Following yesterday’s announcement that entertainment venues were planned to be opened next week, July First, after three and a half months of closure due to Covid-19 prevention measures, many owners of entertainment venues like bars, clubs, karaokes, live music venues, pubs, sports bars and similar establishments reportedly flooded Pattaya City Hall’s call center with questions regarding policies and rules.
This follows the Center for Covid19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, issuing the second version of proposed rules, which would be finalized and possibly edited further at a major meeting of the CCSA and Thai Government on Monday, June 29.
Pattaya City has thousands of entertainment venues and is arguably one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis due to an estimated 80 percent of their overall business dedicated to tourism, entertainment and hospitality.
Concern on multiple rules, including an announced Midnight closure, social distancing rules and confusion on if a ban on promotional beer cheer girls meant “no bargirls” were some of the most popular questions, along with if the long on the books but unenforced afternoon drinking rules would be enforced in Pattaya.
Pattaya is a special administrative zone, long having its own unique rules and leadership separate from the overall rules of the country, meant to boost tourism and the entertainment industry. These special rules give the city permission to operate later and sell alcohol (Among many other things) later than most of the remainder of the country. However, under the Emergency Decree, these rules are essentially suspended. It has not been decided as of press time if the Decree will be extended. A proposal decision may come as early as today with the final decision being voted on by the Thai Cabinet at the weekly Cabinet meeting next Tuesday.
Pattaya City Hall leaders have asked local business owners to please wait until the final announcement from the CCSA, expected at Monday’s press conference around 11:30 AM before asking detailed questions. After this announcement, and clarification on if the emergency decree will be extended or not, city leaders and the Chonburi Governor will be releasing their own orders and clarifications on what will be allowed and what will not. Several meetings are expected Monday, including one between City Hall leaders and prominent local entertainment business leaders.
The Pattaya City Mayor, Sonthaya Khuenpluem, spoke earlier this week and said that Pattaya City was willing to support the rules, but also stated to concerned bar owners they would likely be eased and relaxed over time, similar to malls, restaurants, salons, movie theaters, massage shops and other venues that were also relaxed and gradually given more freedoms once the statistics showed there were no further locally spread cases of Covid-19.
Pattaya has gone 72 days without a confirmed locally spread case of Covid-19 and Thailand has reached just over one month.