Phuket governor petitions Bangkok to end restaurant alcohol ban, bar closure order

The Patong area of Phuket in pre-pandemic times. PHOTO: Flickr/Insights Unspoken

The governor of Phuket has lodged a formal appeal for restaurants on the southern island to be allowed to sell alcohol and for nightlife to be re-opened. The Phuket News reports that Narong Woonciew submitted the request to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration yesterday, citing the unprecedented financial struggles faced by locals as a result of the restrictions.

The island has been open to foreign tourists since July 1 through its sandbox scheme but, as the Phuket News reports, Narong says visitors are adversely affected by being unable to enjoy alcohol in restaurants while on holiday.

“Phuket province has brought in such measures as to order the ban on the sale of liquor and for people to refrain from drinking alcohol or alcoholic beverages in restaurants. However, as restaurants and food establishments in hotels and other food or beverage outlets serve Phuket Sandbox tourists, the tourists are affected. The service is inconsistent with the guidelines for promoting tourism in Phuket, which has strict disease control measures.”

In his letter to the CCSA, the governor says the sandbox is operating under tight regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but that the extended closure of bars and other nightlife venues is having a detrimental effect on livelihoods. He says the owners of bars and nightclubs are willing to adhere to strict disease control measures if they are allowed to re-open to serve sandbox tourists.

“There are still food or beverage outlets that are unable to open, but need to open and want to open in accordance with the disease control measures so they can serve tourists travelling according to the Phuket sandbox project and general tourists are directly affected.”

The governor goes on to outline an extensive list of public health measures agreed at a recent meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee. These measures would govern the re-opening of bars and nightlife and the sale of alcohol, if the CCSA agrees.

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SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Maya Taylor

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