Bangkok bars, nightlife will reopen Jan. 16

A bartender at Find the Locker Room preps ‘We Are Mint To Be,’ a cold-brew coffee with yellow pepper and mint. Photo: Coconuts Bangkok
A bartender at Find the Locker Room preps ‘We Are Mint To Be,’ a cold-brew coffee with yellow pepper and mint. Photo: Coconuts Bangkok

Bangkok’s bars won’t reopen next month, as had been suggested by the great dictator himself, but rather will be delayed until mid-January, health officials announced this afternoon.

After its usual Friday policy sesh, the COVID-19 task force determined Friday that nightlife venues won’t be allowed to resume operations until Jan. 16.

Spokesperson Taweesilp Wissanuyothin said that they remained concerned about the impact of the outbreak still raging nationwide, especially during New Year’s festivities. While transmission has subsided from its mid-August peak, daily cases have averaged about 6,500 for the past seven days, with roughly 50 deaths logged each day.

Last month, Generalissimo Prayuth Chan-ocha announced a December target for the return to Bangkok’s nightlife normal when he abruptly announced international tourism would resume Nov. 1.

Of course, alcohol isn’t hard to find in Bangkok. Many bars have been serving booze off the books and in paper cups or coffee mugs. Venues with restaurant licenses have been able to take advantage of the lifting of the dining booze ban, as long as they obtain so-called SHA health certification.

But going out for an unauthorized drink carries risk. The police have also been on a raid spree, busting venues and detaining patrons for the crime of violating public health measures.

The pandemic situation is improving, the task force acknowledged. Taweesilp said it had removed Chanthaburi from the list of provinces with “severe” outbreaks, leaving Tak, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Songkhla.

Related:

It’s time to lift Bangkok’s hotel booze curfew: tourism authority

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