Pattaya’s bars and clubs likely will be allowed to reopen July 1, but a set of extreme disease-control rules being considered might sap all the fun out of the city’s nightlife.
Deputy army chief Gen. Nattapol Nakpanit, a key member of the government’s Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, released the proposed rules that the full CCSA will consider at its next meeting June 29.
They include the usual precautions of temperature scans, hand sanitizer, spacing and partitioning of tables and check-in via the Thai Chana contact-tracing app, but also impose more restrictions that run counter the operation of nightclubs.
Total capacity would be limited to one person per four square meters. Groups would be capped at five people per table and lines to get in would have to be socially distanced.
With an eye toward Thai-style pubs, the CCSA’s screening subcommittee also proposed that pub patrons be required to sit at all times in chairs spaced a meter apart. Menus would have to be disposable and bottle service discontinued. All drinks would have to be served by the glass by a waiter. No sharing of food plates would be allowed.
As for entertainment, patrons would be barred from sitting by a stage, performers and deejays would have to be separated from the crowd by a plastic partition, and singers would need to wear face shields.
All promotion of alcohol would be banned, including promo girls, and no staff would be allowed to sit with customers. Bar games, such as pool and darts, also would be outlawed.
When released, the list of proposals drew immediate scorn and ridicule, with both customers and operators pointing out that some suggested rules already are null and void – pool and darts are now widely available at bars using their restaurant licenses to reopen – while many would be impossible to enforce.
Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said many operators are ready to comply with the widely accepted disease-control measures, but that he planned to meet with operators on some of the more-outlandish ideas once the list is finalized.