The chairs are piled up, the lights are on at 11:30, the taps are dry and the pool tables are covered in dust. Almost all the bars and restaurants in the Rompo Market in Jomtien Beach are gone. Some have put up a ‘for sale sign. Others have just left.
The homeless have replaced the foreign tourists who once ate and drank in Rompo. The only remaining stalls sell cell phones or tattoos, and a few takeout stalls to order.
While restaurants in Pattaya can still offer dinner service, there is very little money for it these days. Most of the restaurants have remained closed and don’t even try to get through with delivery as only the app platforms like Foodpanda and Grab Food are taking advantage of this in a (rude) way.
Thanawan Kulmongkol, chairman of the Thai Restaurants Association, told Thai media this week that things are bad everywhere, but especially in the Bangkok metropolitan area and the Deep South, where the eatery was banned just a month after it was restored. .
She complained that restaurants are being held responsible for the country’s skyrocketing Covid19 infections, although none of the active clusters are in any way related to restaurants. Meanwhile, shopping malls, supermarkets and open-air markets remain open, causing thousands of cases to be discovered every day.
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