Requirement to vaccinate restaurant staff prior to resuming operations could be off the table

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Updated : Bangkok’s governor Aswin Kwanmuang told the media that obstacles to opening restaurants in the Thai capital more fully had been removed. He said that from September 1st to 30th it will not be necessary that patrons will have to have been vaccinated to use restaurants. Staff will also not have to take ATK tests every 7 days.

The Royal Gazette recently published on Sunday evening the prior announcement from the CCSA on Friday, except for an interesting tweak. They did not mention in the proclamation the necessity of being vaccinated or the rapid tests being required. Is this a reprieve for the restaurants? Would the government find a different path moving forward?

As it stood the requirement initially announced was not well received in the restaurant industry. It was believed that it was overly arduous and impractical in terms of being profitable and following the rules of having both staff vaccinated with 2 shots and bi-weekly rapid tests and well as the same for customers. With such a low vaccination rate, the pool of potential customers was both minimal and unlikely that many would have fancied a test every time they wanted to have a meal out. Furthermore, the restaurants were responsible for having all their working staff to be fully vaccinated with two shots, difficult in an environment where it can be a tough time getting a timely vaccination.

Many operators have publicly stated that with the rules as they are, they may not indeed open at all. They are concerned that at best, many of the restaurants have only managed to have their staff receive one shot, leaving them short staffed and unable to operate effectively.

The current announcement from the gazette states that, restaurants are allowed to resume dine-in services, at 75% capacity in outdoor dining spaces and 50% in air-conditioned locations. Whilst they was no mention of any changes in the alcohol ban, it is deemed to be understand its too early for those changes. Whilst they have failed to write the extra previous vaccinations requirements, its possible that this might come later on a province by province basis with their respective health departments.

Either way, we should know soon, as each province decides their best way forward.

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