Pattaya’s top business leader said he hopes the government’s coronavirus agency again eases restrictions on Chonburi Province as Covi-19 cases continue their decline locally.
Chonburi on Friday reported 42 new cases, only five of which were in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya. One more death was reported, bringing the province’s total to 22 deaths and 4,437 cases since April 1. Only 886 remain in hospitals.
The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration earlier this month moved Chonburi from a “deep red” maximum-control area to a “red” zone, which allowed restaurants to reopen with limited capacity until 11 p.m. for dine-in service. Virtually all other businesses remained closed by provincial order, however.
Nonetheless, Boonanan Pattanasin, president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, said the downgrade sparked some economic revival in the city. Restaurants are drawing customers again, although not at levels seen in February and March.
Still, he sees more people about and feels that another downgrade to an “orange” zone, which would lift operating hours restrictions on restaurants, would help.
Unfortunately for Boonanan, the CCSA nor Public Health Ministry have even hinted at another re-evaluation of the color-coded system, something people hoped would happen at month’s end.
Coronavirus cases in Chonburi have not declined as fast as in Banglamung and not at all nationally. Outbreak clusters continue to fester at Chonburi markets and factories, leading CCSA watchers to believe there will be no month-end change to orange.
Boonanan said Pattaya’s only real hope is to get 70 percent of the population vaccinated so that foreign tourism can resume. But the government has cut the city’s allotment of vaccines to be administered in June from 300,000 to 54,000, casting doubt on that goal.