“One more month.” That’s what Pattaya business owners are telling themselves as they gird and scrape to survive without tourists after Pattaya’s reopening was pushed back again.
Operators were told Pattaya would open in September. Then October. Now, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Monday is set to confirm that there will be no reopening to fully vaccinated foreigners until at least Nov. 1, and only if Chonburi can vaccinate 70 percent of the population.
Thawatchai Jakrum, owner of Fah Sai Thai on Soi Bongkot, said Sept. 23, although he is allowed to reopen, he’s not going to. There’s no way to break even when closing at 8 p.m. and not being able to sell alcohol, he said.
Open in Pattaya for many years, Fah Sai Thai drew most of its customers from the city’s legions of entertainment workers. The restaurant typically opened late and stayed open late. In April, he tried opening from 5-9 p.m. to catch a dinner crowd and put up a projection-screen TV to show sports. It didn’t work.
Now, Thawatchai said, he’ll have to wait until November to see what happens.
Wandee, an employee at a massage parlor, said she came back from Udon Thani when her shop was allowed to resume foot massages. But there are no tour groups, no Chinese, no Russians, no Indians and almost no money.
Her only customers are Thais and only for a few hours each Saturday and Sunday. During the week there is no one.
Until November, she anticipates trying to survive as she has: Accepting donated meals and save what money she can earn.