The 42-page order, issued to introduce Phase 4 of the easing of restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, was issued yesterday and came into effect at midnight last night.
In announcing the order, Governor Phakaphong said the raft of venues now allowed to reopen and the easing of the restrictions previously imposed were urgently necessary.
“If this is not done urgently, it might have a very serious effect on the people,” he said.
In line with the announcement by Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), at Government House on Friday, alcohol drinks are now allowed to be sold and served in restaurants,.
However, page six of the order by the Phuket Governor specifically states, “The drinking of alcohol in restaurants, hotels and at other food and drink shops and other places that are now allowed to open is now allowed under the law.”
The order also points out that bars, pubs and karaoke venues are to remain closed, and that it is illegal to sell alcohol by promotional campaigns.
Of note, the sale of alcohol through promotional campaigns has been illegal under Section 30 the Alcohol Beverage Control Act since 2008.
The section specifically states that it is illegal to sell alcohol by
- using an automatic vending machine;
- providing a discount as a sale promotion;
- giving or offering privilege to attend any competition or performance, offering services, lucky draw or to earn any benefit to the buyer of alcoholic beverages in favour of buying or to the person who exchanges or trades alcoholic beverages with their packaging, labeling or anything related therewith; and
- dispersing, providing, giving or exchanging with alcoholic beverages or any goods or services, as the case may be, or distributing alcoholic beverages in the form of samples or in order to promote alcoholic beverage consumption by the public, including the determination of sale conditions as compulsory buying, whether in a direct or indirect manner, of alcoholic beverages.
Also now allowed to be held under the order issued yesterday, and effective from today, are conferences, training sessions, seminars, exhibitions, showcase events, art shows, music performances and concerts, and events held in hotels, conference rooms, conference rooms and at showcase event venues.
Massage shops and sauna centres, including facial massage services in health centres, as well as spas and Thai traditional massage establishments may now also open.
Other venues now also allowed to reopen are water parks, theme parks, and children’s playgrounds; kid zones in department stores, except ball pits; pre-school children nursery and kindergartens, and science and cultural parks
Also now permitted are group exercises and activities in public parks, as well as sports on outdoor fields.
All types of fitness centres and training facilities are now also allowed to open.
Government and private schools as well as tutorial centers can now be open for short training sessions and examinations for staff, though at last report from Bangkok schools are currently not expected to be allowed to resume in-person classes for children before July 1.
Other venues that are to remain closed for now are game and internet cafes, fishing venues, snooker halls and venues where cockfighting and fishfighting “contests” are held.