Bangkok nightlife braces for extended hours with heightened safety protocols

Picture courtesy of Syed Ahmad, Unsplash

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is implementing stricter safety protocols for nightlife establishments in preparation for the government’s proposed extension of their operating hours until 4am.

The BMA’s Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, under the leadership of Director Teerayut Poomipak, is set to respond to potential issues that may arise from the extended operating hours. Collaborating with the Public Works Department and district offices, the office is amplifying inspections of safety and fire prevention systems in pubs and bars before the enforcement of the extension on December 15, said Teerayut.

“Legal action will be taken against business operators who fail to abide by laws overseeing building safety and fire prevention practices.”

Teerayut also mentioned the BMA’s initiative to assist businesses seeking training in building safety and fire prevention.

Meanwhile, Sunthorn Sunthornchart, the director of the BMA’s Health Department, stated that they are collaborating with the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Disease Control to monitor adherence to the 2008 Alcoholic Beverages Control Act.

This law prohibits the sale of alcohol to individuals under 20 years old and those heavily intoxicated. It also restricts the sale of alcohol outside the designated hours, currently set from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to midnight, unless special permission is granted, reported Bangkok Post.

In addition to safety measures, Thaiphat Tanasombatkul, director of the BMA’s Traffic and Transport Department, revealed that the city has installed 63,900 security cameras across Bangkok. The BMA is set to work with the Royal Thai Police to install additional security cameras, equipped with AI technology, at locations identified as accident-prone and where the extended opening hours will be implemented.

Cholnan Srikaew, the Public Health Minister, stated his understanding that the 4am closing policy would not be applied to all areas in Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, which have been chosen as pilot areas for the extended closing times. He added that the ministry is exploring ways to support the policy while mitigating its potential negative impact on public health.

Public Health Permanent Secretary, Opas Karnkawinpong, confirmed that the Department of Disease Control (DDC) would monitor the potential adverse impacts of the 4am closure on public health, particularly alcohol-related accidents and acts of violence.

Bangkok NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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