Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

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Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by Gaybutton »

Beware the Ides of March:
______________________

Thai Social media heavily divided on closing entertainment, bars and nightlife in Thailand due to Covid-19 Coronavirus

By Adam Judd

March 15, 2020

The Thai Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, announced yesterday at a press conference that he will be speaking to the Prime Minister tomorrow, Monday, March 16th about several stricter measures to stop the outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in Thailand.

One of those measures has gone viral on social media, specifically, to shut down selected bars, entertainment venues and nightlife across Thailand.

In Pattaya, as many local residents and visitors know, tourism accounts for roughly eighty percent of the yearly revenue of the city currently. With an estimated over three thousand bars in the city and dozens of nightclubs, both foreign and Thai, the city is well known worldwide as one of the most popular nightlife and party cities on the planet. The entertainment industry, especially if it includes massage shops and live music venues, employ tens of thousands of people in Pattaya and is one of, if not the, biggest local employer.

The announcement that the government was even considering closing the bars and nightlife drove furious debate on social media, especially on Thai media, with many Thai citizens angry at the government.

Common comments seen by The Pattaya News were people concerned that the lack of consistent and solid border restrictions were leading to this issue. Additionally, many people brought up the issue of Thai nationals returning from overseas and allegedly not given a proper quarantine period. Comments stated that the cases in Thailand were low overall and that the majority of people were fine and things were calm, with nobody knowing anyone who was actually sick.

Other comments asked how people would feed their children or families or even survive from week to week. They asked how the government would help tens of thousands of people who could not work and lived paycheck to paycheck. With tourism significantly down as it was due to the coronavirus, many showed anger at suggesting closing domestic Thai discos and clubs that were keeping people employed.

Foreign comments, many from foreigners not currently in the country and admitting they were in countries in lockdown, were more mixed, with many feeling that it was difficult but needed to ensure the elderly population did not possibly catch the virus. Concerns were brought up that although many younger and healthy people stated they were fine and not sick that they could possibly be asymptomatic and could give the virus to the older population. Multiple comments showed concern about the upcoming Songkran holiday in which traditionally hundreds of thousands of Thai nationals go home to visit their family, many elderly and at risk. Although official water wars and parties have mostly been cancelled, the concern about the massive migration is still there amongst many posters.

We have had many questions about the statements of the Public Health Minister but wanted to make sure we gave the facts as they have been stated at this time:

-The current idea to close bars and entertainment venues is only a suggestion, NOT an order or guarantee, and will be brought up officially to the Prime Minister and the Thai Cabinet tomorrow, Monday, March 16th, 2020. This does not mean the decision would be made tomorrow, merely that it will be officially suggested.

-The Minister of Public Health did not say he would close every bar and nightlife venue in the country, of which there are tens of thousands, but that selected venues across the country would be closed zone by zone that were of high risk. He did not elaborate on what this meant, but made it clear that the suggestion was not a blanket ban on every bar in the country.

-No specific cities or areas were mentioned.

-This is not a ban on alcohol but rather a suggestion to reduce mass public gatherings.

-This follows parts of Vietnam closing all entertainment and bar venues yesterday temporarily.

-One of the largest reasons the idea has been brought up is due to many people not properly self quarantining and disregarding the rules and still going out to public places, especially bars and nightclubs to party. The large group, or cluster, of people detected late last week were all people who went out to a party and shared drinks and smoking. One person was a foreigner from Hong Kong who has since left the country. Officials believe this person was possibly responsible for spreading the virus.

-Thailand remains in stage two, which means no true local transmission, and most cases have been foreigners visiting from overseas. The suggestion is not due to an outbreak on the scale of some other countries but rather to ensure one does not happen.

We will provide more updates as the government gives them to The Pattaya News. It is not expected that a decision will be made before Monday at the earliest. Additionally, there has not been a decision made on moving the Songkran New Year officially to later in the year at this time which has been suggested by the Tourism Authority.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/03/15/t ... ronavirus/

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by Gaybutton »

With such a proposal Thailand will have to decide whether putting even more pressure on the tourism industry and rendering tens of thousands of Thais unemployed is worth doing and if such a move really would do anything to prevent the spread of the virus. Are drastic measures even necessary?

If they do this, what's next? Closing grocery stores? Closing shopping malls? Locking down cities? Does Thailand really need to cause panic, which such moves would surely do?

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by Dodger »

Another stroke of genius by the Health Minister.

If his proposal gets approved there will be thousands of prostitutes out of work, and the dating APPS should be busy as a bee hive.

The dwindling number of tourists would then dwindle to ZERO.

But......... wait a minute. Wasn't Thailand transitioning its image from an exotic party town to a family vacation destination??? Hell, if that's the case, then why do they need all these thousands of bars in Pattaya any way??? Shouldn't they be promoting those kiddy parks with the swing sets and merry-go-rounds???

