The news was confirmed by an order issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday (Dec 27), detailing the current COVID-prevention measures for all venues and establishments across the island.
The new order, Phuket Provincial Order No. 8319/2564, was posted online by the Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket branch of the Ministry of Interior, yesterday (Dec 27).
The new order confirmed that “service places” such as entertainment venues, pubs, bars and karaoke will remain closed until further notice.
The order also revised previous announcements regarding indoor venues serving alcohol on New Year’s Eve.
“The sale of alcoholic beverages indoor venues is prohibited after 11pm to 6am of the next day, except a shop with an outdoor area that can be opened for consumption of alcoholic beverages is available exclusively for the New Year’s Eve festival according to normal business hours on Dec 31 until 1am on Jan 1,” the order said.
“An area with air conditioning can be opened for consumption of alcoholic beverages until 11pm before New Year,” the order added.
The order marked the second time officials had reversed the rules regarding indoor venues serving alcohol on New Year’s Eve.
Only four days ago Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong announced that indoor venues would be allowed to serve alcohol until 1am. Vice Governor Pichet made the announcement through Radio Thailand Phuket.
That has now changed with the order issued yesterday (Dec 27).
Also, the current standing order regulating the sale of alcohol bans all licenced premises from serving alcohol from 2pm to 5pm.
The latest order issued yesterday made no mention of whether venues may serve alcohol from 2pm to 5pm on New Year’s Eve.
Efforts by The Phuket News to confirm the 11pm rule with senior provincial figures have been unsuccessful.
One officer who answered the Phuket Info Center contact line told The Phuket News that to the best of his knowledge the order was correct.
Ms Thitima, an officer at the Phuket Provincial Administration Office, which is responsible for issuing provincial orders approved by the governor, told The Phuket News that the Phuket provincial figures had no choice but to institute the 11pm limit.
“Phuket is a pilot province, so it can have special rules, but since Omicron arrived in Thailand, Phuket must follow the rules issued by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
“The last order of Phuket Provincial announced that indoor venues would be allowed to serve alcohol until 1am, but the new order has changed that. The sale of alcoholic beverages at indoor venues must stop from 11pm to 6am the next day.
“An outdoor area can be open for the consumption of alcoholic beverages exclusively for New Year’s Eve celebrations on Dec 31 until 1am on Jan 1. All information of the new order is all correct.” she said.
Ms Thitima declined to give family name and declined to give her position at the office.