SHA+? Stop Covid 2 Plus? ATK within 72 hours? For Pattaya police, the new coronavirus regulations are just too complicated, so they’re focusing on the easy thing: Making sure restaurants aren’t selling alcohol after 9 p.m.
After ten days of checking that restaurants and bars are testing all their staff daily and customers within 72 hours of their last test, police have basically given up and gone back to what’s easy. They may not know the age of a customer’s antigen test cassette, but they do know if his beer glass is full after 9 p.m.
So cops have left the health and testing checks to the Public Health Department and have begun busting the chops of restaurant owners about selling hours. Fines are easy to collect.
The boys in brown also spend a part of their day hassling women in provocative dresses, but no face masks, cat-calling customers from the road to come to their bars, sorry, restaurants.
Banglamung Deputy District Chief Pornchai Sangeid toured South Pattaya and Third Road Jan. 10 and, unsurprisingly, found places complied with all the rules when uniforms showed up.
Some venues, already angry over the shorter business hours – arguing that two hours won’t make a bit of difference in disease control but makes a bigger difference on the bottom line – argued whether they could remain open and allow customers to drink the beverages they bought legally before 9 p.m.
The law only says booze can’t be sold, not consumed, after 9 p.m. And legal closing times remain, on paper, at midnight, even though police say differently.
Pornchai, meanwhile, was upset that Tree Town Market – the epicenter of Pattaya’s new Covid-19 outbreak – still is not testing everyone despite all the pressure and publicity about the bar-cum-petri dish. The beer bars around the complex – masquerading at restaurants – also had plenty of hostesses without masks bouncing around.
Chonburi on Tuesday reported 583 more coronavirus cases, of which 220 were in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya.