Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

Thai PM warns bars, nightlife not to open, defends ongoing closure order

PHOTO: Facebook/ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา Prayut Chan-o-cha

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended the CCSA’s decision to delay the re-opening of Thailand’s nightlife to January 15. Bars and clubs around the country had been widely anticipating a re-opening on December 1. However, any hopes of making some revenue over the normally busy end-of-year period have now been dashed.

Bars and nightlife venues have decried the decision, which now threatens the future of many operators whose livelihoods were already hanging by a thread. Phakin Petpol, who manages the Tawan Daeng entertainment complex in the north-eastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima, or Korat, says he’s brought all his workers back for nothing.

“To be told they now have to be on standby for another month or so, it’s not a pleasant feeling.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, the PM’s reasoning is that businesses wouldn’t have enough time to prepare for a safe re-opening by December 1. He says public health measures will not be ready by then and the guidance is that high-risk venues should remain closed.

“We have to listen to what the Public Health Ministry has to say about the matter as well.”

The PM went on to say that bars and nightlife venues should not be tempted to break the rules as they will face prosecution if they do so. His warning comes as many bars and entertainment venues around the country are operating in open defiance of the closure order. However, the PM says many of them have already suffered swift legal repercussions.

The Thai leader says the November 1 re-opening has led to a steady rise in tourist numbers and hotel bookings. He has also ordered officials to accelerate immigration and health checks at airports so that international arrivals can be processed quicker. He went on to say that organisers of nationwide events to celebrate Friday’s Loy Kratong festival must exercise caution and adhere to disease prevention measures.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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