Public health minister asking PM to shut down all bars and pubs

 | Mon 16 Mar 2020 15:18 ICT

CityNews – 16th March 2020, the Ministry of Health has announced measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 which includes the suggestion to temporary close all pubs and bars.

Business owners have asked the government to urgently come up with measures to support them during these harsh times as they speculate that thousands of staff will immediately be let off.

One publican who asked not to be named said that he disagreed completely with the government, explaining that surely there were better preventative measures which would not bankrupt the economy. Another publican, however, told CityNews that she agreed with the measures as this is an unprecedented moment in time.

Chiang Mai city has tens of thousands of people working in the entertainment industry, from bars, pubs and karaokes, and some operators are asking whether it would be more prudent to have temperature screening stations instead of outright closing the venues. They fail, however, to understand the incubation period where carriers of the virus go undetected.

But after going out to a few entertainment venues, our reporters say that it was clear that it wasn’t the government which was stopping people from going to pubs and bars, but people themselves. Awareness of the virus has meant that people are social distancing themselves and self-quarantining. Those who may wish to venture out have to combat hazardous air pollution, fear of COVID-19, and an atmosphere not conducive to celebration.  

Chiang Mai’s nightlife has already begun to shut down, even before the government makes any official announcement. The matter of closure, put forward by the Ministry of Health, is being considered by the Prime Minister.