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Possible 9 pm closing of Bangkok bars to curb Covid-19

Neill Fronde

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Photo: Food stalls in the Thong Lor area

In order to limit outbreaks of Covid-19 before the upcoming Songkran holiday, the Health Ministry is eyeing more restrictive rules, including possibly shutting Bangkok bars at 9 pm. This week, new infections were found in the Thong Lor and Ekkamai areas of Bangkok, popular for evening entertainment such as bars and nightclubs. Entertainment venues are an easy target for Coronavirus spread due to loose enforcement of Covid-19 restrictions and often ventilation issues. The Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister said that a 48% positivity rate came from the nightclub clusters. Authorities may even consider closing some of the clubs in the areas with new outbreaks. A similar situation occurred last year when a Covid-19 outbreak tore through Bangkok’s nightlife scene. Nearly a quarter of all Thai Coronavirus infections reported Monday were found in Bangkok.

Following a string of stringent restrictions and rules to contain an outbreak that happened last December, Thailand had slowly been recovering and easing regulations, but some may be on their way back. With Songkran and then summer – much of Thailand’s peak travel periods, especially with plans to loosen quarantine restrictions for international travellers – the government will likely tighten restrictions to stop the recent surge in infections. More Covid-19 cases are expected because of the popularity of celebration and travel during the Songkran Festival. And fears of a third or even fourth wave of outbreaks has the government and medical officials worried.

Meanwhile, the director-general of the Department Of Disease Control says the Health Ministry is suggesting that nightclubs, bars, and even restaurants in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces close at 9 pm every day. They are also proposing a ban on selling alcoholic beverages. This advice will be submitted to the Centre For Covid Situation Administration subcommittee on Wednesday, with the recommendation that these restrictions be put in place for 2 weeks. Vaccination is still a priority in the fight against Covid-19 as well, but only about 42,000 people have been fully vaccinated in Thailand amongst the 240,000 jobs that have been injected so far. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration hopes to fast track vaccinations for the workers and residents of districts that are busy with evening entertainment venues.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Kevin Martyn

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 1:26 am

    I have no idea apart from corruption why the Thai Government does not shut all entrainment venues now and not 9pm! In an attempt to stop the 3TD/4th wave spread of Covid. Foreigners and Thai nationals need to be clear on this!

  2. Avatar

    Bill

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 1:33 am

    covid!!!!

  3. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 5:40 am

    About time too.people in thailand spend far to much time in pubs And clubs.it can not be good for their health.covid is not all bad.im sure many people will welcome this excellent initiative and hopefully the curfew will continue once the pandemic has past.

  4. Avatar

    Enough Shutdowns

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 6:18 am

    This virus doesnt care if your in a bar or school or public transportation or even in your own home. If its around, then its around… watch out its coming for you.
    Enough of these shutdowns and lockdowns not just in Thailand, but world-wide. Just everyone be aware of this flu-bug going around and take care of your own health. If your afraid of going out or to a bar or working at a bar, then dont go. Stay in your stay-safe bubble.
    Peaceful slavery or dangerous freedom?
    I’ll take dangerous freedom, thank you.

  5. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Watch the procedural roll back when one of “vaccinated” elderly tourists tests positive.

  6. Avatar

    dee lee

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 9:30 am

    They won’t do it because it makes too much sense and because they are addicted to easy revenue , never mind the health of some poorly paid workers ANY place that serves alcohol AND ALSO offers entertainment of any sort should either choose one or the other or be closed down until 70% of Thai population is vaccinated Yes , I know , good luck with that !!! MONEY TALKS !!!

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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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