Thai Covid-19 Center to discuss gradual reopening of cinemas and entertainment venues nationwide

PHOTO: Post Today

Bangkok –

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is planning to discuss the gradual reopening of cinemas and entertainment venues at a major general meeting next Monday, September 27th.

CCSA assistant spokesperson Apisamai Srirangsan said today, September 20th, that the CCSA general meeting will be discussing several matters as proposed by the Public Health Ministry, including the reopening of movie theaters and entertainment venues like bars, nightlife, live music venues, theaters, and more.

However, the assistant spokesperson stressed that if approved, the reopening would be done in gradual, stable, and safe ways as possible and each province and area may apply in a different timeframe, depending on whether they are ready or not. Unlike prior openings last year and in January, it would not likely be an opening of the entire entertainment sector at once but likely in staggered, safe steps.

PHOTO: Manager Online

Dr. Apisamai added: “The plan may be implemented differently in each area, if approved by the CCSA. It may not be applied at the same time nationally and will be based on not just cases but vaccination levels and hospital capacity. If any province is not ready, then don’t rush. But if they are ready, they can do so. If all sectors agree to cooperate like this, then we will definitely get through this crisis together in the long run.”

The Pattaya News/TPN Media noted that the cinema business and entertainment venues had been ordered to close since April 10th of this year following major clusters of Covid-19 in Thong Lor entertainment venues and construction workers in Bangkok and its vicinities.

One of Thailand’s leading cinemas “Major Cineplex” had tremendously lost a total of 527 million baht due to the instability of the Covid-19 situation in 2020 and continued to lose 120 million baht in the first quarter of 2021, according to their reports. Although cinemas are allowed to open currently in some provinces that are low-risk, such as parts of the North and Northeast, the majority of their income comes from areas like Bangkok and Chonburi that have been under closure orders for almost six months for the sector.

As for the nightlife sector, business owners have been pleading with the CCSA for months for a plan to open or financial aid for their venues that have been shuttered with seemingly no plan in sight to reopen. With increased talk around reopening wider to vaccinated foreign tourists, the entertainment industry has been pushing forward to be allowed to open as they state their sector is vital for many tourists for their holiday.

Musicians have also been devastated by the Covid-19 restrictions and closures and are well respected in Thailand.  They have on multiple occasions petitioned the CCSA to allow them to return to work with precautions and rules. When dine-in was allowed to reopen in Bangkok and 28 other provinces in early September, musicians were hoping to be allowed to at least perform at restaurants that have music as an attraction. Unfortunately, the CCSA shut down this proposal earlier this month, leaving the live music industry still out of work.

As vaccination rates increase, however, and the released numbers from the CCSA in terms of cases of Covid-19 and especially deaths lower, talk has begun for the first time in six months around reopening the shuttered entertainment industry, which is especially important to the economy of Pattaya.

This also comes as Pattaya city leaders have tentatively announced planning events for November and December in hopes that the highly accelerated vaccination campaign will be at a level to allow the city to fully open and return to somewhat normality.

TPN media will provide full updates from these meetings once they have been completed. We stress they are just “discussions” at this point and no guarantee of anything reopening anytime soon, however, it is an important first step to at least finally bring the discussions to the table after almost six months.

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.