The full list comprises 18 separate rules specifically set out for entertainment venues in an order which came into effect on Wednesday (July 1), allowing pubs and bars to open, explained Sirawat Kriangkrai, of Patong Municipality’s Department of Public Health and Environment’s Sanitation Division.
Mr Sirawat provided the list to The Phuket News late yesterday (July 2).
Although Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in Bangkok, announced some of the rules on Monday (June 29), he did not clarify all the rules that entertainment venues must follow, leaving much doubt among operators as to which rules they must follow.
The order including the rules was not signed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha until Tuesday (June 30). To see the order in full, in Thai, click here.
Mr Sirawat warned that pubs, bars and other entertainment venues must comply with the order, or else they may be closed.
“Some establishments have already reopened, and although those entertainment venues are already allowed to reopen, they still need to follow the CCSA’s rules,” he said.
The rules specifically set out for entertainment venues are listed in the order with one key section and two other sections alongside each other, as follows:
All pubs, bars and entertainment venues, including karaoke bars, must close at midnight. All other food and beverage vendors, such as restaurants, food courts and hotels, may continue operating after midnight, but must cease serving alcohol at midnight.
Main control measures
- Frequently touched areas and toilets must be cleaned regularly. Waste must be eliminated every day.
- Staff and customers must wear face masks at all times, except while eating or drinking.
- A handwashing station with soap, alcohol gel or other sufficient antiseptic cleanser must be provided.
- Spacing for customers standing or sitting must be at least one metre apart and at least two metres between tables. If there are partitions between the tables, the partitions are not to be less than 1.5 metres tall. The distance between the performance stage and the nearest table must be at least two metres or a partition must be installed instead.
- The number of visitors in each venue must be controlled, in order to prevent congestion. An individual customer must have not less than four square metres for sitting or standing. Groups of up to five visitors are allowed, but they are not allowed to sit together or share a table with other visitor groups. Staff are prohibited from sitting with customers. Dancing is prohibited, except by performers.
- There must be good air ventilation in entertainment venues and indoor areas with air conditioning, including toilets. Air-conditioner filters must be cleaned frequently.
- Staff and visitors must be informed of the control measures, and supervision and inspection must be carried out to ensure compliance. All services provided must comply with the control measures. Any venue that cannot comply with the measures may be considered to close.
- Each venue must be registered, and comply with the disease protection measures prescribed by the government. The owners must specify the full capacity of their venues and agree to let officers inspect the venue when open.
- Registration of entering and leaving each venue must be conducted, and measures must be taken to use the application that the government stipulates.
- The operator, service staff and service users must be screened for age, fever and cough, breathing difficulty, sneezing or having a cold before entering the venue. Relevant officials must be informed of any person suspected of being infected. Employees may need to undergo laboratory tests for COVID-19 periodically as recommended by the government.
- A queuing system must be set up and there must be a waiting area where visitors can sit or stand at least one metre apart.
- There must be a data collection system for tracking all visitors in case that someone becomes a patient under investigation (PUI) or has to be tested after visiting.
- All promotional campaigns are prohibited, such as discount promotions and the use of promotional staff. Do not allow visitors to bring alcohol drinks from outside into the venues.
- Staffers are prohibited from sitting with, singing or dancing with customers. Customers are not allowed to dance far from their table and seating area. Microphone covers must be changed every time before use.
- It is prohibited to sell alcohol drinks in jugs, cups or any container that is likely to be handled or used together
- CCTV cameras must be installed to record all incidents in each venue, and the record must be stored for not less than 1 month.
- An online registration and queueing system must be developed in order to provide long-term “New Normal” services.
- Venue owners must report on the implementation of the disease control measures to the responsible department in each area, according to the regulation for creating cooperation in effective disease prevention.
“Officers will give venue owners who do not follow the rules no more than two warnings,” Mr Sirawat told The Phuket News.
“After that, if the venue does make any improvements, officers will collect their evidence and submit it to Phuket Provincial Administration and District officials to request to close the venue,” he said.
The closure will last until the Emergency Decree and the enforcement of disease control measures are no longer in effect, Mr Sirawat added.
“We will send officers to check regularly,” he added.
Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Thanit Sermkaew told The Phuket News that officials had serious concerns of social entertainment venues becoming a source for spreading COVID-19.
“There are examples abroad. This sector is high risk for infections, and the impact will affect confidence in the public health system and affect confidence in our businesses. So we need to be strict on it,” he said.
Additional reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot