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All Pattaya Restaurants Now Require Customers To Show Negative Covid-19 Test

03 Jan, 2022

In a crushing late-night order, Chonburi’s governor mandated that customers of restaurants of all sizes produce a negative coronavirus test result before entering.

The arguably unenforceable dictate from Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai late Jan. 1 replaced a less-restritive proclamation issued earlier the same day that had spared smaller restaurants from the onerous unfunded mandate.

Both orders were issued in reaction to the coronavirus omicron variant, which has now made its way to Chonburi on its march to inevitably becoming the dominant strain in Thailand.

The original order had applied only from Dec. 31-Jan. 2 and required all staff, including entertainment performers, at restaurants – and the thousands of bars masquerading as restaurants – to be tested daily with rapid antigen kits.

Customers, however, would only have to produce proof of a negative coronavirus test from within the past 72 hours or take a test on-site before entering if the venue regularly served more than 100 people or “looked busy or congested” even without actually serving 100 people.


The new order, however, does away with the time limit – it’s now in force until further notice – and requires all customers, regardless the size of the venue or the customer’s vaccination status, to either take a test on-site or provide proof of a recent negative test.

Restaurant owners unable or unwilling to foot the testing bill or make customers wait 15 minutes outside for test results are given no other choice than to simply close.

With the extreme measure, Pakarathorn has stuck a shiv in the gut of every Chonburi restaurant owner, employee and entertainer. The province fought two months for the right for its venues to sell alcohol, which finally got them off the revenue mat.

Now, with one kneejerk move of the pen, the governor has put up a barrier to entry few customers will be willing to bear. Pakarathorn only needs to look at the thousands of empty seats at this weekend’s Pattaya Countdown – where only 8% of 2,500 seats were filled on the first two nights – to learn that people won’t put up with needless and pointless regulation.

Chonburi, at this point, has only a couple dozen documented omicron cases. And while daily case numbers have quadrupled to more than 200 over the past week, the increase was expected and easily handled by the province’s hospitals.

And, as pointed out early in last year’s outbreak, restaurants are an extremely minor contributor to the coronavirus wave. Tourism officials noted last year that only 3% of cases then were tied to restaurants. But now, as then, the food and beverage industry will take 100% of the hit.



The Pattaya Mail

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