Pattaya will not be locked down again, nor its beaches closed, but more disease-control restrictions are coming, Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said.
Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya, reported another 337 coronavirus cases Wednesday, pushing the week’s total above 1,000. With many people now self-testing at home and not reporting results, the total number of Covid-19 cases could be much higher.
But while such numbers in the past have prompted the government to shut down Pattaya, the same will not happen this time, Sonthaya pledged.
However, inspection and enforcement of disease-control rules will be stepped up with violators prosecuted, he promised.
A major step toward reining in the current outbreak is the requirement that all employees of the city’s restaurants, and bars masquerading as restaurants, be tested daily using antigen test kits. Customers also must produce a recent negative test result to enter a bar or restaurant.
Businesses complying with the restrictions will be able to operate normally, Sonthaya said.
“We believe that we will be able to control omicron,” Sonthaya said, referring to the latest coronavirus variant which was found in 20% of the test samples sequenced in the past week. The highly contagious omicron is expected to eventually become the dominant coronavirus strain in Thailand.
Pattaya already has set up four free antigen testing points in nightlife areas and on Jan. 3 expanded that to Soi 8.