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Chanthaburi bans all alcohol as Covid-19 infections surge

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: An alcohol ban has been enacted in Chanthaburi due to Covid-19. (via Wikimedia)

The governor of the Eastern province of Chanthaburi has issued an order to ban all sales of alcohol after a surge in Covid-19 infections. The governor says the order is meant to limit gatherings and parties by making it illegal to drink at those events and making it difficult to procure alcohol even. The order has been put into effect from October 7 and will continue until October 31, with fines and possible jail time for those who violate it.

The province borders Rayong on the west and Cambodia on the east and sits on the Gulf of Thailand, and daily Covid-19 infections have been steadily creeping up since late September as they rose above 200 a day and jumped yesterday to 450 infections in a single day, causing alarm and strict action.

As a result, the governor released the harsh order prohibiting the sale of alcohol anywhere in the province including restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, shops, and malls. Of course, bars cannot sell alcohol as they still fall under the national order that closed all bars, clubs, and nightlife entertainment venues in Thailand since April.

The governor states that this jump in infections is alarming and a lot of it could be traced to Covid-19 clusters that were linked to parties, buffets, ceremonies, and local traditions, all of which had alcohol present at the events.

He believed that the consumption of alcohol that brings people together and is often referred to as a “social lubricant” encourages people to mix and mingle in closer proximity and let their guards down against Covid-19 safety. With alcohol involved, regulation is difficult to control.

After half a year of entertainment venues at nightlife being closed, the governor acknowledges that people are restless and are holding private parties and events to make up for the social losses. But he stresses that letting one’s guard down now is affecting the provincial public health and hurting the economy as it prolongs the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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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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