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Lacking gov’t aid, Phuket nightlife advises opening as restaurants

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: The Patong Entertainment Business Association lashed out at lack of government action or assistence. (via Wikimedia)

The president of the Patong Entertainment Business Association took a harsh stance against the long-term closures of nightlife venues in Phuket and the lack of assistance from the government of Thailand. In a fiery interview, he called on bars and clubs to open as restaurants despite the action being legally dubious and chastised the government for the long-term closure without any aid at all.

Nightlife venues have been closed in April in Phuket as part of a national ban still in effect that was enacted by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. but unlike other industries, there’s not been any assistance from the national government.

The president of the PEBA complains that the CCSA has allowed restaurants to reopen without serving alcohol (though many restaurants are often found to be serving alcohol anyway) while entertainment venues still cannot open. In the absence of any government help for bar staff and other entertainment employees, he encourages nightlife venues to reopen as restaurants.

He acknowledged that most do not have a restaurant license making the reopening illegal but said that local police and municipality officials are not enforcing that and allowing businesses to reopen to try to support their suffering staff. He questions why there’s not more support from the government, considering entertainment venues have long brought hordes of tourists to Phuket.

The president even had a pointed barb for Phuket officials that have seemed unmotivated to speed up any action to help entertainment and nightlife venues, pointing out that it’s been easy to issue orders to close the venues but seemingly impossible to issue orders to help fix anything or provide assistance for them.

“I feel so fed up and I can feel the insincerity of Phuket officers who have their normal salary each month and do not know how much we have been suffering.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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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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