Pattaya restaurants are open again, but the dining is hardly fine.
Severe hygiene requirements and restrictions on seating that have resulted in families being separated are leaving many people feeling that it’s simply better to continue getting delivery at home rather than go out.
Standalone restaurants were allowed to reopen May 3 with those inside malls joining the list May 17. But, to do so, customers and staff must wear masks (except while eating), staff must wear gloves, everyone must pass temperature checks and use hand sanitizer. Tables must be spaced 1.5 meters apart, people cannot sit opposite each other, plastic dividers cut tables in two and some restaurants are even breaking up parties that came in together.
It’s all a bit too much hassle for some.
British national Roger said the lockdown and all the prohibitions left him shell-shocked. He liked to go to restaurants in Jomtien Beach, but now has relied on home-cooked food. He said he understands the controls put in place to suppress Covid-19, but doesn’t enjoy them.
Dao, a restaurant owner on Pattaya Beach, said she has been open for a couple weeks, but customers have not returned. As a result, she’s cut staff and other expenses to remain in business.
Hopefully, she said, things will return to near-normal soon and she can rehire employees.