The CCSA has resolved to declare all 77 provinces of Thailand “surveillance areas”, or “green areas”, in its COVID colour-coded zoning, Marathi Nalita Andamo, News Division Director of the Department of Information under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained this afternoon.
The centre said it will also abolish the Thailand Pass System from July 1 onward, she added. (See report here.)
“The recategorisation now allows some nightly entertainment venues to operate until midnight, while others can open until 2am,” Ms Andamo said, reported state news agency NBT.
“Operators are advised to seek consultation from the local authorities on how to obtain appropriate permits for their businesses,” the report added.
Under the further easing of COVID-prevention measures, temperature screening in most buildings is no longer required. Mask wearing is still recommended in most cases, the report noted.
BACK TO THE BARS
Weerawit Kreuasombat, President of the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA), has noted a recent increase in trade among bars along Bangla Rd.
A report by Radio Thailand Phuket, which operates under the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PRD Phuket), today attributed the increase in business to the easing of restrictions brought into effect on June 1, which allowed specially registered nightlife venues to sell alcohol until midnight.
The “Cinderella rule” is still in effect, at this stage until July 1.
Regardless, according to the Radio Thailand Phuket report, the easing of nightlife venue trading hours and restrictions has resulted in “almost 100% of the area’s entertainment venues to be back open”.
Mr Weerawit pointed out that most of the patrons currently enjoying the nightlife available are tourists from India and from Australia.
“However, the spending behaviour of this group of tourists still may not be as much as tourists from Europe, who have not yet arrived because it is in the off season,” Mr Weerawit said.
“But it’s better than no tourists coming in,” he noted.
“The overall atmosphere is considered to be good. Entertainment venue operators in Soi Bangla, Patong, are strictly following the measures that the provinces and the government have set,” Mr Weerawit said.
“It has been a hard lesson, but we are ready to provide services in accordance with the measures of the state for business operators in the tourism sector to take full advantage of the opportunity to open up the country by being a good host to welcome visitors of all nations and languages,” he said.
Despite the major announcements by the CCSA today, nightlife venues are for now to continue operating under condition that they comply with Thai Stop COVID 2 Plus (TSC 2+) measures.
Kathu District Chief Siwat Warangkul, along with officers from the Patong Police, Tourist Police, Patong Municipality and local health officials last night conducted inspections of nightlife venues along Bangla Rd for compliance with the COVID-prevention measures.
Leading the foray, which began at 7:30pm, were Maj Gen Saksira Phuak-am, Deputy Commander of Region 8 Police along with Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Chaikiat Wiriyasathitkul, Lt Col Ekachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police.
No legal action was reported to have been taken against any persons, whether they be business operators, staff or tourists.
The stated goal of the inspection was to ensure compliance and to inform people on the popular nightlife street of the COVId-prevention measures still in effect.