Some members of the private sector have expressed concern about a spike in Bangkok’s infections if the alcohol ban is lifted from December, as planned. According to a Bangkok Post report, the TAT is expecting 300,000 visitors to Bangkok during the last 2 months of the year. This has prompted some to voice concern about the Covid-19 risks, particularly if restaurants can once again sell alcohol and if entertainment venues can re-open.
The matter was raised at an online meeting chaired by Bangkok governor, Aswin Kwanmuang, during which officials discussed Thailand’s November 1 re-opening to vaccinated tourists from 46 approved countries. Sanan Angubolkul from the Thai Chamber of Commerce pointed out that TCC members have voiced concern that a resumption in alcohol sales from December could cause a surge in Covid-19 infections.
Officials have responded to the concerns by agreeing that precautions will be put in place prior to any lifting of the alcohol ban. The Bangkok Post reports that one proposal was to initially only allow the sale of alcohol at businesses with the SHA Plus accreditation.
The TAT and other officials are also trying to allay fears that re-opening to international tourists will prompt a spike in infections. At the meeting, they pointed out that foreign arrivals will be required to book hotels that have partnered with hospitals for Covid-19 testing. This means that if they test positive, they can be transferred to the hospital immediately. Officials are also creating so-called “swab hubs” near airports, where tourists can be tested without creating congestion at airports.
Meanwhile, the vaccine rollout is gathering pace in Bangkok, with everyone registered as living in the capital having now received at least 1 dose. 75.5% have received both doses and this is expected to rise to 80% in the next few days.
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SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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