Night entertainment operators have welcomed the news that the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will consider allowing them to resume business activities.
According to a source at Government House, an unlocking of night entertainment venues may be listed for a meeting of the CCSA’s operation centre on Thursday, before the matter goes to the CCSA’s meeting Friday.
Wirawit Kruasombat, president of the Patong Entertainment Business Owners Club in Phuket, yesterday responded to news of the change by thanking the government.
“I feel thankful that the government understands the difficult situation that night business operators have had to deal with,” said Mr Kruasombat, adding they also want to see measures to help businesses.
Mr Kruasombat said night entertainment outlets play an important role in tourism so when the government looks to ease Covid measures to welcome tourists, outlets such as pubs, bars and karaoke venues should be able to resume operations.
Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khao San Business Association, said business operators on Khao San Road have urged the government to extend operating hours and allow restaurants to serve alcohol until 11pm or midnight or 1am, depending on business zones as per pre-Covid.
“Regarding the present COVID-19 situation, it’s time for us to return to our normal lives and let people decide for themselves. There is no need for restrictions on selling alcohol after 11pm because people are still having fun and relaxing,” he said.
Khao San typically welcomes 1,000-2,000 partygoers during weekdays and 5,000-6,000 people on Friday and Saturday nights.
He said these figures will double if operating hours extend to midnight or 1am.
Vorapoj Nimvijit, from the Professional Entertainment Network Confederation of Thailand, urged the government to allow those working in night entertainment businesses such as singers and performers to resume work when COVID-19 is declared an endemic, starting 1st July.
As most people have been vaccinated, the government should allow entertainment events such as concerts to proceed with full capacity, Mr Nimvijit said.
Face masks and regular washing hands would still be required, he said.