It opposes plans by Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn to seek permission from the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to allow pubs to open two hours later, reorts the Bangkok Post.
Mr Phiphat has earlier said he would submit his plan to the CCSA next month for consideration. If the CCSA agrees with it, it will come into effect in October. The tourist provinces include Bangkok, Pattaya of Chon Buri, Krabi, Phuket, Hua Hin of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samui of Surat Thani and Chiang Mai.
He claimed pushing back the curfew would boost the night economy, not increase alcohol sales.
However, Surasak Chaiyasong, deputy director of the centre, said the alcohol curfew is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent deaths and problems from alcohol-related causes.
He said many countries have alcohol-free hours or alcohol-free days each week to reduce fights, assaults, drunk driving and other nighttime crimes.
In contrast, the ease in sales of alcohol, especially at night, can increase the number of casualties from drunk driving and assaults.
In Iceland, the road accident rate rises after an alcohol-sale hour extension.
Mr Surasak added that, according to a report in Norway, one hour extra for alcohol sales has raised the physical abuse rate by 16%.
Mr Phiphat inspected the latest Full Moon Party on Had Rin on Koh Pha-ngan on Friday evening (Aug 12).
The packed party was joined by some 10,000 Thai and foreign revellers arriving in droves on shuttle boats from nearby Koh Samui, some docking as late as 9pm.
“The visitors said they enjoyed travelling to Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan and experiencing the Full Moon Party or the Half Moon Party,” he said.
People told him they lamented the short duration of the Full Moon Party. They wanted the fun to carry on until 4am. “I’ll ask the cabinet and the Interior Ministry to approve the extension,” Mr Phiphat said. “The Full Moon Party has a unique appeal to people.”
Locals on Koh Pha-ngan must look after tourists and help create a safe environment, he said.
The rebound in tourism after more than two years of painful stagnation from the COVID-19 pandemic is helping to revitalise the economy.
Mr Phiphat led the inspection by a combined law enforcement team on Koh Pha-ngan comprising police, soldiers and local administrative leaders. Deputy Surat Thani governor Sitthipong Klai-udom also took part.