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Next CCSA meeting will discuss opening nightlife businesses sooner

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Reopening nightlife businesses will be discussed at the next CCSA meeting.

Facing enormous pressure from entertainment and nightlife workers and businesses, the National Security Council Secretary-General hinted that lifting the ban on nightlife will be up for discussion at the next CCSA meeting. He said PM Prayut Chan-o-cha understands and sympathises with those in the industry but also worries about the Covid-19 situation as infections are still high and the country has reopened its borders to international tourists.

Businesses and workers affected by the shutdown since April have become increasingly frustrated and vocal about their plight, participating in protests and presenting petitions to government officials. And some recent petitions will be reviewed and considered at the next CCSA meeting some time around the 26th of November.

The NSC official suggested that the committee may relent and unpopular rule barring nightclubs, pubs, bars, karaoke and other nightlife venues from opening may be softened or lifted. Whatever remains of a high season is happening now, and while many businesses are seeing an uptick in patronage, entertainment venues are being blocked from seeing any profits until after New Year’s Eve – a night that is obviously crucial to nightlife businesses – with the previous ruling delaying possible reopening until at least January 15.

The ban isn’t only hurting the businesses though. There is widespread sentiment that tourism won’t recover in any significant way as long as alcohol and entertainment remain banned. While some teetotalers take the position that there’s more to Thailand than going out and getting belligerent drunk all night at a throbbing club with pounding music, a large percentage of travellers trying to enjoy a leisure vacation – even those who don’t go clubbing – are disinterested in coming to a country where they can’t even have a beer with dinner.

The NSC Secretary-General believes that the petitions filed by businesses and workers united have laid out a reasonable plan to reopen, addressing safety conditions, staffing, preparation and service for Covid-19 safety, location and service conditions in order to be prepared to enact and enforce safety measures to keep a reopening secure and minimise the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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