When Pattaya’s bars were closed, many transformed into restaurants. Now, as restaurants, they’re being told to close again.
Such has been the life for owners of Pattaya food and drink establishments since March 2020: Close, open, close, open, and close again. Some operators have had enough and don’t plan to ever reopen.
For a scant few weeks this spring, restaurants could open for dine-in service. But the order came down last week that only takeout and delivery would be allowed now that Chonburi has been declared a “dark red” coronavirus maximum control zone; again.
People have been told to stay home during the day unless absolutely necessary and are legally barred from leaving home from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Deliveries must end by 8 p.m.
Pitsamai, an employee at a restaurant in Naklua that was once a bar, said her business has closed for all services. There’s simply not enough customers for its European cuisine and coffee.
She hopes that, within two weeks, the Covid-19 crisis will ebb and Chonburi will drop the “dark” from the “red” and limited dine-in service will return. But with the province hitting records for new coronavirus cases every day – 636 on Wednesday including 163 in Pattaya – that seems unlikely.