Starting Wednesday, you can get a foot massage in Pattaya, but only if you’re vaccinated against Covid-19.
Shop owners initially expressed pleasure at news that they could finally reopen after months of being shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. But the conditions under which they can resume business may make it cheaper to stay closed.
Only cheap foot massages are allowed, and all employees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to rapid antigen tests at least once a week.
Meanwhile, customers must also be vaccinated or show proof of having recovered from Covid-19 within the past three months and have taken an antigen test beforehand.
Natchakan Auntavon, owner of Sanay Health Massage, said not all her masseuses have been vaccinated and weekly testing is too expensive. Testing would cost more than the income from foot massages from the few customers that will jump through the hoops to get one.
Nonetheless, she was cleaning her shop Aug. 28 to get ready for reopening Sept. 1.
Natchakan appealed to the government to prioritize massage and spa workers for vaccination to make it profitable to open doors again.
She has not been vaccinated yet, Natchakan said, and while she has registered, there are many people in line ahead of her.