Pattaya businesses are being thrown another curved ball with the Chon Buri governor releasing new orders last night to clarify, and in some cases increase, restrictions and conditions for food and beverage venues.
The updated guidelines relate specifically to bars that are trying to re-open under a loophole that lets them open and sell alcohol in Pattaya, Bang Lamung and Nongprue.
The added, or clarified, guidelines have been translated by The Pattaya News…
1. All staff, including musicians, performers, entertainers, etc (whatever ‘etc’ is) must take a rapid antigen Covid19 test daily
2. All customers, regardless of the size of the venue and regardless of the customer’s vaccination or recovery status, must take a Covid antigen test within 72 hours of the current time period to dine-in. The venue can arrange for on-site testing or accept qualified test results.
3. If a venue is unwilling or unable to meet the first two points they must shut immediately until/if restrictions are eased.
The new guidelines have no sunset date and remain in force until further announcements are made. Exactly how any of these new restrictions can be enforced has not been described. The guidelines also expect venue staff to check the validity of testing of customers.
Chon Buri Public Health reports 442 new Covid infections this morning, an uptick in local cases since the last month. Bang Lamung and Pattaya are contributing the biggest jump in new infections with 342 of today’s cases.
The CCSA last week re-affirmed their decision to restrict the opening of bars and nightlife, around the country, until at least January 15 but there’s a been a big rise in bars reopening, either under the guise of a ‘restaurant’ (so they can serve alcohol legally), or just as a normal bar and hoping to fly under the police radar.
The situation in other holiday hotspots, like Patong in Phuket and Cheweng in Samui, is more advanced where many bars are openly flouting the current guidelines as they battle to get their businesses open again and taking advantage of the increase in tourists over Christmas and new year.
In Thailand today there were 3,112 new infections and 12 Covid-related deaths. Statistically, the numbers are not showing a significant rise in cases at this time.