In an effort to stimulate the local economy and tourism sectors, the Public Health Ministry has given its endorsement to a government proposal that could see night time entertainment hotspots extending their closing hours till 4am. This was revealed by Mr. Wicharn Meenchainan, an acclaimed adviser to the Minister of Public Health. However, he was quick to point out that the policy may not be implemented at once due to various factors.
While the idea of lengthier working hours for entertainment outlets sounds appealing, Mr. Wicharn stressed that it must be executed with caution and timed appropriately. He further emphasized that the government will outline safety protocols before implementing the said policy.
The government, as part of the policy, is expected to take proactive steps in curbing social issues that are prevalent in nightlife environments. These include gun violence, drug abuse, and the unfortunate incidents of road accidents. For Mr. Wicharn, it is critical that these preventive measures are clearly communicated to assure patrons of their safety during their nightlife indulgence.
In addition to the preventive measures, restrictions must also be put in place for certain demographics. Specifically, he highlighted that minors and youths should be prohibited from visiting these entertainment hubs to prevent exposure to potentially addictive substances like drugs and alcohol, and to limit access to gambling opportunities. These locations may also need zoning to further enhance patron safety, he added.
While there are concerns surrounding this new policy, the government has expressed commitment to addressing these, promising detailed briefings of the policy. Among the measures being considered, includes pilot testing in designated areas or cities, revealed Mr. Wicharn.
Meanwhile, in a parallel conversation, Mr. Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the deputy leader of the United Thai Nation Party, and a party list MP, called for stringent actions against illegal pubs and nightclubs. Referring to an incident at the MEM Exclusive club in tambon Lat Sawai, where 137 patrons tested positive for drugs, he highlighted the importance of stricter law implementation to guarantee guest safety.
Mr. Thanakorn further expressed the need for the National Police Chief, Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, to create mechanisms that prevent negligence by police officers on duty. His vision for the nightlife scene is one where narcotics and weapons have no place, thus creating a safer and more enjoyable experience for those who choose to explore the nightlife of Thailand.