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Will parties be back soon as part of the new easing

22 Jun 2020

Night entertainment hangouts operators have accepted the lockdown-easing committee's announcement that pubs, restaurants, karaoke parlours and other entertainment facilities will be permitted to reopen in the fifth step of loosening the Covid-19 constraints scheduled in July.

It is still not clear if this will include parties or party venues like we have on Koh Phangan. Also, there is no information yet to say how many people can gather at these venues to give us any indication.

The promise was made during talks yesterday between Gen Natthaphol Nakpanich, deputy army chief and a deputy chairman of the committee, and nightlife venue operators. Nonetheless, a complete assembly of the Center for Covid-19 Situaton Administration (CCSA) held on Friday also requires approval.

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 long closure 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 lifting constraints will take effect, with or without the prolongation of another month 's emergency decree," Gen Natthaphol said.

"If the emergency decree is lifted, all closure orders will automatically end."

The emergency decree will stay in effect at least until the end of this month and the center may prolong it if authorities stay worried about the outbreak of Covid-19.

Thailand has not registered any new local transmissions for 27 days, with recent cases smuggled back into the country by Thais.

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 July 1.

Mr Sanga said it was also positive news for entertainment venue operators, as it indicated that their companies would restart quickly and they would obtain enough money to remain afloat. This would enable them to pay for their premises and support their staff.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has affected us hard. We 're waiting for the government to relax controls, so we also have to compensate for workers salaries, insurance, housing, so food. We don't want to abandon our employees," he said.

Nightlife operators have prepared plans to prevent transmissions of viruses based on Ministry of Public Health guidelines, he added.

Mr Sanga said he assumed that the condition in Thailand is now secure enough for night spots to reopen, because there has been no single case of Covid-19 transmitted locally for 27 days.

"I guess Thailand now has the pandemic under hand.

"We are happy to reopen and eager to obey the requirements of CCSA to ensure our staff and customers are secure. Temperatures of customers will be checked before entry, hand sanitizer will be on tables, and so forth, "he said.

Mr Sanga also urged the CCSA to require live music performances in entertainment facilities as this will help musicians in Thailand earn a livelihood.

"There are more than 100,000 self-employed musicians struggling to live as they can not function," he added.

"It's been three months they have no money. If they are ever not permitted to operate in pubs and restaurants, policy measures will be taken to help lighten their financial burden.

Buppha, who owns a pub in the Khao San area, said she was happy to hear about the restrictions being lightened, although she wanted a clear message about when entertainment companies will be allowed to reopen and what guidelines they should follow.

Source Bangkok Post