In another attempt to curb skyrocketing Covid-19 cases in the Thai capital, the country has brought back restrictions that include a ban on dine-in at restaurants, limited opening hours for shopping malls, and the closure of construction camps.
Some angry bar and restaurant owners don’t plan to sit idly this time.
Claiming little to no financial support from the government and citing the late-night and last-minute announcement of restrictions, restaurant and bar owners are at a tipping point, especially those who own nightlife venues, which have been shut since April and are not likely to reopen anytime soon.
Some are turning to civil disobedience. On Sunday, June 27, Prapavee “Bamee”Hemata
—the person behind the Beer Wanderlust blog
—announced a plan to challenge the new restrictions. Dubbed Koo Ja Puerd Muang Ja Tam Mai Wa
, roughly translated to “F*ck the rules, I will open,” the campaign encourages nightlife venues to operate with limited seating and defy the rules altogether.
“If 7-Eleven stores and shopping malls can open, I cannot see why we can’t. The risks are all the same, you idiots,” Prapavee wrote, referring to the government. Her post has been shared over 1,000 times at time of publication.
“We need to let them know how much we are struggling,” wrote Le Du’s chef Thitid Tassanakajohn in a statement
inviting his fellow restaurant owners to bring their food to sell in front of the parliament if the government won’t compensate them this time.
The government announced a plan on June 28 to compensate restaurants, which would provide monthly aid of B2,000 for restaurant staff and, for restaurant owners, B3,000 per employee on their pay roll. But it’s unclear, if not unlikely, if this will be enough to keep thousands of restaurants currently teetering on the brink in business.