Thailand’s nightlife venues to reopen on Jan 16, subject to assessment

FILE / Employees wait for customers outside a bar along the Soi Cowboy touristic street / AFP)

Pubs, bars and karaoke bars in Thailand’s COVID-19 restricted zones and “sandbox” provinces may be allowed to reopen from January 16th, on the condition that they meet the required criteria and pass assessments by relevant authorities, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The Public Health and Interior ministries, as well as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, have been designated by the CCSA to enforce safety measures to be imposed on these venues.

One of the required safety measures is that venues must improve their environment and air circulation system and that all staff are fully inoculated against COVID-19.

Pubs, bars and karaoke bars, located in restricted and “sandbox” areas, are given until January 16th to make preparations and improvements ahead of evaluation by assessment committees in each province.

Venues which pass the assessment will be registered and allowed to reopen for business and must strictly comply with the safety measures. If a COVID-19 infection is found in any of the venues, it will be closed down.

The CCSA, at its meeting today, agreed to reduce the COVID-19 “dark red” provinces to just Tak, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla, where infections are still spreading. The night-time curfew between 11pm and 3am is in place only in the “dark red” zone, and until November 3otth, pending a further CCSA decision whether to extend the curfew.

Bangkok is now included among the “sandbox” provinces, which also include the popular tourist destinations such as Krabi, Phuket and Phang-nga. The ban on serving alcohol in eateries has been lifted in the “sandbox provinces” and five other provinces deemed at low-risk for the spread of COVID-19 – Nakhon Phanom, Bueng Kan, Mukdahan and Sakhon Nakhon.

All the provinces classified as “dark red”, “red” or “blue” zones are required to comply with the Universal Prevention and COVID Free Setting regimens.

All international arrivals will still have to undergo an RT-PCR test and an Antigen test upon arrival as per the current practice, according to the CCSA, following the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s proposal to switch to only antigen tests to reduce the waiting time.



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