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Governor appeals to CCSA to allow Phuket to open bars, sell alcohol

Governor appeals to CCSA to allow Phuket to open bars, sell alcohol

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has submitted a formal request to the national government to allow Phuket ease certain COVID restrictions ‒ including allowing alcohol to be sold and bars and entertainment venues to reopen in order to help alleviate the financial hardship suffered by the residents on the island.

By The Phuket News

Monday 27 September 2021, 06:59PM

The appeal, issued today (Sept 27) and addressed to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), was titled “Policy recommendations and guidelines for adjusting disease control measures in workplaces or at risk locations” and specifically referred to the regulations issued under Article 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations.

In his letter Governor Narong pointed out that the Phuket Province has opened as a pilot area for tourists under the Phuket Sandbox scheme since July 1, to help drive the economy while implementing disease control measures by allowing tourists from low and medium risk countries to travel to Thailand without quarantine, all in accordance with the rules set out by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Upon arrival, the tourists must stay in the hotel or the accommodation specified in the entry permit, and use restaurants or beverage services and other establishments that must comply with public health measures in tourism in Phuket while the tourists are observing the specified time period (7 or 14 days stay in Phuket, depending on whether the tourist has entered as a Phuket Sandbox tourist or as a 7+7 Extension scheme tourist).

Governor Narong also pointed out that under regulations issued under the emergency decree, Phuket as an ‘Orange’ level controlled zone could allow restaurants or other food or beverage outlets may allow food and beverages to be consumed on the premises, but the sale and consumption of liquor or alcoholic beverages was prohibited in the venue.

“Phuket Province has brought in such measures as to order the ban on the sale of liquor and for people to refrain from drinking alcohol or alcoholic beverages in restaurants,” he noted.

“However, as restaurants and food establishments in hotels and other food or beverage outlets serve Phuket Sandbox tourists, the tourists are affected. The service is inconsistent with the guidelines for promoting tourism in Phuket, which has strict disease control measures,” Governor Narong said.

“In addition, due to the situation regarding the epidemic of COVID-19 in the past, the CCSA has set measures that all service places and places that are at risk of spreading disease have been closed. This group of entrepreneurs have not been able to open a business since the beginning.

“There are still food or beverage outlets that are unable to open, but need to open and want to open in accordance with the disease control measures so they can serve tourists traveling according to the Phuket Sandbox project and general tourists are directly affected,” he said.

“Business owners discussed together and organised a small group meeting with relevant government agencies and they have recommended a policy and guidelines for adjusting disease control measures in the workplace so that food or beverage outlets will be able to sell liquor or alcoholic beverages in the shop within the specifications of the law, with more stringent public health measures than the government has set.

“The measures were proposed to the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at meeting No. 55/2021 on September 16, 2021, in order to appropriately manage and enforce epidemic control measures in places at risk of COVID-19 disease and in accordance with the situation occurring, which is different in each area,” Governor Narong added.

“Because Phuket Province has implemented a project to open a pilot area for tourism Phuket Sandbox to drive the country’s economy, we have therefore agreed to submit the policy recommendations and guidelines for adjusting disease control measures in an establishment or a place that is at risk of spreading the disease. The CCSA may consider easing the enforcement measures, the measures with food or beverage distribution establishments. Details as attached,” Governor Narong said in concluding his letter.

The suggested measures included in the addendum to the formal request asked for consideration to allow the following:

The suggested measures included in the addendum to the formal request asked for consideration to allow the following:

1. Guidelines for practices and measures in establishments, restaurants, beverages, or risky places for the spread of COVID-19 in Phuket to ask for consideration to open the following activities:

1.1 Determine the opening hours to allow the service to be performed at the normal time of that location.

1.2 Permit to sell and drink liquor or alcoholic beverages within the shop [venue] by specifying it to be sold during 11:00 - 14.00 hrs. and from 17.00 - 22.00 hrs.

1.3 Music performances are to be permitted, but not more than three instruments, or music may be played in the shop [venue] at normal times.

The measures (above) are recommended guidelines for consideration which may be required to be re-evaluated after an initial trial in order to evaluate the operation in the future phases.

2. Suggestions for disease control measures in workplaces, restaurants, beverages, or places at risk of spreading COVID-19 in Phuket:

2.1 Environmental measures

- Set up temperature monitors with one-way entrance-exit control points. Alcohol gel available throughout the shop. Tables are set 1 metre apart, one table can seat no more than 4-6 people.

- Shop outside the building or an open place without air conditioning can receive customers only up to 75% of the maximum capacity.

- Shops with air conditioning may accept customers of up to 50% of the maximum capacity. Shop areas with air conditioning must have an adequate mechanical ventilation system.

- Use alcohol spray to clean the table every time there is a change of customers at the table and clean risk surfaces inside the shop area, both inside and outside the shop, every day

- Manage solid waste inside and around the store to be clean every day. 

