The following is our weekly feature in which we ask our readers a news topical question and get their insight and opinions. We then share their feedback a week later and pick a variety of diverse and interesting responses.
After a more relaxed question last week (and thank you to everyone for your responses around the best restaurant in Pattaya) this week we are going to ask a more heavy-hitter question:
Place your bets, when will entertainment venues be allowed to open again in Pattaya and/or Thailand?
Currently, all bars, karaoke bars, nightclubs, gentlemen clubs, pubs, concert venues, cabarets, gogos, etc. are closed country-wide in Thailand. The order actually comes from the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, and is not an order that can be lifted by provincial governors, even those with zero cases of Covid-19. Many other closure orders, like swimming pools, are provincial orders and set by governors and could be lifted at any time. As a side-note, alcohol sales at restaurants are also currently banned nationwide, primarily because many people will use restaurants as bars to drink, socialize, and gather if entertainment venues are closed.
Last year, the CCSA was notoriously cautious about allowing entertainment venues to open which took nearly four months. They were also, of course, going for an elimination strategy last year which appears to be no longer feasible.
This year, the CCSA has no “phases” of lifting restrictions, only stating they evaluate the situation roughly every two weeks. The overall plan seems to be to vaccinate as many people as possible and see where things stand.
Additionally, the Thai Government and TAT have continually said they plan to reopen parts of the country (Like Pattaya) to vaccinated foreign tourists by October for most of the country and July…yes five weeks….in Phuket. It would be assumed that if this happens they would allow the opening of entertainment venues, which are critical for many tourists on holiday.
So, place your bets, tell us in the comments…how long will the current closure be? What will the government use as a baseline to allow reopening? Could they possibly break it down and allow maybe small bars to open, open-air venues, alcohol in restaurants, etc. but keep large nightclubs closed? Could some parts of the country (like Phuket) be allowed to open earlier for their tourist program but the rest remain closed? Is Pattaya doomed to be stuck closed longer than other parts of the country due to their geography to Bangkok and fear of having Bangkok tourists, where the majority of the outbreaks are, coming to Pattaya?
We will publish the results as always early next week!