Alcohol lobby groups call for 2pm – 5pm booze sales ban to be lifted


As Thai laws go, it’s one of the more confusing ones, as evidenced by the sight of frowning tourists scratching their heads as they stand in front of a 7 Eleven fridge at the wrong time of day. In Thailand, alcoholic drinks can be sold from 11am to 2pm and from 5pm to midnight. If you fancy a couple of take-home beers from the supermarket between the hours of 2pm and 5pm, or you need to buy a bottle of wine for dinner later, you’re all out of luck.

Now, the Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association is calling for the ban on afternoon alcohol sales to be lifted, saying doing so could generate up to 10 billion baht in revenue. Former TABBA president, Thanakorn Kuptajit, says the association, along with 15 groups representing retailers, restaurants, bars, and hotels, is asking the CCSA to consider lifting the ban, which was introduced in 1972.

“The service businesses have been severely hit by the Covid crisis. If the government allows alcohol sales during that period, the businesses will become much more active and more money will be circulated in the system. This is a way to boost the economy during this inflation crisis.”

Thanakorn says that if the CCSA agrees to end the ban, the PM’s Office should be able to issue a decree with immediate effect.

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“If the lifting takes effect within April, at least 10 billion baht will be generated.”

The CCSA meets today to consider a number of proposals in light of a plan to eventually declare Covid-19 endemic from July 1. Other proposals include ditching the requirement for pre-departure PCR tests for international arrivals, lifting the mask mandate in open-air areas such as parks, as well as the re-opening of nightlife and entertainment venues.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Maya Taylor

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