PHUKET: Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Maleenond has confirmed that entertainment venues with a pub license will be allowed to remain open all night on both Christmas Eve (December 24) and New Year’s Eve (December 31). The official closing times on both dates have been set at 6 am the following morning. K. Pracha asked club operators for cooperation in refusing entry to minors and in ensuring that their venues are free of drugs, firearms and lewd forms of entertainment. He warned that any clubs that fail to comply will be closed for 30 days. Official orders have been sent to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior and to provincial governors, who are responsible for enforcement. A Phuket Provincial official stated that only premises with a pub license will be permitted to remain open until 6 am on the two nights. Karaoke bars and other venues not licensed as pubs must shut their doors at the normal 2 am closing time. Meanwhile, the Head of the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, Thapabutra Chomsaywee, announced that, following a Ministerial Council resolution, Monday, December 30 has been declared an official government holiday, in addition to Decembre 31 and January 1. The decision is intended to allow both government and private sector employees a continuous five-day holiday to give them time to return to their hometowns and take part in “cultural activities”.
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