Public Health Ministry opposes 4 a.m.closing time for night venues


DEPUTY Prime Minister-cum-Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said today (Dec. 6) that he disagrees with a proposal of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to extend the closing time of entertainment venues to 4 a.m., Amarin TV said.

Shutting night venues at 2 a.m. is probably appropriate in light of the Covid-19 outbreak and to prevent accidents that may occur through excessive drinking, he said, adding that it is essential to maintain balance in all dimensions.

Meanwhile Mr. Thanakorn Kuptachit, an adviser to the Thai Alcohol Business Association, told Matichon newspaper that if night venue closing time is not extended from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. before the Christmas and New Year festive season it would lead to big loss of opportunity to earn additional revenue.

The association will be holding a discussion tomorrow on Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn having postponed tabling a proposal to extend night venue closing time from today to Dec. 20. 

The association is waiting for the outcome of the Dec. 20 cabinet meeting and a meeting of the National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee presided over by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on December 22.

Thanakorn pointed out that it is not just entertainment venues that would benefit from extending the closing time with musicians, bartenders, waiters, late-night restaurants and souvenir stalls too doing so.

He assessed that the loss of income through not extending the closing time in nine provinces that have popular tourist destinations during the festive season to be around 10 to 20 billion baht.


Top: Isaan music being played at this Bangkok pub. Photo: Neajjean (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Insert: Man drawing a beer from a tap in a pub. Photo: Getty Images and published by BBC

Front Page: Slashing lights at a pub. Photo: Phil (CC BY 2.0)

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