Restaurants, pubs and bars nationwide are being urged to get all staff vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to fully resume operations, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday.
He was responding to reports of restaurant employees contracting COVID-19 after failing to get vaccinated, even though vaccination is a requirement if they are to resume serving alcohol to customers.
The provincial communicable disease committee in each province is responsible for assessing how ready restaurants are for a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions, he said.
“Some staff and even the owners of these restaurants have not even received their first shot,” he said.
“If this information had emerged earlier, they would not have been allowed to reopen.”
Those businesses must show the government they are really ready to fully resume their operations while strictly maintaining measures to ensure a COVID-free setting.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, governor Wichian Chantharanothai said the province plans to seek permission from the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to relax restrictions for restaurants in Muang and Pak Chong districts from 1st December when the province is due to reopen.
“The province still hopes to achieve 70% COVID-19 vaccination coverage before the reopening, even though only 59% of the target population has received their first shot and 50% their second,” he said.
Manot Nongyai, deputy mayor of Pattaya in Chon Buri, said the city plans to close all COVID-19 hospitals and allow the operators running them to return to their previous businesses.
The number of new infections in Pattaya has been dropping for some time, which resulted in low demand for hospital services, he said, adding that only 28 new cases were recorded yesterday while about 10 of the hospital rooms were occupied.
More than 20,000 hotel and resort rooms previously serving COVID-19 patients with moderate and mild symptoms will revert to serving guests as usual, he said.
Pattaya will soon reopen and welcome visitors without quarantine, he said.
It expects to hit 100% COVID-19 vaccination coverage next month.