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Restaurants operators plea to open again

Restaurant operators have asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to ease Covid-19 restrictions, including lifting the ban on dine-in services.

Food and beverage operators have been suffering because of the restrictions imposed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said Pasinee Pitaknilpradap, president of the Restaurant and Goods Product Association (RGPA).

The government has increased its Covid controls, widening restrictions in “dark red” maximum- and strict-control zones where the virus has been spreading rapidly since the start of April.

In dark-red provinces, including Bangkok, restaurants can open for takeout only until 9pm.

Dining in is allowed until 9pm in red zones and until 11pm in orange zones, with no sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. In red zones, restaurants can take orders for takeout until 11pm.

The restrictions have hurt operators with income declining by more than 50% and hundreds of thousands of employees also affected, said Ms Pasinee, who has sent a letter to Gen Prayut asking for relief.

The association wants the premier to help operators by allowing restaurants and eateries to provide dine-in services for customers. It has also asked him to exempt and reduce income taxes, signboard tax and building and land tax; reduce electricity and water fees, and slash employers’ contributions to the Social Security Fund (SSF).

To help employees, the association asked the government to compensate them for lost income at a rate of 50% of their salaries, and extend the period of reduced 2% contributions to the SSF.

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