Pattaya restaurants got the go-ahead to reopen their dining rooms on Wednesday, but not all are ready to do so.
The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration allowed limited dine-in service in “dark red” coronavirus maximum and strict control zones as it relaxed a number of restrictions Sept. 1.
But the conditions under which restaurants must operate, as well as continued fear about Covid-19’s spread, have prompted any restaurant owners to either stay closed entirely or stick with delivery and takeout.
Pairat Puttaruksakul, owner of the well-known Jae To noodle shop, said she couldn’t wait to reopen. Her business plummeted after dine-in service was prohibited in April, as many of her customers prefer eating in and the noodles don’t travel well.
She said the restaurant is prepared to comply with all social distancing requirements and capacity limits.
Under the CCSA rules, air-conditioned restaurants are limited to 50 percent capacity. Open-air or eateries without aircon can fill 75 percent of tables.
Restaurants also must close by 8 p.m., cannot serve alcohol and cannot offer any entertainment or activities.
Under such limits, few restaurants will make money, so many are staying closed. In addition, some owners still are afraid of their patrons, thinking they’ll give them Covid-19.
Endu Jaitong, owner of the Jae Du curry house, is one of them. She’s afraid of catching the coronavirus, particularly as she won’t get her second vaccine shot until Sept. 5.
Dine-in has never been a major part of Jae Du’s business, Endu said. Revenue dropped less than 20 percent when dining rooms closed in April. So, she said she’s fine with waiting until daily cases in Pattaya drop further.
Endu added she’ll monitor sales and if they fall further now that dine-in is allowed, she’ll reconsider.
Chonburi on Thursday reported 881 new cases, with 122 of them – almost 50 more than Wednesday – found in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya. There were four deaths reported in the province.