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Nightlife businesses petition government to reopen, sell alcohol



PHOTO: A coalition is petitioning to reopen Thai nightlife. (via Flickr Eustaquio Santimano)

After more than a year of closures, a coalition of nightlife business representatives is petitioning the government to reopen next month and to lift the alcohol ban. With the support of the Democrat Party deputy leader Prin Phannichphak, who also heads the Modern Business Group, a collection of event organisers, musicians, fitness business reps and entertainment industry reps submitted the petition to the Government House addressed to the Chief of the National Security Council.

The nightlife group is pushing to reopen, complaining that Covid-19 prevention closures have shuttered their businesses for more than 200 days since the pandemic began and have received almost no assistance from the government. Three waves of Covid-19 have brought these industries to their knees, and the Democrat Party deputy leader invited a group of reps from the industries to brainstorm constructive steps they could propose to government leaders.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration recognises the situation that nightlife businesses are in, but also insist that the strict regulation has been instrumental in fighting Covid-19 and all relevant agencies agreed and signed off on the closures. They are, however, willing to listen and discuss ways to help the nightlife industry reopen without putting the country at risk of a fourth wave.

The group came up with a list of 8 points in a proposal that they are pushing the CCSA to consider:

1) Rescind the ban on entertainment venues, only keeping high-risk venues closed for a Covid-19 risk assessment and deep cleanings.

2) Reopen nightlife July 1, while requiring them to follow Department of Disease Contnightrol safety measures.

3) Resume alcohol sales in restaurants – the group cites statistics that infections have not been reduced and there’s no indication that alcohol in restaurants causes infections.

4) Reopen entertainment in closed spaces, but with social distancing restrictions.

5) Prioritise nightlife and entertainment employees alongside tourism workers for vaccination.

6) Clarify low-interest loans, debt moratoriums, and financial remedies to keep the industry afloat.

7) Maintain communication between the business sector and the government to consult before any future preventative Covid-19 measures.

8) Request the Ministry of Labor to allow businesses to implement a short-term salary reduction to keep the business alive and avoid layoffs.

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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