Bangkok shuts down entertainment

BANGKOK, 4 January 2021: Bangkok is locking down restaurants and around 25 entertainment categories as the Thai capital battles a surge of Covid-19 cases that have spread to more than 50 provinces across the country.

Restaurants will be restricted to takeaway services or limited dining with no alcohol on sale. The new measures that are very close to national lockdown requirements initiated last March during the initial Covid-19 outbreak came into effect at the weekend.

Official figures released by the government’s public relations department confirmed 279 new cases on Saturday mainly local infections across the country. The surge in daily infections began Samut Sakhon province 60 km from Bangkok just before the Christmas holiday on 19 December and continued to spike with 473 cases on New Year’s Eve. Provinces cancelled countdown celebrations, and media reports suggested the entire country was heading for a second national lockdown including a curfew once the New Year holiday passed. That hasn’t transpired, but the new measures are tough and will cause considerable financial hardship to small enterprises linked to tourism. 

According to the Government’s  PR Department, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang ordered the temporary closure in order to contain the new wave of local infections of Covid-19.

Bangkok closures

  1. Entertainment places, pubs, and bars;
  2. Water parks and amusement parks;
  3. Playgrounds and places where children congregate at markets and floating markets;
  4. Snooker and billiard parlours;
  5. Gaming centres;
  6. Game and internet shops;
  7. Cockfighting rings and cockfighting training rings;
  8. Nurseries and elderly care centres (except those which offer overnight stays);
  9. Boxing stadiums;
  10. Martial arts schools (gyms);
  11. Horse racing tracks;
  12. Establishments providing shower;
  13. Massage parlours;
  14. Competitive-sports fields;
  15. Banquet halls and similar places;
  16. Bull-fighting rings and fighting-fish rings or similar places;
  17. Amulet markets and centres;
  18. Pre-school nurseries;
  19. Tattoo and piercing parlours;
  20. Fitness centres;
  21. Health and wellness establishments, spa shops, and traditional Thai massage and foot massage parlours;
  22. Boxing gyms;
  23. Bowling, skate, and rollerblade venues or other similar services;
  24. Ballroom dance halls; 
  25. All schools and educational institutions.

According to the announcement, the following places must strictly follow measures to prevent and control Covid-19.

1. Food shops, restaurants, food centres, canteens, convenience stores, and hawker stalls. Alcohol consumption is forbidden in these places; 2.Department stores, shopping centres, and community malls must close at 2100;
3. Trade exhibition centres, convention centres, exhibition halls;
4. Meeting rooms in hotels;
5. Small retail and wholesale shops, community retail and wholesale shops, markets, and floating markets;
6. Large retail and wholesale shops;
7. Beauty salons and barbershops;
8. Nurseries and elderly care centres which offer overnight stays;
9. Cosmetic clinics;
10. Golf courses and golf driving ranges;
11. Sports stadiums;
12. Public parks and sports grounds;
13. Petcare and spa centres;
14. Indoor sports facilities;
15. Indoor and outdoor public swimming pools;
16. Botanical gardens, flower gardens, museums, learning centres, historical sites, public libraries, and galleries;
17. Swimming pools for sports or water activities;
18.cinemas and theatres;
19. zoos.

Violators will be subject to a jail term of up to one year, or a fine of up to THB100,000  or both.

(SOURCE: Government PR Department)