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BMA follows CCSA; Bangkok entertainment venues remain closed

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: The BMA declared that, like the rest of Thailand, Bangkok entertainment venues will remain closed indefinitely. (via Chica Loca Trip Advisor)

It will likely come as no shock to anyone, but the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration declared today that they will follow the rules of the CCSA and extend the closure of entertainment venues indefinitely. The decision was announced today that bars, pubs, karaoke, nightclubs, and other nightlife and entertainment venues will not be reopening in Bangkok as with the rest of Thailand (well, legally anyway).

In the announcement, the BMA said that they will keep their rules in line with the CCSA in enforcing the closure of entertainment venues and that there is no set end date for the indefinite closure. They echoed the concerns of the CCSA that the Omicron variant that has given Thailand a resurgence of Covid-19 in the last month due to its high transmissibility will be even more easily spread if nightlife venues, where people frequently relax their vigilance in following safety rules, are allowed to reopen.

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The restaurant loophole is still in full swing though, as any entertainment venue that is able to meet the required standards can open up a restaurant and serve alcohol, now until 11 pm. Venues must meet either the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ SHA+ certification or the Ministry of Public Health’s Thai Stop COVID 2 Plus standard. Any nightlife or entertainment venue that meets these standards can then reopen as a so-called restaurant and host customers, serving alcohol until 11 pm.

But for now, actual nightclubs and bars or people can drink and party all night, remain just a distant memory of those magical days before Covid-19. The rarely enforced punishment for violators of the bar closure laws is up to one year in prison. Fines, though rarely given, have been raised to be from between 20,000 to 100,000 baht once a venue is convicted of the violation.

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SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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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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