Footage shows diners eating lunch separated by plastic shields at a food court in Bangkok, Thailand, today (April 30) before fresh lockdown rules come into effect closing all restaurants and cafes.
The shoppers were tucking into their lunch hours ahead of stricter measures starting tomorrow (May 1) to contain a deadly third wave of Covid-19 infections tearing through the largely unvaccinated country.
Thailand is currently battling an outbreak of cases that started last month following an outbreak at upmarket coyote clubs in the Thong Lor district of the capital before rising to thousands of new cases a day.
Ministers have since introduced 20,000 baht (456 GBP) fines for not wearing a mask outdoors and closed a swathe of business – but not shopping malls. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was also recently fined 6,000 baht (138 GBP)after taking his mask off during a cabinet meeting on April 26.
Starting from May 1, all restaurants will close and only be allowed to operate takeaway systems.
Ministers hope that a vaccination roll-out will allow tourists to return to the country – once the most popular in the world for tourists – by the start of 2022.
The country recorded 1,583 new Covid-19 cases on Friday (April 30) and 15 deaths, taking the total number of infections recording since the pandemic began to 65,153 with 202 dead as of April 30.