The Pattaya City Mayor stated today, January 4th, 2022, that widespread business or public area closures will not be part of the plan to deal with many confirmed Covid -19 cases in the Banglamung area, many of which seem to be the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
Mayor Sontaya Kunplome told TPN media, “There are many more confirmed Covid -19 cases, mostly the Omicron variant based on random testing so far, found in the Pattaya and Banglamung area. However, I am confident there will be no lockdown or overall closure of the city BUT closure will be ordered for individual businesses, not entire sectors, that do not follow our compulsory Covid -19 measurements.”
“Every staff member, including singers and performers, at restaurants that sell alcohol must take an ATK (rapid antigen Covid-19) test every day they work until further notice. Business operators must provide an ATK test for their customers or customers must show proof of an ATK test within 72 hours, regardless of their vaccination status. We have implemented free courtesy testing checkpoints around the city to make this easier.” The mayor explained, referring to the controversial tougher measurements.
“We don’t want other businesses that have fully followed Covid-19 measurements to have to close because of a small group of venues that do not follow the rules.” The mayor continued.
“We are confident that the Omicron variant can be controlled. Most people who are positive for the variant locally are fully vaccinated and the Omicron symptoms are not severe. The vast majority of infections we are seeing are very mild or asymptomatic. We are exploring more options for self-isolation and home isolation to avoid filling hospitals in the area with mostly younger, healthy, asymptomatic people who must be quarantined under Thai health department rules.” The mayor concluded.
TPN media notes that although the words of the mayor, following worried beach operators and tourist association bosses “warning” the city not to enact an economically devastating lockdown, reassured many it has to be noted that any decision to “lockdown” would likely come from a higher authority, such as the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA. So far, however, the CCSA has also stated they plan to focus on control measures and not widespread closures or lockdowns.
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