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Friday, December 1, 2023

Thai nightlife asks government to reopen and sell alcohol


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After more than a year of closures, a coalition of nightlife representatives is calling on the government to reopen next month and lift the alcohol ban. With the support of the pl. Democratic Party leader Prin Phannihphak, who also heads the Modern Business Group, event organizers, musicians, representatives of fitness companies and representatives of the entertainment industry filed a petition at the government building, which was addressed to the head of the National Security Council.

The coalition is pushing for reopening, complaining that Covid19 measures have forced them to close their businesses for more than 200 days and receive almost no government assistance. Three Covid19 waves of Covid-19 have brought the catering industry to its knees, the plv. Democratic Party leader invited a group of industry representatives to brainstorm constructive steps they could propose to government leaders.

The Administrative Center for Covid19 Control, the CCSA, recognizes the situation the hospitality industry finds itself in but also emphasizes that strict regulations have played an important role in the fight against the Covid19 virus and that all relevant authorities have approved and signed the closures. However, they are willing to listen and discuss ways to help the nightlife industry reopen without putting the country at risk for a fourth wave.

The group came up with a list of 8 points in a proposal they are urging the CCSA on:
1) Lift the ban on entertainment venues, keep only high-risk locations closed for a Covid-19 risk assessment and deep cleans.
2) Re-open the nightlife on July 1, as they are required to follow the safety measures of the Department of Disease Control.
3) Resume alcohol sales in restaurants – the group cites statistics that infections have not been reduced and there is no evidence that alcohol in restaurants causes infections.
4) Reopen entertainment in closed spaces, but with social distancing restrictions.
5) Prioritize nightlife and entertainment workers in addition to tourist workers for vaccination.
6) Clarify low-interest loans, debt moratorium and financial remedies to keep the industry afloat.
7) Maintain communication between business and government to consult before any future preventive Covid-19 measures.
8) Request the Department of Labor to allow companies to make a short-term salary cut to keep the company alive and avoid layoffs.

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