Govt explains delay in reopening entertainment venues

Govt explains delay in reopening entertainment venues

Entertainment venues in Ekamai and Thong Lor areas of Bangkok were closed in early April to help contain the spread of Covid-19. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Entertainment venues in Ekamai and Thong Lor areas of Bangkok were closed in early April to help contain the spread of Covid-19. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has given two reasons for delaying the reopening of entertainment places, and said operators must improve disease control standards.

Apisamai Srirangson, a spokeswoman for the CCSA, admitted on Friday that when the  government postponed their reopening from December to Jan 16 the operators of entertainment venues were bitterly disappointed.

One reason for the delay was that the country had not been able to bring the number of new daily Covid-19 cases to below 5,000 and fatalities continued at about 50 a day, she said.

The other reason was the Public Health Ministry and local organisations said the operators of entertainment venues had not registered compliance with the Covid-19 control standard, known as Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration Plus (SHA+), Dr Apisamai said.

The standard was mandatory for reopening, she said.

"Please improve your premises ... Whether reopening will happen or not does not depend on the decision of CCSA, but on the readiness of the premises themselves," Dr Apisamai said.

Covid-19 vaccination of staff of entertainment venues was among the criteria of the SHA+ standard. Details of the standard were available from the Department of Health, she said.

Premises that met the standard would get an SHA+ sign from the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Visitors would look for such signs at entertainment venues, Dr Apisamai said.

Under the CCSA's plan, from Nov 16 to Jan 15 the Interior and Public Health ministries would enforce disease control and ventilation regulations and officials would evaluate the reopening readiness of entertainment places.

From Jan 16 onwards, entertainment places would reopen only in high surveillance, surveillance and tourism pilot zones. Places that cause Covid-19 outbreaks would be closed.

Entertainment venues have been ordered closed since early April after some of them were found to be the centre of Covid-19 outbreaks.

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