Restaurants say latest reopening rules are inconvenient for staff and drive up costs


Restaurant owners have criticized the government’s latest round of Covid-19 measures for restaurants and eateries, saying the requirements are impractical and will only serve to increase their financial burdens.

On Friday, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on certain businesses in the dark red zone provinces from Wednesday.

Restaurants are authorized to resume catering services, at 75% of their capacity in outdoor dining areas and at 50% in air-conditioned places.

But all service personnel should have two doses of the vaccine and be tested with antigen test kits every 5-7 days.

The guidelines also require customers to show proof of vaccination before entering restaurants.

Panumas Ruamsuk, president of the Association of Food Business Operators in Samut Songkhram, said the measures would be detrimental to some business operators as they will have to fork out to cover the cost of the test kits.

Most restaurant workers only received one injection, although in some stores their employees did not receive a single injection, he said, adding that Samut Songkhram is a small province that has a small share of vaccine allocations.

“We have repeatedly asked for adequate vaccine allocations, but we are still ignored,” said Mr Panumas. Relaxing restrictions will do little to help Samut Songkhram’s businesses, he added.

Many restaurants in the province are expected to remain closed as they cannot comply with the latest CCSA guidelines, he said.

However, Thaniwan Kulmongkol, president of the Thai Restaurant Association, said the latest easing was agreed at a meeting attended by representatives of the association last Tuesday, as well as the Minister of Public Health and senior officials. public health officials.

She said the decision was made in light of signs of improvement, with more vaccine supplies expected to arrive. Originally, the CCSA planned to ease the curbs in October, but operators couldn’t wait until then, she said.

Ms Thaniwan said the CCSA only provided an overview of the latest requirements, but detailed guidance will be released by the Ministry of Health.

She added that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told the meeting that more antigen testing kits will arrive soon.

They would be distributed for free as soon as there is enough for everyone who needs them.


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