Bangkok’s bars, nightclubs and karaoke parlors may remain open and continue to sell alcohol but must dial down the carousing – and no “soapy massage.”
Clarifying a vague order hastily announced last night, a City Hall spokesperson this morning said that nightlife venues with food and alcohol licenses may continue to operate if they close at midnight, and may stay open later if they don’t play music. Ittipol Visa of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration said they must not allow dancing or beer girls to help contain the current outbreak which has stricken dozens in the capital and more than 2,000 nationwide.
The order, a blow for the city’s nightlife venues looking to recoup the year’s losses during the busy year-end holidays, takes effect today and is effective for one week – though likely to be extended.
Ittipol said venues may host live music shows as long as performers maintain social distancing and don’t interact closely with patrons. Ittipol said if those without any music may be able operate past midnight, depending on their business licenses.
Massage and physical therapy venues are still allowed to operate, but not the “soapy” variety, City Hall announced late last night, using a euphemism for commercial sex facilities.
He added that people in Bangkok can still enjoy a good foot or back rub at a massage parlor, but sexy-time massages are totally banned.
Thailand is grappling with an expanding outbreak that has hit more than 2,000 people over six months after COVID-19 all but vanished.