Owners of a restaurant that struggled to survive during the first coronavirus wave have made the difficult decision to close its doors – possibly for good – after two confirmed COVID-19 cases dined there last weekend.
The two customers were Diana Lasu and Olivia Winnie, two of the three women who allegedly lied at border checks to return to Queensland from Victoria, The Queensland Times reported.
The women, along with third companion 21-year-old Haja Timbo, have been charged after allegedly providing false information to authorities and failing to isolate after showing symptoms of coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Peak Thai, a restaurant in Springfield southwest of Brisbane, announced on Facebook two people who had dined at the restaurant had tested positive for COVID-19, stating staff working that night would undergo 14 days in mandatory isolation.
The following day, Peak Thai announced the restaurant would be closing until at least August 9.
“Peak Thai will remain closed until the 9th of August when all the staff have completed the 14 days self-isolation and are medically cleared we believe it is the right choice for the safety of our patrons and community,” the statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page said.
“We had the choice to stay open with a skeleton crew unfortunately our head chef, senior chef and floor manager are all under mandatory isolation leaving the restaurant with only inexperience cooks and trainee staffs.
“In order to keep the standard of service and quality of food we decided it is best to remain closed.
“It has been a traumatic event added to what is already a difficult year for Peak Thai and everyone involved.”
The second closure could be disastrous for the business, with the owners Charine and Ronaldo Socan telling the Queensland Times the coronavirus has decimated their restaurant.
"Like everybody else we've gone through a very tough time and this last incident could be the last nail in the coffin so to speak," Mr Socan said.
"It's no fault of ours. This is a big sacrifice for us.”
Mr Socan added if the restaurant did not have the community’s support when they reopened, he and his wife risk losing it.
Fortunately, the public is already showing their support for the business owners, with over $1600 already donated to a GoFundMe page to help the business get back on its feet after the isolation period is over.
“This may be the final straw for owners Charine and Ronaldo Socan, forcing them to close forever. Let's show our support to keep them afloat!” the GoFundMe says.
“In lieu of a meal with them I am hoping we as a community can provide some much needed support. Any small amount will make a difference.”
On social media, many expressed their support for the restaurant, vowing to go back once Peak Thai reopens.
“You are a favourite restaurant of ours, the food and service is always amazing and we will definitely be seeing you when those doors open again,” one person commented on Peak Thai’s Facebook update.
“Until then, head up high and stay safe.”
“I'll be back for some more amazing food. I hope all the staff stay healthy and well,” another person said.
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