Business owners in Pattaya are being cautiously optimistic for a better than normal weekend due to the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s holidays.
The three-day holiday weekend begins today and continues through Sunday. Today is also a government holiday, which means Immigration and all similar government offices will be closed.
Bangkok remains a “red-zone” for Covid-19, which means bars and entertainment venues cannot open and restaurants cannot legally sell alcohol. Some Pattaya business owners believe this will tempt down some visitors from Bangkok to the Chonburi and Pattaya area, where bars are open, over the weekend.
Pattaya recently re-opened entertainment venues on February 1st, 2021, after a month-long Covid-19 related closure. Pattaya also lifted domestic travel restrictions on the same day which essentially stopped domestic tourism for the entire month. One case of Covid-19 was found in Banglamung, Chonburi today, a woman who was a close contact with a previous case in Rayong who health officials believe was not contagious due to a low viral load of the virus and is asymptomatic. Chonburi Health Officials said the new case was not a reason to panic but that people should still wear masks, socially distance, use hand sanitizer, and other Covid-19 related precautions.
There are no “major” events for Chinese New Year or Valentine’s Day this year, although bars and entertainment venues are allowed to have smaller, private events as long as Covid-19 prevention measures are followed. Business owners hope people come down and visit this weekend, despite an 11:00 P.M. closure that is still being enforced by law enforcement for entertainment venues.
It remains to be seen, however, if people come out to celebrate the holidays this weekend as there has been mixed messaging from different officials and agencies. On one hand, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, primarily run by doctors, is advising people to stay home and avoid travel or celebrating the holidays. On the other hand, places that depend on tourism, like Pattaya or Koh Chang, are openly encouraging people to travel and come visit this weekend.
We will give reports as to how the town is throughout the weekend.