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Nightspots cry foul at curbs list

Nightspots cry foul at curbs list

BANGKOK: Operators of nightlife entertainment venues have cried foul over a set of proposed regulations to be enforced when they reopen, saying many social-distancing rules will threaten their livelihoods.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 23 June 2020, 09:00AM

A total of 22 articles are listed in the draft, which was unveiled on Monday. The draft will be submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday (June 26), reports the Bangkok Post.

The CCSA is set to consider the fifth phase of the loosening of COIVD-19 restrictions, which includes nightlife venues.

The novel coronavirus outbreak has brought the curtain down on pubs, karaoke outlets, massage parlours and other types of adult entertainment venues since March.

Operators have been hoping to reopen next month.

Musicians and entertainers last week made an emotional appeal to the government to allow them to return to work. They said the closure has been long and the situation has placed them in dire financial straits.

On Sunday, CCSA promised to allow nightlife venues to resume during the fifth phase in July. However, operators have expressed concern over rules that prohibit dancing, mingling and having more than a certain number of customers.

The operators say limiting customers to five per group may keep them from coming.

Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khao San Business Association and CEO of Buddy Group, said the rules for entertainment venues are stricter than the ones imposed on eateries and filming crews.

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, people tend to cut unnecessary expenses, and spending on nightlife entertainment is at the top of their list, Mr Sanga said.

“We want them to be more flexible, otherwise people will not go out,” he said.

He admitted the operators will have no choice but comply with the rules, but they will urge CCSA to revisit the situation and consider relaxing the rules one week after the implementation.

Thailand has seen no local transmissions for 28 days and if no local cases are reported by then the CCSA should consider easing the regulations for the nightspots, he said.

QSI International School Phuket

According to Mr Sanga, it will take time before the industry, where up to 2 million people are employed, rebounds from the economic fallout of the outbreak.

Of the estimated 100,000 nightspots in the country, only 20,000 are properly registered, while the rest operate without licences.

Supawan Thanomkiatphum, chairwoman of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said business operators must be patient.

“If the measures can reduce the risk of a second wave, we may begin to allow overseas visitors,” Ms Supawan said.

“Even though hotels are allowed to reopen, most of us depend on foreign tourists.”

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said the government is likely to consider by Friday the lifting of the emergency decree, two weeks after the implementation of the fourth phase of lockdown relaxations.

Mr Wissanu said the decision to lift or extend the emergency decree will be made based on the assessment of Covid-19 risks. If the country does not face a second wave of infections, then the Communicable Disease Control Act is adequate to contain the virus, he said.

The emergency decree was touted by the government as a necessary tool to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections as it enables swift action and coordination among state agencies. It has been extended twice since it was invoked on March 26.

Mr Wissanu said if the emergency decree is lifted, all closure orders will automatically end, but noted that Sections 34 and 35 of the Communicable Disease Control Act can still be invoked to close down certain businesses.

“If the emergency is lifted, we can [use the Communicable Disease Control Act to] close certain shops or malls until they fix problems. We can’t impose lockdowns,” he said.

Democracy activists led by Parit Chiwarak on Monday renewed calls for the lifting of the emergency decree, saying the situation has improved significantly and this justified lifting the decree.

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ThorFinger | 23 June 2020 - 14:14:46

555 I admire your courage in speaking up guys. You're braver men than I am.
Perhaps I can use a metaphor:
I am riding my motorbike on the road, I see a foreigner fined for not wearing a helmet, as a Thai man is waved by. What message is this sending to all parties involved? It's no wonder the road fatality rate is so high when there are no consequences for some. 

LALALA | 23 June 2020 - 11:47:21

If that would result in a permanent closure of many of this small dodgy bars as they for example exist in Rawai and Nai Harn Area this measures are very welcome... nit to speak about Bangla Road, this disgrace should never be allowed to open again.

Pascale | 23 June 2020 - 11:16:06

@Kurt How about writing your own comments and not exactly copying from BP posters ?

Kurt | 23 June 2020 - 11:13:54

The number of illegal entertainment venues, massage salons, hotels/guesthouses/bars just on Phuket only are astonishing. It puts Phuket authorities in  full sunshine corruption windows.  Not true? Than how come Phuket authorities allow all this illegal happening, while same time send RTP to Phuket beaches to check there on face masks? Do I miss something? No, I don't.

Kurt | 23 June 2020 - 10:39:01

100,000 Night spot in Thailand, only 20,000 LEGAL! Keep the illegals closed. Oh wait, that are the 80,000 providing kick backs/brown envelops for unofficial rubber stamping. Understanding of Thailand: 1) Thais love rules for everything. 2) Thai never follow rules, they just love having them. 3) They love rubber stamping ( legal/illegal) too. 80,000 Illegal venues, one can't make it up. 

maverick | 23 June 2020 - 09:43:06

Indoor pubs and clubs should be kept closed 

ThorFinger | 23 June 2020 - 09:12:44

As a business owner i'm looking at the authorities doing their job at the border. Let me do my job at my business. If there is a second wave, authorities can't be pointing the finger at anyone but themselves for letting the virus back in. This has always been the tricky situation and why they are so reticent to let people back. But they must come back. So we must work together. Modern pare...

ThorFinger | 23 June 2020 - 09:07:44

....therefore there needs to be more vigilance by the authorities on the border and less on the businesses. If there is a second wave it will be because someone got through the border checks.

ThorFinger | 23 June 2020 - 09:06:22

Nightclubs were always going to be difficult. But if i may say one thing. The virus needs to exist in someone for there to be a second wave. The second wave just doesn't come out of thin's not lurking in a corner somewhere. In Phuket, the second wave will be triggered by someone coming in from outside the island. 


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