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Dark-red took effect on Saturday and will last for two weeks

Declaring Chon Buri province a “dark red” zone for coronavirus control purposes is no different than imposing a lockdown, says a Pattaya business leader

The dark-red designation that took effect on Saturday and will last for two weeks has hurt all types of businesses, says Boonanan Phattanasin, president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association.

The increased Covid restrictions mean there is now limited access to hotel facilities.

Swimming pools and restaurants are closed except for takeout and delivery, so any guests who are in the city can do little outside their rooms, he said on Saturday.

Beaches, entertainment places, spas and fitness clubs have all been ordered closed as well.

The new curbs have caused more worries among business operators and affected the tourism atmosphere, said Mr Boonanan.

Chon Buri is one of six provinces declared dark red zones for maximum and strict Covid control by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). The other five are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan.

The latest update from the CCSA showed Chon Buri with 126 new cases to midnight on Friday, the third-highest total behind Bangkok and Samut Prakan.

Mr Boonanan said local operators understood that the government’s measures were aimed at containing the spread of the virus outbreak. However, several of the measures imposed had directly hurt all businesses.

About 90% of some 1,000 hotels in Pattaya had zero bookings, he said. More importantly, authorities had not sought the views of the private sector about any new plans or guidelines to contain the spread of Covid.

Mr Boonanan noted that since the third wave began at the start of April, no timelines of infected people were linked to any employees in the local tourism business.

Most of the infections reported in Pattaya were in people who had contracted the disease somewhere else.

He said the government should have measures in hand to remedy the harm done to business operators.

In particular, he said, help is needed for workers because whenever measures to contain the virus are issued, many workers in the service sector lose their jobs.

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