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Government to trial 4am closing of nightlife in Phuket for new year

Bangla Road, Patong. PHOTO: Flickr/Strange Luke

The Thai government has confirmed that nightlife venues in some provinces, including Phuket, will be given permission to extend closing time to 4am. Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the extended hours are being introduced to boost tourism and the economy, in line with PM Srettha Thavisin’s proposals.

Discussions related to the extended hours are taking place between the Cabinet and the Ministry of the Interior and are expected to conclude by December 15. The closing time of 4am will then be formally presented to Cabinet for approval, with designated zones chosen to pilot the new hours.

While Anutin specifically mentioned Phuket, Chiang Mai and Bangkok in his announcement, other areas could also be added to the mix (Pattaya was not mentioned as a confirmed pilot project area).

The minister says the final list of approved areas has yet to be agreed and deliberated before December 15. This could indicate that other popular tourist areas, such as Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Koh Pha Ngan could be added to the list.

Meanwhile, Anutin has again emphasised the need for the law to be observed in relation to the later closing time, including no drink-driving, no firearms, no drugs, and no underage drinking.

The minister says the new closing time will require cooperation from the Thai police, business operators, and customers, to ensure the new hours work to boost employment opportunities and the local economy.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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