In a decision that should drastically help the Phuket Sandbox and stimulate the economy, the CCSA gave initial approval to an order to allow selling and consuming alcohol in restaurants starting October 1. Thailand has had a national ban on alcohol consumption in groups and in businesses for months, with a recent crackdown on violators, but the rule would only apply to Phuket.
While the order does not reopen nightlife entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, pubs, and karaoke, it does allow beer and alcohol to be sold in restaurants and allows patrons to drink there. The rule applies to open air restaurants and air-conditioned restaurants as long as health and safety measures outlined by the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee are observed.
In order to qualify for the alcohol consumption relaxation, every employee needs to be fully vaccinated at a restaurant with staff tested weekly for Covid-19. Customers also need to be fully vaccinated and restaurants are required to check proof of vaccination and an ID before allowing admission.
The order is more restrictive for air-conditioned restaurants, allowing them to open with tables spaced 1 metre apart and only 4 to 6 people per table. They would be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
Open-air dining will be less restrictive, allowed to open at 75% capacity. The order would even allow live music but would be limited the solo artist, duos, or trios, with all required to wear a mask or face shield except for the singer, and with the performance area set 2 metres away from the tables. Artists would not be allowed to mix and socialize with customers.
Any time a staff member is infected with Covid-19, the restaurant will be closed for one week, while any customer infection uncovered will require the business to close for 3 days. These closure restrictions were said to be subject to change.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha led an online meeting of the CCSA on Monday where the proposal was first made, according to Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew. The PCDC called a meeting to discuss all the guidelines before issuing the final order to go into effect in Phuket October 1, with the order being released this morning.
SOURCE: The Pattaya News
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