Chonburi governor limits bars, shuts-animal-fighting venues to control Covid-19 in Banglamung and Pattaya

Chonburi Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai ordered the shutdown of risky venues after 22 coronavirus cases spread to Rayong and Chonburi including Banglamung District which also encompasses Pattaya.

After reporting more than 20 new coronavirus cases in a day, Chonburi’s governor ordered cockfighting and similar venues closed and reinforced limits on operating hours of bars and massage parlors in an effort to stem the spread of Thailand’s second wave in the East.

Chonburi Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai issued a similar order to one put out Monday afternoon by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration shutting down massage parlors, go-go bars and animal-fighting rings while limiting pubs to offering anything only food before midnight until at least Jan. 4.

The order came after 22 cases tied to a new coronavirus cluster in Rayong spread to Chonburi, including 17 cases in Banglamung District that includes Pattaya.

Alcohol is not banned and pubs that enforce strict social distancing and offer food will be allowed to continue to serve. Initial reports late Monday said Walking Street bars will be permitted to open until midnight, although the situation is fluid and could change at any time.

Establishments subject to the order are defined by the Service Places Act of 1966 and includes businesses where music is performed, instruments are arranged for customer use, services allowing customers to sing or have employees sit with customers, offers dancing or offering dance shows, light shows, food and liquor.

While Pattaya already had canceled the Pattaya Countdown, a number of bars and nightspots had been advertising new year’s parties, despite government discouragement. Monday’s order appears to put the final nail in the entertainment industry’s new year’s coffin.

It should be noted that bars were already required to close at midnight under the existing Emergency Decree. However, for the past several months, police had been allowing pubs and bars to operate until 2 a.m. with late-night discos going until 5 a.m.

A version of this story first appeared in the Bangkok Herald.