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by Gaybutton »

Dodger wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:10 am
Shouldn't they be promoting those kiddy parks with the swing sets and merry-go-rounds???
Are there any?

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by Gaybutton »

Good News:
_________

Thai Prime Minister rejects “suggestion” to close nightlife, bar and entertainment industry at this time

By Adam Judd

March 15, 2020

Speaking at a short press conference following a lunchtime meeting in Bangkok this afternoon, the Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-O-cha, has stated that for now, at least, he has rejected the suggestion from The Thai Public Health Minister to close the countries tens of thousands of nightclubs, bars, live music venues, massage shops, karaoke clubs, pubs and other types of entertainment.

The Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, had stated the suggestion was one of several measures he and the Ministry of Public Health were going to bring up to the Prime Minister tomorrow, Monday, March 16th, 2020.

However, as social media has exploded, both for and against the suggestion of closing the massive nightlife industry, The Prime Minister briefly addressed reporters saying that he did not feel it was needed at this time. He did, however, say the situation will be reassessed at later dates if the situation worsens and asked for the cooperation of business owners to take proper measures to protect their customers.

One of the largest concerns about closing the industry would be tens and tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people not just laid off but then returning to their homes in rural Thailand. As the Covid-19 coronavirus continues to increase in cases in Thailand, with 32 cases today alone, one of the biggest concerns is exposing the country's significant elderly population to the disease which is primarily in rural areas. The majority of workers in the nightlife industry survive paycheck to paycheck, if not day to day in many cases and would have no choice but to return home to their family for help in many cases.

It is worth noting that several venues, especially in Bangkok, have been closed both due to suspected cases and out of precaution by owners of the venues. Some of them have also been closed due to temporary downturn in business due to lack of tourists, both domestic and foreign.

Thailand’s massive nightlife industry, especially in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya employ hundreds of thousands and draw millions of visitors from around the world yearly. Pattaya in particular generates about 80 percent of its revenue from the tourism and nightlife industry, both domestic and foreign. A closure of the industry would severely impact not just the economy but likely send the majority back to their family homes in rural Thailand, possibly spreading the virus if they are asymptomatic.

The vast majority of the staff working in the nightlife industry in Pattaya are from Issan, the Northeast and rural part of Thailand, which is also the countries poorest and full of the largest amount of vulnerable elderly.

Other measures suggested by the Public Health Minister and other Ministry officials, such as moving Songkran later in the year entirely to avoid hundreds of thousands of people returning home in April, further travel restrictions and stopping more private events and sporting events will be discussed at the regular meetings tomorrow.

Thailand announced 32 new cases of the virus today.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/03/15/t ... this-time/

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by gera »

The argument about people working in entertainment venues is not valid one. There are essentially no foreign tourists in Thailand now ( I am not in Pattaya at the moment but my bf sent me the photo of empty Terminal 21. Or see photos in Bangkok Post of empty Bangkok airports). All venues with large crowds (and those where social distancing cannot be implemented) should be closed effective immediately. Judging from data, Thailand entered
human to human exponential phase of epidemic and strict restrictions are warranted.

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by Gaybutton »

gera wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:13 pm
see photos in Bangkok Post of empty Bangkok airports
See these photos too: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30384122

The scene at American airports with international arrivals is a little different. How would you like to arrive exhausted after a grueling long haul flight only to encounter this?

Image

There is also panic buying going on in grocery stores, but not in Pattaya. The grocery stores in Pattaya are fully stocked and operating normally.

Pattaya has been very fortunate so far. No reported cases. All shops and markets operating as usual. If it wasn't for the lack of tourists and tour buses, light traffic, and a couple minor shortages such as face masks and rubbing alcohol, you wouldn't know anything was happening at all. I can only hope it stays that way.

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by pong »

With entert. venues in Th is usually meant boozing places. Note that recently there were several people infected exactly in such palces (among them Thai returning from Korean and celebrating being back home with loads of Chang and/or LaoKhao).
Flew out from BKK/Swampy today in a near full plane (though this was also due to many other flights cancelled-pax rebooked).
And now sitting in a HTL to wait tomorrows onward (hopefully, maybe they even shut borders too) read that nearly all west-eur countries are closing bars/restrts, schools etc.

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by pong »

And just as I press submit CNN beside me is now yelling that ILLinois and Hoboken/NJ also order all bars/restrts etc. to close as from tomorrow.

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Re: Will Thailand shut down entertainment venues due to virus? Maybe . . .

Post by Gaybutton »

pong wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 am
ILLinois and Hoboken/NJ also order all bars/restrts etc. to close as from tomorrow.
At least in the USA if people lose their jobs like this and cannot find alternate employment, they can get unemployment benefits. That's better than nothing. In Thailand it's nothing. If Thais lose their jobs, they are essentially totally on their own.

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