A restaurant owner with a kind heart is offering free meals for night workers in Chiang Mai forced out of their job by an order closing all night entertainment venues for 14 days to help halt the spread of COVID-19.
The order was issued by the provincial communicable disease committee and announced on the provincial health office Facebook page about 10 pm on Tuesday, effective from 6th January until 19th January.
Those most affected by a closure order include musicians and singers, and waiters and waitresses and other employees of pubs, bars and other nightspots in Chiang Mai.
The announcement hit a chord with Kriangkrai Prompithak, known as Pa Ott, who is the owner of Som Tam Priew Pak restaurant in Santitham area in tambon Chang Phuak, Muang district.
He said he felt a lot of sympathy for the people who would be out of work, and so he decided to offer them free meals throughout their unemployment.
Starting on Wednesday, he would provide them with food twice a day, from 12 pm-2 pm and 6 pm-8 pm.
The jobless can simply walk in through the front door and identify their workplace. Tables are arranged for them at the back of the restaurant, away from paying customers.
Like other customers, they must allow their temperature to taken, wear a face mask, and wash their hands before picking up plates and taking food to eat. They must also observe social distancing rules.
They can eat their fill. Afterwards, they can leave through the back door.
Mr Prompithak said he would prepare enough food for about 200 people a day but more would be provided if needed.
He expected it would cost him about 2,000 baht for each session.
Mr Prompithak said “some people with kind hearts” would also quietly help out, with donations of rice and money.