The Thai Restaurant Association has asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha about his plans to assist restaurants that have been temporarily shut down to help contain COVID-19 infections.
Thaniwan Kulmongkol, the association president, said yesterday she submitted a petition to Gen Chan-o-cha asking if he has plans to aid restaurants financially damaged by shutdown orders.
She said more than 100,000 restaurants have been struggling to make ends meet and her association has received many complaints from suffering restaurateurs. Over a million people involved in the restaurant industry have been affected by the shutdown and they have yet to hear of a government plan on how the industry can recover, Ms Kulmongkol said.
Those reliant on the industry want to know how long the government will impose health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 so they can prepare themselves and determine their future operations, she said.
Moreover, a half-half payment programme on food delivery platforms is needed as soon as possible to help restore restaurants, not in October as the Fiscal Policy Office promised, she said.
Ms Kulmongkol said the association also proposed the government allow restaurants with sanitation standards — according to the National Health Security Office — to cook meals for patients in the home isolation treatment programme for a trial period during August and September. The food would be delivered by motorbike riders.
The food delivery will help prevent virus transmission as patients will not need to leave their homes to find food while restaurants in high-infection areas, affected by strict health measures, can be helped as the programme will restore their orders and income, she said.
The association will select restaurants capable of producing nourishing meals for patients and arrange riders to deliver three meals per day. The association has gathered information on restaurants in all 50 Bangkok districts, Ms Kulmongkol added.