Representatives of the tourism industry in Thailand were outraged by the threats voiced by the Minister of Public Health of the Kingdom Anutin Charnvirakul . They stressed that the minister made a “false statement” – he predicted that the number of covid infections in Thailand could soon soar to 10,000 per day. He called the culprit tourists – and first of all, the nightlife of Thailand, which the other day was finally officially allowed to open.
The minister said the number of new coronavirus cases could “soar” within 3-5 days after the country's entertainment establishments were given an “official nod” on June 1. “People are at high risk in entertainment venues because the music is loud and people have to speak louder. Some may take off their masks and move closer to each other to talk, which could lead to more infections,” the official said. He added that the risk is increasing as people dance and share glasses and move from club to club.
“Tourists must get their third and fourth Covid-19 vaccinations before going to bars, even if they are young and healthy. I don’t recommend the unvaccinated to go to such places at all,” the minister continued to frighten. He also added that authorities will be “enforcing strict site compliance to ensure all customers are vaccinated and strengthened.” If his forecast comes true – the minister threatened – everything will be closed again.
The venues are currently applying for reopening, officially, although many admit they have been operating for months. Around 300 nightclubs in Bangkok have applied for registration since June 1st. As a reminder, the resumption of Thai nightlife on June 1, including sports facilities, karaoke bars and massage centers, applies only to the “blue” and “green” zone, which includes the following provinces:
- Green zones (14 provinces): Chai Nat, Trat, Nahom Phanom, Nan, Buriram, Pichit, Ang Thong, Mahasakam, Yasathon, Lampang, Surat Thani, Surin, Udon Thani and Amnat Charoen.
- Blue Zones (17 provinces): Krabi, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nonthaburi, Narathiwat, Pathum Thani, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phang Nga, Phetchaburi, Phuket, Rayong, Songkhla.
Travel industry representatives in turn reminded the official that many of Thailand's nightclubs in the most popular tourist destinations have already been open for months under the loophole that they were allowed to reopen as ” restaurants.” “By registering as a restaurant, bars have been able to reopen and resume their business and serve alcohol until midnight (as of May 1st). This phenomenon was less evident in the nightlife of Thailand and the outer provinces, but one can agree that, although partially limited, people were drinking alcohol and socializing long before June 1st. Meanwhile, there have been no outbreaks,” say experts from the tourist market.
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