The Public Health Ministry today will ask the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration to allow dine-in services to resume, but only for coronavirus-vaccinated or tested customers.
Hours and capacity limits also will apply, with seating capped at 50 percent and hours limited to an 8 p.m. closing.
Dr. Kiatiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, told a news conference that lockdown measures had been imposed for four weeks and have reduced daily Covid-19 infections by 20-25 percent, taking the country past its coronavirus peak.
Therefore, the ministry will propose easing restrictions for air-conditioned restaurants, public parks and air transport.
For restaurants, staff must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or pass antigen tests every three to seven days.
Customers as well would be required to be fully vaccinated, or provide proof of a recent negative coronavirus test. How recent the test need be was not disclosed.
Alternatively, those who can prove they have recovered from Covid-19 within the past month also would be allowed to eat out.
The government wants to require that evey restaurant and eatery station a staff member at the door and check vaccination certificates, electronic or otherwise. That idea seems laughable, impossible to enforce and likely will be ignored from Day One, especially by eateries catering for foreign expats.
It also seems to be a measure only beneficial to Bangkok. While 90 percent of the city’s residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, the percentages are far lower in the other “dark-red” provinces.
The ministry says customers who have neither been vaccinated nor tested will be restricted to takeout orders, although officials couldn’t produce one restaurateur who would turn away someone wanting to eat-in.
There will be no food served in the skies, although domestic flights would be allowed to resume. Kiatiphum said the government may require proof of vaccination or recent tests for passengers to fly.