Entertainment places will be allowed to stay open until 4am in tourist provinces from this New Year festival onward, to help stimulate the economy, Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday.
Mr Anutin, a deputy prime minister, said it was Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's policy and would be initially implemented in provinces popular with tourists, especially foreigners.
He cited Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
Mr Anutin said entertainment places must be free of crime during the extended operating hours.
"We are doing this for people who do not break the law. So, people must strictly abide by the law, for example by refraining from drink-driving, carrying weapons, and dealing drugs," Mr Anutin said.
"People younger than 20 years will not be allowed in, and visitors must help prevent fights. If everyone is cooperative and is there for the entertainment we won't have any problems, no matter how long they remain open," he said.
Mr Anutin said officials would continue to accept opinions on the issue until Dec 15 and then propose the entertainment-related policy to the cabinet for formal approval.
It should be in place in time for the New Year festival, and was intended to stimulate the economy, he said.