6 June 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today (Thursday) made clear that his government has no plan to close Thailand’s borders again, to prevent the spread of Omicron, while dashing hopes that pubs, bars and other entertainment venues can reopen before the set D Day of January 16th.

Gen Prayut said that he sympathises with everyone in the nightlife sector for the hardships they are enduring, but the concerns of other people and public safety has to be taken into account as well.

The January 16th date is already considered a postponement from the initial plan of allowing pubs and bars to reopen in December, and especially for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Saying that people will have to wait for about a month, the prime minister added that he is in constant consultation with health authorities on the measures to be adopted to cope with the pandemic. The Labour Ministry is set to propose compensation packages for the impacted business owners and employees to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) for its deliberations tomorrow.

Gen Prayut maintained that he cannot afford to allow bars and pubs to resume business yet, in light of the Omicron threat “otherwise all that has been achieved so far will be futile and the government will have to accept the blame.”