Thailand's internet cafes plead for reopening after COVID-19 shutdown

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-18 23:51:31|Editor: huaxia

BANGKOK, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's operators of internet cafes and game centers said on Thursday that the three-month shutdown to stem COVID-19 has had a major impact on their businesses and continued closure will affect their livelihood.

"We have already submitted a formal request to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to grant cafes to reopen, as the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) had already confirmed that there has been no local COVID-19 transmission in the past 24 days," said Kijsangkom Nasomchai, a representative of the cafe operators.

Internet cafes were not on the list of businesses allowed to reopen on Monday (June 15) under the fourth phase of lockdown easing.

Internet cafes are facing numerous financial burdens, including bills for rent, electricity, water, and staff, while their businesses remain in lockdown with no revenue, said Kijsangkom.

He said that customers were also being deprived of the opportunity to use the internet in cafes to study, sell products online, and contact friends and relatives.

"It won't hurt for internet cafes and game centers to reopen," said Kijsangkom. "We could impose patrons to adhere to social distancing, wear face masks, check body temperature as well as download the government sponsored COVID-19 tracing app."

Customers would also be limited to two hours per visit, he said.

Apart from the internet and game cafes, massage parlors, bullfighting arenas, fighting-fish arenas and boxing stadiums also remain closed. Enditem