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Thailand’s Bars Won’t Reopen Until Emergency Decree Lifted, Deputy PM Says

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam Thailand
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Saturday that Thailand's bars would remain closed while the emergency decree remains in place.

Thailand’s bars, nightclubs and other high-capacity venues likely will only reopen after the government lifts its emergency decree, deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Saturday.

Wissanu said the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration board did not even discuss the reopening of high-risk at its Friday meeting because he expected the suspended business and activities to resume only when the state of emergency ends.

The CCSA won’t decide on the end of the emergency decree until June 23. Ending of the state of emergency also wasn’t discussed Friday because the CCSA believes it needs time to monitor Thailand’s Covid-19 situation for 15 more days.

Thai officials said this week that while they don’t see a problem in lifting the curfew, the emergency decree might be extended beyond June 30, perhaps for another 15 days, as that’s when the country plans to start allowing a limited number of foreigners to fly back into the country for business or medical appointments.

But even if the emergency is declared over, it can be reimposed quickly, the deputy premier noted.

“If the emergency decree imposition ends and the Covid-19 situation worsens, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha can again exercise the emergency decree right away and inform the Cabinet of the action within three days. So, there will not be a problem,” Wissanu said.

Thailand will lift its national curfew Sunday night and move into Phase 4 of its economic reopening Monday, but bars, clubs, boxing stadiums, soapy-massage parlors and other large venues will remain closed until at least July 1.