in ban revoked as infections drop

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Flickr/Siripanna Chiang Mai

The governor of Chiang Mai has called for the ban on dining in at restaurants to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm. Charoenrit Sa-nguansat’s request follows a drop in Covid-19 infections in the northern province.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has colour-coded Chiang Mai “dark red”, making it a maximum control zone, along with the central provinces of Bangkok, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan. According to restrictions imposed on maximum control areas, in-house dining is prohibited at restaurants, which are only permitted to remain open for takeaway orders up to 9pm.

The Bangkok Post reports that Charoenrit has appealed the ban in a letter to the CSSA, after daily new infections dropped from triple digits to double digits. In his letter, he attached a copy of a petition from the Chiang Mai Restaurant and Entertainment Venue Association, who last week called for the dine-in ban to be lifted, pointing out that it’s having a significant impact on more than 14,000 restaurants and 80,000 workers. The association also argues that there have been no infections linked to local restaurants.

Charoenrit, who also heads up Chiang Mai’s communicable disease control body, says he supports the association’s petition, adding that case numbers have been following a downward trend in the last week and calling on the government to lift the dine-in ban in the province.

According to the Bangkok Post, an innovative restaurant thought it had found a way around the ban when it opened up a “drive-in” service, in which customers could order and consume food in their own cars for up to 2 hours. Alas, the move was opposed by health officials, who pointed out the small gap between vehicles and voiced concerns that diners could use the opportunity to mingle.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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