COVID tests and food required

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Due to police corruption and an economic dependency extending from the Vietnam War, prostitution remains a major presence in the country. They usually come from the results of poverty, low levels of education, lack of local hiring, rural backgrounds, and mainly from Isaan/northeast, ethnic minorities or neighboring countries, especially Myanmar and Laos.

Working in bars in the red light district pays more than many clerical or other service jobs that women and men in Thailand’s sex industry would otherwise qualify for. Sex work enabled them to save money, buy luxury goods and support their parents and grandparents in easy retirements.

But now the international sex industry has come to a standstill.

According to government data analyzed by Dr Yongyuth Chalamwong, director of research for the Thai Development Research Institute, around 1.6 million people have returned from Thailand’s tourist areas to the countryside. Those who have found a way to stay – by cramming into shared rooms, sleeping in hallways and cutting their meals to one or two a day – are barely holding on.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, this part of the travel and tourism business has been wiped out.

The black leather party masks that artists May wear for their fetish shows in Bangkok are certainly not one to stop the coronavirus. Artists fear the city’s infamous Patpong Red Light District will look very different if COVID-19 allows reopening.

With restaurants closing at 9 p.m. in Bangkok or 11 p.m. in Pattaya, bargirls and bar boys are arriving in small numbers as waitresses or servers in restaurants, which used to be nightclubs.

Thanks to lenient enforcement and legal restaurants, those looking for sex workers can find them in these restaurants. According to an article in a local newspaper, only the biggest clubs in Pattaya are penalized and regulations designed to protect against COVID-19 often become a joke.

There is no social distancing sex yet, so visitors and workers at these restaurants must be tested for coronavirus antigen before entering.

Damrongkiat Pinitkan, secretary of the Entertainment & Tourism Association of Pattaya, told the Pattaya Mail that the restaurant loophole has been good news for bar workers and visitors alike. Restaurants are now allowed to serve alcohol again until 11 p.m. in Pattaya.

In the meantime, the famous Patpong in Bangkok remains mostly calm and dry. The LGBT bar scene is no longer seen, and sightseeing in Amazing Thailand for those looking for that extra entertainment or for a happy Thai massage may become the treat of the distant past.

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