CCSA mulls the easing of Covid-19 restrictions

Late night diners rejoice. Your option to eat all that great Thai food around the country looks to be back on the table as the government looks to lift some of the current restrictions on dining and business operating hours. Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has announced that they’re likely to lift restrictions on dining, currently set at 9pm, by the end of this week.

The Thai Restaurant Association have been lobbying hard for an extension of the opening times for in-restaurant dining times to at least 11pm.

The CCSA will gather on Friday to assess the current Covid-19 situation and decide if the extension is viable at this time. But the Public Health Minister maintained that alcohol will still be prohibited and other precautions like hand-sanitisers at entry points and social distancing will still need to be strictly applied.

Speaking to Bangkok Post, Anutin said the alcohol ban must remain in place for now.

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“If violations of the alcoholic beverage-drinking ban are found at any restaurants, they can’t simply get away with claiming that it was their customers who brought the alcohol to drink at the restaurants because the ban applies to ‘alcohol drinking’ at restaurants in particular, not only alcohol selling or serving.”

Meanwhile, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the easing of various restrictions around the country will be looked at on a case-by-case basis depending on the outbreak situation in each area. The early clusters in the four eastern coastal provinces of Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Rayong and Trat, for example, appears to have eased and the local governors are pleading with the government for some relief from the strict restrictions on their provinces. Chon Buri has had a run of days over the past week where there has been no new Covid infections reported to the CCSA.

Yesterday there was a surge of new cases uncovered by a strategic track and trace program in Samut Sakhon, but the government says it will base its decision to ease restrictions around the county on the overall outbreak situation province by province. Provincial governors have also been given powers to add or modify national restrictions, a different situation from the April and May 2020 ‘lockdowns’ which were much more restrictive.

959 new Covid-19 infections were announced yesterday, 844 of them were found through the track and trace operations in Samut Sakhon, the ground zero for Thailand’s latest outbreak which kicked off 5 weeks ago and has now spread to most provinces.

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