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Alcohol sales and consumption allowed in Chon Buri again

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Alcohol is allowed in Chon Buri restaurants again. (via Pixabay)

After what seems like an eternity of fighting, protesting, and petitioning, the party is back in Pattaya! Sort of. Last night, the Public Relations Facebook page of the Chon Buri Governor posted the order easing restrictions on alcohol sales and consumption in the Chon Buri Blue Zone.

The Blue Zone includes Pattaya and Bang Lamung, as well as Koh Larn, Si Racha, and Koh Sichang. It also includes parts of Sattahip, specifically the Bang Saray and Najomtien sub-districts. While this is a huge win for the struggling economy of Pattaya, it is far from an all-out reopening.

The rules allowing alcohol in Chon Buri again may be the most stringent in the country. The sale of alcohol is only permitted in restaurants, and only in those restaurants that are within the Blue Zone and who have clearly displayed SHA certification for Covid-19 safety. Further, the sale of alcohol is forbidden between 2 pm and 5 pm, similar to the rules of supermarkets, and only permitted from 11 am to 2 pm and again from 5 pm to 11 pm, which in fairness, is one of the latest alcohol curfews in the country.

The ban on alcohol and entertainment venues has lasted nearly 8 months, and this new order went into effect immediately to ease the restrictions in Chon Buri somewhat. But nightclubs, bars, pubs, karaoke, gentlemen’s clubs and all other nightlife venues will still remain closed until further notice.

The president of the Chon Buri Tourism Council praised the decision pointing out that the Blue Zone has less than 100 Covid-19 infections a day, less than Phuket and 7 times less than Bangkok, both of which have already been permitted to serve alcohol again.

The alcohol ban has devastated the tourism business, with only about 300 travellers coming per day, as opposed to the 4,000 to 5,000 averaged before Covid-19 when tourists spent about 500,000 baht per day on booze. Many businesses have complained that big chain supermarkets and convenience stores continued selling alcohol so tourists could still drink while local businesses were not allowed to serve them.

SOURCE: Pattaya News and Bangkok Post

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    Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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