CHON BURI: Authorities have eased Covid-19 restrictions in this eastern province and Pattaya City, with more businesses allowed to resume on Monday, including restaurants, pubs and bars.
The change was made after the area’s status was changed from red to orange, where fewer restrictions apply. Similar easing has been approved in a number of other provinces as well.
However, hotels in the province have been ordered closed — at the request of the hard-hit industry so that they and their workers can officially qualify for state financial assistance.
The provincial communicable disease committee, which also has jurisdiction over Pattaya, announced the easing of restrictions on Saturday. Business operators, however, will be required to comply with the Public Health Ministry’s preventive measures.
Schools and other educational institutions will also be allowed to reopen, with standard measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing and hand washing in place. The number of students per classroom must be limited to 25.
Restaurants, pubs, bars and karaoke shops are allowed to stay open until 11pm. Convenience stores must close between 11pm and 5am.
Activities with more than 300 people are still not allowed. Officials will be sent to conduct health screening tests at entertainment venues every 14 days. Screening checkpoints at 17 locations in the province have been scrapped, but movements of migrant workers are still prohibited.
The governor of Chon Buri signed the hotel-closure order on Thursday, at the request of industry associations. If the hotels had closed voluntarily, they would not be eligible for compensation. With the formal order in place, hotel staff can now seek up to 3 months of unemployment benefits from the Social Security Office.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration approved the closure.
Operators were asked to provide assistance to employees in a bid to encourage them not to travel outside the province.
Any hotels that still have guests in residence or want to stay open could make a special request to authorities in their district, according to the order.
Chon Buri has seen no new coronavirus cases since Jan 21. It has reported one death and 648 cases in total, with four remaining in hospitals.