PM Prayut Defends CCSA’s Decision To Delay Nightlife Reopening

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended the government’s decision to postpone Thai entertainment venues’ reopening even though the move has sparked discontent among nightlife and hospitality operators, who demand authorities to help them revive their businesses.

According to General Prayut, delaying nighttime venues’ reopening from December 1 to January 15 is necessary as public health safety measures would not be ready in time.

“We have to listen to what the Public Health Ministry has to say about the matter as well,” he added.

The prime minister, who also heads the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), asked entertainment companies not to reopen before they are authorized to do so, saying they could suffer consequences. Pubs and that have defied the rules have faced swift and forceful legal action, he added.

Also, General Prayut urged event organizers across the country to be cautious and take drastic measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during Friday’s festivities at Loy Krathong venues.

Domestic tourism has steadily improved since Thailand reopened its borders on November 1, as hotel bookings and arrivals have increased since then, the prime minister said.

He also said he had ordered agencies to reduce the time needed to conduct immigration and health checks for international tourists.

However, businesses in the bustling northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima have complained about the latest measures announced by the CCSA, expressing anger at the delay in reactivating nightlife.

Phakin Petpol, manager of Tawan Daeng, an entertainment complex in Muang district, said his company had called in more than 150 workers after it was suggested that pubs and bars would reopen from December 1.

“To be told they now have to be on standby for another month or so, it’s not a pleasant feeling,” he added.