Dive Supply Co., Ltd.

2.2 Measures relating to employee conduct

- All employees must have received 2 doses of vaccine (full dose). Must wear hygienic gloves and masks at all times.

- The establishment shall inspect all employees in every position by ATK (Antigen Test Kit) method for COVID-19 infection 1 day before the first day of work and repeat the examination every 7 days since the employee’s start date.

- While serving, use a wooden stirrer to stir each person’s drink. Do not use ice tongs to mix drinks. Require a centre [serving] spoon to be on every plate of [shared] food.

2.3 Measures for customers who use the service

- Those who come to use the service must have received 2 doses of vaccine and must show their ID card and follow the risk screening measures before entering the shop with TST (the Ministry of Public Health’s “Thai Save Thai” app) or other applications enabled.

- People who use the service. Those with a history of being infected with COVID-19 must have a medical certificate stating that they have recovered from COVID-19 symptoms within the previous 90 days.

- Temperature will be checked before entering the service [venue]. Wash your hands with alcohol gel. Must wear a mask at all times (except while drinking and at your own table).

3. Measures and guidelines for activities

3.1 Organise musical performances in the genre of folk song, not more than 3 instruments, and not more than 3 performers on stage.

3.2 The stage must have partitions according to the size of the stage to prevent close contact with customers. The distance between the table, the customer and the stage is at least 2 metres.

3.3 Musicians or performers of music must wear a hygiene mask or face shield while performing.

3.4 All musicians must be vaccinated with 2 doses (full dose) of vaccine and are prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages during performances, whether for themselves or their clients.

3.5 Request cooperation from musicians must be tested for ATK (Antigen Test Kit) to detect COVID-19 1 day before the first day of work and repeat every 7 days from the first day of work.

  1. Guidelines for supervision

4.1 Each store must have a manager (SHA+ Manager) of the store as an administrator, to instruct customer behaviour in order to avoid taking risks or violating established measures.

4.2 Determine to have the District Office supervise the operations of various activities by having police officers, administrative departments together with representatives of the community and business owners in the area participate in inspections to determine whether [the venue] follows the rules or not by specifying each area of ​​the management group.

5. Communication and public relations channels

5.1 Establish a LINE group for operators to communicate information that is understood and acted together throughout the province, and in each area.

5.2 Conduct public relations with media such as signage, online media, etc. to inform customers of the shop or the area that to use the service which measures are in effect [and must be followed].

Requirements in the measures mentioned above apply to employees and users of the service, and if the spread of COVID-19 is found at any store or area, the store must be closed for 3 days and until the premises are cleaned and sterilised.

Measures to support in case of infection in the shop if it is found that an employee or service users have been infected with COVID-19, to close the shop immediately for 14 days to screen all employees and search for high-risk contacts, so they can undergo further quarantine and recover, and report to public health officials to check their timeline [of movements], so officials can assess the risks and continually determine other measures.

6. Expected outcomes from the adjustment of the measures according to the above policy recommendations are as follows:

6.1 More than 90,000 jobs will be created in various positions of service establishments and various types of business establishments in Phuket, such as kitchen staff, service staff, singers, musicians, security personnel, and others.

6.2 Generating income for people in occupations that are mutually beneficial, for example, if there is an operation to open places that operate in Soi Bangla, Patong, Kathu District, Phuket Province merchandising and distribution stores selling various souvenirs will reopen to accommodate tourists visiting Soi Bangla and nearby areas, leading to increased employment both in the cart-type vendors who sell food to earn money to support their families. and groups of professionals driving various types of public transport, etc.

6.3 The economic drive according to the Phuket Sandbox project will be complete. and prevent long-term tourism problems that may cause a tourism crisis in Phuket in the future.

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lelecuneo | 28 September 2021 - 14:56:48

plus i would simpky shut all the massage places too...those are really some of the most dangerous places you can trasmit Covid...and probably also other deseases...LOL

lelecuneo | 28 September 2021 - 14:55:05

hahaha well well...who cares about Dodgy bars, go-go and clubs... we only need alcohol to be sold in real  restaurant and safely managed places... clubs and go go and all that rubbish can stay close.... who at hell cares... 

Nasa12 | 28 September 2021 - 08:34:14

Well LOS are still in wave 3 of Covid, and Europe are on the end of  wave 4 of Covid 19. So LOS don’t think they get wave 4 of Covid-19, whit only maybe 12 % in the country are full vaccine. 

Kurt | 28 September 2021 - 07:31:22

More and more the Officials learn to understand that Covid-19 will remain with us the next few years ( world wide). It becomes simply impossible to continue trying with regimental local rules to eliminate Covid-19 as long the whole world population is not vaccinated with quality vaccines that constant have to be adjusted to the mutations/variants of Corona/Covid-19.


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