Police warn restaurants about refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions


BANGKOK (NNT) – The Metropolitan Police Bureau has issued a warning about social media users calling on restaurateurs to open their businesses as usual at this time, despite strict COVID-19 restrictions. The bureau says using civil disobedience as an excuse carries no legal weight.

Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai, as spokesman for the bureau, said today that people posting such messages on social media are not helping restaurants affected by the COVID-19 situation.

They might prepare food and ingredients, but may not be able to make a profit and may also face legal action. On social media, a message claiming that more than 200 restaurants are taking part in the civil disobedience movement is false, as it was only a double-digit figure. This shows that the people fully understand the situation.

Police will certainly take action against restaurants that refuse to follow health and safety measures by opening their businesses as usual, allowing gatherings and performances, and closing down roads.

The measures also apply to restaurateurs who think that they can still welcome diners by increasing the distance between tables. All sides have to strictly follow the restrictions imposed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). Takeaway services are allowed, but dining in restaurants is still prohibited.

Meanwhile, Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya said that six checkpoints were set up to restrict interprovincial travel by workers over the past six days. The checkpoints inspected 3,318 vehicles and 6,649 commuters. No offenders were reported. However, officials permitted some workers to return home because they had urgent issues. Those with health issues were sent to hospitals in their respective provinces.

The BMA had a meeting with the Thai Contractors Association (TCA) to discuss ways to provide food and assistance to construction workers in sealed-off camps.

Small construction camps can contact the TCA for immediate assistance or call the 191 emergency hotline service if people are falling ill. The 191 police unit is working with the Ministry of Public Health’s 1669 hotline service to find hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. If all sides cooperate, the number of COVID-19 cases will eventually decrease.