Operators of nighttime entertainment venues have welcomed a promise by the committee in charge of easing the lockdown for pubs, bars, karaoke and other entertainment venues. They will be allowed to reopen in the fifth phase of loosening the Covid-19 restrictions expected on 1st July.
The promise was made during talks yesterday between Gen Natthaphol Nakpanich, deputy army chief and a deputy chairman of the committee, and representatives for nightlife venue operators.
It still needs endorsement on Friday 26th June at a meeting by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
It remains unclear whether the reopening will include “wet” massage parlours.
Musicians and entertainers made an emotional appeal last Thursday to the government to allow them to get back to work as the lockdown of entertainment venues had put them in dire financial straits.
Gen Natthaphol said he will recommend at Friday’s meeting that they be allowed to get back to work, but stressed the need for proper measures to prevent Covid-19 from rebounding.
“The fifth stage of easing restrictions will take place, with or without the extension of the emergency decree for another month”
“If the emergency decree is lifted, all closure orders will automatically end.”
The emergency decree will stay in place at least until the end of this month and it can be extended by the centre if authorities remain worried about the Covid-19 outbreak.
Sanga Ruangwattanakul, President of the Khao San Business Association and CEO of Buddy Group, said “All participants at yesterday’s meeting were satisfied with the outcome and expected to go back to work on 1st July.
Mr Sanga said “It was also good news for owners of entertainment venues as it meant their businesses will soon reopen and they will gain some liquidity to stay afloat. This would enable them to pay for their premises and support their staff”.
“The COVID 19 pandemic has hit us terribly. We are desperate for the government to ease restrictions. We still have to pay for rent, utilities, accommodation and food for staff. We don’t want to abandon our employees.”
“Nightlife operators have prepared plans to prevent virus transmissions based on the guidelines of the Public Health Ministry”.