Yesterday, the Thai Brewers Association delivered a petition to the CCSA and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration asking them to reverse the ban of alcohol sales in restaurants, bars as the ban has been harmful to their businesses and they have not been given any other options.
The statement reads:
The Thai Brewers Association truly understands the goodwill and purpose of Public Health agencies that the alcohol sales ban is implemented to control the spread of the Covid-19…However, the Association is deeply concerned about the survival of entrepreneurs and employees involved in the severely affected alcohol business, directly and indirectly as Bangkok has put the measure into effect for more than 45 days.
But it appears that the number of Covid-19 infections has not decreased. New clusters have been found from markets, construction camps, factories, and other sites unrelated to the sales of alcoholic beverages. It is reported that the main clusters at the beginning of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 were not caused by alcohol, even the Thonglor cluster. The final investigations have already proved that the origins of the cluster are due to the illegal operation of the night business
The Thai Brewers Association proposed the following policies to help their businesses:
- Ease the measure to legally sell alcohol for consumption at stores like restaurants and small bars, especially open-air, with intensive screening and social distancing measures conducted by the Ministry of Public Health.
- Delay the enforcement of the prohibition of alcohol sales via electronic channels as well as ease the enforcement of buying alcohol for takeaway under Section 32 of the Alcohol Control Act to allow the entrepreneurs to recommend and sell their products through online channels. The age restriction and customer screenings must still be implemented in accordance with the law.
- Allow small entrepreneurs to delay the VAT and social security payments as well as allow importers of alcoholic beverages to pay excise and import taxes in installments in order to alleviate the financial liquidity crisis.
- Consider the Covid-19 proactive screening and vaccine allocation among the groups of restaurants, pubs, and bar operators. Due to the current implementation of the alcohol sale ban and the closure of entertainment venues, the concerned professionals are, therefore, considered a high-risk group that the government has to urgently take action against in order for the economy to operate properly.
The association pleaded with the CCSA and the BMA to empathise with their plight and to consider the remedies the association proposed.
There are over 300 small businesses currently running craft beer type establishments in Bangkok. It’s estimated the alcohol ban has cost small businesses 150 million baht a month.
SOURCE: The Pattaya News
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