7 June 2024

Operators of eateries in the four Red Zone provinces, including Bangkok, will propose that the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) further ease dine-in restrictions, by allowing them occupy 50-75% of their seating capacity, up from the current 25% limit.

Mrs. Thaniwan Kulamongkol, president of the Thai Restaurants Association, told Thai PBS that, since the current restrictions are due to expire today (Monday), the association will discuss its proposal with the Health Department.

She disclosed that there are more than 20,000 F&B outlets, which include restaurants, food shops and street stalls, which have passed the Thai Stop COVID Plus standard.

She also asked the government to allocate a special quota of COVID-19 vaccines for their employees, as a means to contain the spread of the disease, and to arrange for soft loans or other financial support for the troubled sector, claiming that most commercial banks are reluctant to grant loans to them, because of their unstable revenues.

One restaurant owner, in the Samsen Nai area of Bangkok, Mr.Veeraphan Tapsuwan, told Thai PBS that, even though the CCSA has eased dine-in restrictions, his income from dine-in services is insufficient to survive, forcing him to turn to take-home and delivery services.

He pointed out that group customers, such as families, have stopped visiting the restaurant because they cannot sit together as the restriction allows only one customer at a table which normally seats four.

Due to the seating restriction and the poor business, he said that he had to suspend half of his staff to save costs.

On May 15th, the CCSA eased restrictions by allowing eateries in four Red Zone provinces to seat dine-in customers of up to 25%of their seating capacity and to stay open until 9pm. Take-home and delivery services can operate up to 11pm.