The Pattaya City Mayor, Sonthaya Khunplume, has asked for business owners in the city who are still force closed under rules and regulations from the Thai Government to be patient and that he understands their pain and that normal will return “soon” to the city that depends so much on entertainment and tourism.
An estimated 80 percent of the cities businesses are dedicated to entertainment and hospitality. Despite the Center for Covid 19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, relaxing measures to what they say is 95% of business types, Pattaya is likely the most heavily impacted area in the country due to the closures which still dictate that entertainment venues like bars, clubs, pubs, karaoke lounges, hostess bars, gentlemen clubs, etc. must remain closed. Some other tourist heavy areas, like Phuket, are also severely impacted.
The Mayor stated that despite curfew being lifted as part of Phase Four on Monday of this week that the CCSA has informed Chonburi leadership that protective measures must continue in the area, including mask wearing, social distancing and consistent hand washing. The CCSA has not given a timetable or idea of when entertainment venues would be allowed to open, despite Pattaya having gone roughly two months without a single new confirmed case of the virus.
It is noted that local and regional leadership have previously asked the CCSA for permission to re-open at least some of the entertainment venues in the city, likely smaller venues, to help the thousands of unemployed and small business owners but the request was denied out of what was stated as health concerns.
Mayor Khunplume asked for business owners to please be patient and that those in the entertainment and hospitality industry were not being force closed out of politics or spite and things would return to normal soon, but needed everyone’s cooperation to do so.
The Mayor asked that everyone work together and to continue best hygiene practices until the majority of the city businesses are given permission to open.