BANGKOK, 7 April 2021: Less than a week before Thailand celebrates its annual Songkran water festival, Bangkok is shuttering 196 entertainment venues for two weeks following a new surge in coronavirus cases at the weekend.
The country’s public health authorities confirmed 194 new cases on Monday, of which 182 were local infections and 12 from overseas. More than 40 of the local cases came from nightlife districts such as Thonglor, a lane off Sukhumvit Road’s popular golden mile lined with five-star hotels.
Restaurants and entertainment venues will close initially in three districts of the Thailand capital; Wattana, Klong Toey and Bang Khae.
There are have also been outbreaks reported in Chon Buri province and Hua Hin beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand.
As of Monday, the country reported 29,321 cases and 95 deaths since March 2020.
According to a Reuters report on Tuesday, Thailand’s Covid-19 taskforce known as the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, will consider a proposal from the public health ministry to label five provinces, including Bangkok as “red zones”. Nightlife venues and restaurants must close at 2100 with a total ban on alcohol sales. Apart from Bangkok, the other provinces designated red zones are Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Nakhon Pathom.
Chiang Mai also considering restrictions, possibly closing restaurants at 2300 and banning the sale of alcohol.
The official confirmation on restrictions will be announced on Wednesday. At present, there are 53 provinces that remain green zones with no restrictions and 10 in the amber zone where caution is advised, and the red zones are provinces directly adjacent to Bangkok.