Thailand Is Shutting Down Entertainment Venues And Public Services From March 17 – April 1, 2020 – Songkran Festivities Postponed


Like many other countries, Thailand has just announced today that a 14 day mandatory closure of entertainment venues such as bars, cinemas, highly frequented places as well as schools.

Public services will be partially scaled back but remain available for locals to keep daily life as normal and basic requirements such as transportation and supermarkets as accessible as possible.

From what it looks and sounds like the most severe impact will be on businesses and venues with a high concentration of people. As such, bars and entertainment venues have apparently been identified to be among the risky zones as well:

As per the Bangkok Post the following measures are taken:

Preventive measures

Universities, tutorial schools and all educational institutions in Greater Bangkok will be closed for two weeks from Wednesday.

Boxing arenas, stadiums, horse racing tracks in Greater Bangkok will also be closed until the situation improved.

Pubs, entertainment venues, service places and theatres in Greater Bangkok will be closed for 14 days.

During the closures, action must be taken to clean the places and implement preventive measures.

Provincial governors and communicable disease committees will consider suspending concerts, trade fairs, religious and cultural activities and sports events in their provinces.

Malls, markets, restaurants, public offices and state enterprises remain open but are instructed to take preventive measures such as surface cleaning or use of thermo scanners.

Songkran holiday (April 13-15) will be delayed until further notice.

Frequencies of public transport services will be increased to avoid congestion.

I wonder what the “service places” is referring to!? So bars and pubs will be shut, theaters (cinemas) as well. Malls, markets and restaurants remain open.

I can’t imagine a congested market in Bangkok to be any more safe than a random rooftop bar. Nevertheless these are the rules for now until someone maybe tomorrow morning has yet another idea.

Restrictions are also imposed upon foreigners and Thais entering Thailand from abroad:


Foreigners coming from the six places defined as Covid-19 infected zones  — South Korea, China, Macau, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran — regardless of transport modes, must have health certificates issued in previous three days and health insurance coverage. They must also agree to install and use an official monitoring mobile application.

The measures also apply to those coming from places with ongoing transmission — France, Spain, United States, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Britain, Japan and Germany.

This group must have accommodation in Thailand where they can be reached.

Both groups will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. No more details are provided at this stage.

It goes without saying that anyone should have health insurance coverage when traveling but good that it’s black on white once again.

What’s unclear to me from the way the article is written is if “the measures” [referring to the upper paragraph] include a health certificate for arrivals from France, Spain, United States, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Britain, Japan and Germany!?

I expect there to be changes along the way. We have covered Thailand travel guidelines increasingly in the past weeks and there was always some surprise popping up just a few hours after an announcement was made.


It’s unclear how hotels are going to handle this in terms of keeping their in house restaurants and bars operational as those aren’t standalone “bars” outside the building. Club Lounges are likely continuing to operate. If you have specific questions about this I suggest to contact the property prior to arrival.

Hotel rates in Thailand have taken a steep dive in the last couple of days and I expect this to last for a while. So far life in Bangkok and Thailand’s main tourist destinations overall has been normal. No official spike in infections, supermarkets well stocked and people go about their daily business. The question is: How long will it remain that way?

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