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What should be done about entertainment venues that break the rules and remain open?

The authorities have ordered the closure of entertainment venues such as karaoke clubs, bars and nightclubs and banned weddings and other large events from April 14-30 in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19. But some places of entertainment have remained open. Vientiane Times asked for opinions on what officials should do to enforce the ban.


Ms Sor Sanaxay, a resident of Xaysomboun province:  I would like to offer a million thanks to the authorities for cracking down and punishing people who break the rules. But the crackdown has not gone far enough and many business operators have not been penalised. In my view, village administrations need to carry out a lot more checks on security and order. If they can’t keep things under control, they should ask for help from higher authorities. I don’t understand why some people think it’s all right to break the rules. It seems that they’re not worried about the virus. Most people don’t seem to pay attention to prevention measures, which has resulted in a new outbreak and the lockdown in Vientiane.

Ms Kaid Souvannasen, a resident of Vientiane province: I have read about the closure of entertainment venues such as karaoke clubs and bars. But some places near my house are staying open until midnight. During Pi Mai Lao I couldn’t sleep because of all the noise from karaoke clubs and parties in the neighbourhood, even after midnight. I think everyone should be informed of the regulations and the authorities should issue warnings and fine people who break the rules.
Mr Noy Chanthalangsy, an official in Xaythany district: Of course, some business owners want to make money and allow customers to have fun, but who’s going to be held responsible for the Covid-19 outbreak we’re now facing? They should be more considerate of other people rather than thinking only about personal gain. The authorities should crack down hard on people who violate the regulations as an example to others and to deter them from doing the same thing in the future.
Ms Noy, a resident of Sikhottabong district: I know business operators were reluctant to close over Lao New Year because it’s a good time to earn money. And they hoped to remain open after being closed last year when Covid-19 first emerged. Some places prepared activities to bring in more customers this year. But they shouldn’t violate the regulations and should play their part in ensuring that we all stay safe. I urge the authorities to actively enforce the regulations and to work transparently and fairly in this matter. I think it would be better to move clubs and bars out of residential areas to reduce traffic congestion, as most places of entertainment don’t have parking lots.
Ms Mai, an employee in Xaythany district: I have heard about the closure of entertainment venues to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
But it’s clear that some places are not complying with the order and don’t seem to be concerned. I don’t know why village authorities have approved the kind of entertainment they offer. I think the order should be implemented more effectively and the authorities should clamp down on violators who disturb the peace. Managers should respect the regulations while keeping in mind the well-being of local residents.


By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update April 23, 2021)

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