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Prayut Overrules Bangkok Order Shutting Down Restaurant Dine-In Service

Bangkok Thailand Restaurant Dine-in Dining Room Pub Bar
Photo: Bangkok Herald

UPDATE: Prime Minister Payut Chan-o-cha Monday afternoon is reported to have overruled Bangkok’s order below. instead of 7 p.m., dine-in service must be suspended at 9 p.m. We’ll have more details as they become available.

Bangkok restaurants must close their dining rooms from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. and offer takeout and delivery service only starting Tuesday under an order from city hall.

In a bid to force people to stay home, stop mingling and reduce spread of the coronavirus, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration did what the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration refused to do: Ban dine-in service.

Spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang said the order also applies to street-food carts and eating spots.

While restaurants can open for breakfast and lunch, alcohol sales are prohibited.

The Thai Restaurant Association had objected vigorously to calls for a suspension of dine-in service, saying the move would cost the  industry 100 billion baht and penalizes restaurants for a problem sparked by illegal casinos and “entertainment venues”, although the source of new outbreaks have not been tied to entertainment.

Bangkok and 27 other provinces are now under Level 1 protocols drawn up by the CCSA and approved by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The measures, however, did not require restaurants to close or go takeout-only, however. The CCSA instead gave provincial governors more power and flexibility to decide their own coronavirus-cntrol measures.