The Bangkok Governor today issued an order to extend Chatuchak Market opening hours to support shopkeepers and customers, with a further hour of shopping time. The market is now open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Customers and shopkeepers are asked to maintain appropriate personal distance and follow the regulations.
Asawin Kwanmuang, Bangkok Governor along with officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration or BMA inspected COVID-19 prevention measures at Chatuchak Weekend Market on Sunday. After being open for two days, they found that during the hot season customers tend to come in the afternoon around 2 to 5 p.m. The governor therefore decided to extend opening hours, so that now shopping ends at 7 p.m., instead of 6 p.m.
The BMA is also preparing to cut rents for traders, a plan now being proposed to the Minister of Transport. The plan aims to cut rent payable from March to November as customer numbers are much lower than usual.
However, it was noted that social distancing in the market is sometimes forgotten by shoppers. As a result, the governor has had officials draw lines on the ground all over the market as a reminder to maintain personal distance.
A big cleaning operation was also undertaken on Monday.
The governor has asked all customers and shopkeepers to follow anti-pandemic measures. Violators will be warned first, so that it may not be necessary to enforce the harsh provisions of the law.
As for the market’s COVID-19 control measures, only 6 of 13 entrances are open, everyone must wear a mask and have their body temperature checked. Hand sanitizers are provided at every entrance and other spots around the market. Toilets are cleaned every 2 hours.
Food vendors must work behind a plastic screen and all containers must have a lid. Shops are allowed to have a maximum of five customers inside at any one time in small shops, with a 10-person maximum in larger shops. Meanwhile, the area normally reserved for street vendors around the clock tower, and the night market are still closed. (NNT)