The Ministry of Interior of Thailand has reiterated the need to assess the pilot areas that allow entertainment venues to remain open until 4 AM before considering the expansion to other provinces or extending hours during the New Year’s festival.
Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said further evaluation is needed to decide whether to extend the alcohol sale hours. Currently, licensed pubs can stay open until 4 AM, but alcohol sales are limited to midnight as per the Alcohol Control Act.
In addition, Minister Anutin said he will discuss with the Prime Minister about the possibility of increasing the number of designated areas with extended operating hours for nightlife venues during the New Year festival. He underlined that the extension of operating hours requires coordination with other agencies such as local police and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board.
The Interior Minister also spoke about unauthorized late-night operations of entertainment venues outside the designated areas, specifically in Maha Sarakham Province. He emphasized that if venues operate outside the allowed zones and sell alcohol past the stipulated time, they will face legal action. He assured that existing laws are sufficient to maintain order, provided everyone complies and takes responsibility.
When asked about the timing of the assessment on this policy, Anutin replied that it would be done as soon as possible, suggesting a one-year timeframe. He explained that any amendments or enforcement of new laws will be executed if deemed beneficial and controllable.