Phuket nightlife restarts with a whimper

Phuket nightlife restarts with a whimper

Officials man a health checkpoint on Soi Bang La near Patong beach in Phuket province on Wednesday night. (Photo: Achadtaya Chuenniran)
Officials man a health checkpoint on Soi Bang La near Patong beach in Phuket province on Wednesday night. (Photo: Achadtaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: Entertainment venues on this southern tourist island reopened their doors with little fanfare on Wednesday night after the government further relaxed disease control measures.

Provincial authorities inspected Phuket's nightlife area on Soi Bang La during the night, but many premises remained shuttered. 

"Not many operators have resumed their businesses on Soi Bang La because foreign tourists have not arrived yet. They were ordered to close due to Covid-19, and reopening will take time," said Patong mayor Chalermlak Kebsap.

The operators who did open their doors were cooperating well with the strict disease control measures, the mayor said. Health screening checkpoints were positioned at both ends of the street and alcohol gel was provided.

"Operators on Soi Bang La are complying with disease control measures and the Patong municipality urges them to do so strictly," Miss Chalermlak said.

Soi Bang La is dubbed by some travel websites as Phuket's version of Bangkok's Patpong due to its bustling nightlife.

In March, the area and the adjacent Patong beach became a hotbed for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections, although numbers never approached those seen in many other countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Wednesday that the government had allowed the resumption of almost all business and activities, but as cock- and fishfighting events were still banned.


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