What Is SHA For Restaurants & How Necessary Is It ?

What Is SHA For Restaurants & How Necessary Is It ?

What Is SHA For Restaurants & How Necessary Is It ?

In the Nov 1st opening, Thailand opened to tourism without quarantine after 1 year eight months and allowed Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga to sell alcohol no later than 9 pm, but here’s the kicker, only restaurants, pubs and bars with SHA qualification can do so.

The permission for SHA is a problem that is becoming one of the most talked about topics in social media, with increasing complaints from business operators.

SHA is a trademark that you get to show that the venue has been improved accordingly for Covid 19 transmission precautions and stands for Amazing Thailand Safety Health & Administration.

When a customer enters, the badge is supposed to bring confidence that the venue is safe.
The problem is if it’s done for the customer’s confidence how many actually know about the requirement of the SHA badge and does it make any difference to them?

The steps for asking for the permission, although not complicated, takes time, given that in Bangkok alone there are over 30,000 outlets that serve food and alcohol while up to now, permission have been granted to roughly around 1,500 to 2,000 outlets so how will the rest sell alcohol legally?
Some have gotten the SHA badge within a day, some are still stuck in the process and some can’t access the website itself.

The question is, are SHA or no SHA venue very different?

In today’s world, venues would be doing everything on their own anyway to make sure precautions and measures are put in place, to make their customers feel safe so that they would visit the venue repeatedly. It would be second nature to operators to do so by now.

Another sore point is the timing, why a 9 pm deadline ?

By the time you finish work and get to the venue, time is up and questions are asked about the magical time of 9 pm and whether the virus only attacks after 9 pm?

Thirdly, what has it got to do with alcohol?

Scientifically, it has never been proven that there’s any correlation between drinking alcohol per se and transmission of the virus.

However, a party scene could be a problem where people get so tanked up that everybody becomes your “friend” and you end up hugging perfect strangers and sharing their drinks and bodily fluids.

 In a drunken state becoming friends is as easy as adding a friend on social media.

Even then, authorities should know one thing. The party scene does not start until midnight, with many clubs pre-pandemic not even opening their doors until then.

Party time is after dinner time and decent dinner time is from 8pm to 11pm and not 5pm-9pm. Most people get off work by 7pm and meet up by 8pm, while venues need to meet a 9PM deadline, how can they possibly unwind in that time and how will business operators recover and get back on their feet again?

From the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants, bars and pubs have aways bore the blunt of the country’s lockdown policies. This is also the group which has benefitted least from stimulus packages or help of any sort or none at all. Now that the country is reopening, shouldn’t Thai authorities lend a helping hand to these struggling business operators and if concrete stimulus packages are not possible, shouldn’t the authorities stand aside, refrain from adding more rules and regulations that don’t make any difference, except to aggravate the situation further and let business operators breathe and help themselves with decent opening hours?

Written By - Patra Manas.