More restaurants and eateries will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages on Tuesday, after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) agreed to lift restrictions at venues certified by the Department of Health.
Recent infection figures show the easing of restrictions did not cause an upturn in new cases.
Meanwhile restauranteurs in Hua Hin and Cha-Am have responded to the news with concerns that being forced to stay dry may result in domestic tourism slowing down.
Currently, restaurants in Bangkok, Krabi, Phangnga and Phuket with SHA certificates are allowed to serve alcohol until 9pm. This does not apply to restaurants in either Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) or Phetchaburi (Cha-Am) with restaurants unable (legally) to serve alcohol.
The logic of these continuing local restrictions is far from clear to restaurateurs who fear that a recent revival in domestic tourism, especially visitors from Bangkok, will be impacted. To quote one local restaurant host, “why would Bankokians want to travel here, where when they cannot even enjoy a glass of wine with their meal?”
As of Tuesday, Bangkok venues with “Thai Stop Covid Plus” certification will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages in the same manner as businesses that have SHA (Safety and Health Administration) certification from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the BMA announced on Sunday.
While this means while more venues will be allowed to serve alcohol, the sale of such beverages will still be restricted after 9pm.
According to the director-general of the Department of Health, Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, venues must have a good ventilation system and regularly conduct testing using antigen test kits, the frequency of which should be determined by the risk of exposure to infection sources. Restaurants and eateries must immediately clean tables and chairs after use, frequently disinfect physical contact points and restrooms, and provide separate cutlery for each customer. In addition, Covid-19 tests must be carried out periodically to ensure the safety of service providers and consumers.