CCSA to consider easing of restrictions on restaurants

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The number of new COVID-19 cases is expected to decrease continuously until the end of this month, when some restrictions are likely to be lifted.

Yesterday (Aug 24), the Thai Restaurant Association proposed guidelines for the reopening of businesses in three phases, and the Ministry of Public Health will forward the proposal to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA) meeting on Friday.

Representatives of the Thai Restaurant Association and eight other associations have had a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, and public health executives. The associations asked the government to consider easing some restrictions and allowing restaurants to reopen their businesses to dine-in customers, as the COVID-19 situation is expected to improve.

Permanent Secretary for Public Health, Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, said today that the Department of Disease Control and the Department of Health are to develop guidelines for business operators. The guidelines will have three components.

The first is environmental management, to help limit the spread of the virus. Measures including social distancing, reducing congestion and improving air flow and ventilation to be addressed.

The second component is to have all staff vaccinated. If they are not fully vaccinated, they are required to take an antigen test every three to seven days and follow all precautionary measures while serving customers.

Thirdly, customers may be required to show their COVID-19 vaccination status. Those who have tested positive in the past three months have to provide documents showing that they have not been infected for at least one month. They have to provide their antigen test results and take a COVID-19 test before entering the premises.

During the meeting, the representatives expressed their willingness to cooperate and continue to follow the disease-control measures.

The lifting of restrictions in the first phase will focus on restaurants with air conditioning and shopping malls, due to the high risk of infection. The issue will be proposed at the CCSA meeting on Friday.

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