Thailand provides 250,000 COVID-19 test kits to food vending businesses

Businesses eligible for free test kits depends are markets, restaurants, street hawking, and food delivery.

Safety remains a top priority for businesses including restaurants after reopening. The Department of Health has so far provided 250,000 COVID-19 antigen test kits to the food business sector, where workers are now asked to perform self-tests every week.

The Department of Health’s Director-General Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said these kits were funded by the National Health Security Office, and would be given to eligible workers in the food and restaurant industry at no cost.

The criteria of eligibility for these free test kits depends on each of the following four businesses: markets, restaurants, street hawking, and food delivery.

Starting with the markets, these kits are intended to be used by screening teams at wholesale and large markets with active transmission. The screening teams will have access to a total of 157,452 kits to randomly test 10% of those at high risk, including those in direct contact with a patient, or those sharing their accommodation with many people. The test target can be scaled up based on the severity of the situation.

For restaurants, 68,596 kits will be accessible by restaurants that purchase ingredients from markets with active transmission, restaurants with unvaccinated employees, restaurants with employees being in close contact with a patient, and restaurants in high transmission areas.

For hawkers, the distribution of 18,876 kits will be focused on hawkers buying ingredients from markets with reported cases, unvaccinated hawkers, those in close contact with a patient, and hawkers in high transmission areas.

For delivery riders, 5,076 test kits are available for unvaccinated riders in Bangkok and neighboring provinces, those in close contact with a patient, and riders in high transmission areas.

Food vendors are encouraged to always observe the Universal Protection measures. Workers in this sector are now recommended to test themselves with antigen test kits every 7 days. (NNT)