Thai govt to pilot 4am closing for bars and clubs in tourist destinations


Bars and clubs in key tourist areas are set to be allowed to stay open until 4am, as part of a new pilot project.

The proposed extension is set to come into effect from the upcoming New Year festival.

Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai were cited as likely destinations for the 4am extension.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, addressed the policy change on Monday (Oct 30).

Mr Anutin told Thai media the government has set a deadline of December 15th for the public consultation process to be completed, with the aim of proposing the new regulation to the cabinet for approval thereafter.

Mr. Anutin outlined the parameters of the pilot project, stating that the extended hours are intended for law-abiding citizens and tourists.

He underscored the importance of adhering to legal standards and responsible behavior, highlighting that the service is not for those intending to engage in unlawful activities.

Anutin Charnvirakul. File photo

Strict compliance with rules, including no drunk driving, no carrying of weapons, no drug selling, an age restriction of 20 years and above, and no violence, will be enforced.

The Deputy Prime Minister also addressed questions regarding the selection of pilot areas for the extended service hours, stating that the focus is on tourist provinces with a significant influx of foreign visitors.

He assured that the initiative would be carried out in collaboration with the Royal Thai Police to ensure the strict enforcement of laws and maintenance of public safety.

However, the announcement has raised questions about whether the new 4am closing time will be applied in other tourist areas, such as Hua Hin.

As of now, it remains unclear whether the extended hours will be extended to this popular destination, leaving local businesses and tourists awaiting further clarification.