Thai PM has signed an order making the sale of booze or alcohol products legal from Sunday, May 3rd in Thailand strictly for consumption at home. The move comes along with the first step in the opening of premises. Alcohol cannot be sold in restaurants or other food outlets.
An order signed by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan ocha on Friday and published in the Royal Gazette, authorises the sale of alcohol nationwide to resume on Sunday. The move comes as a surprise and is a reversal of decisions announced by local and provincial authorities at the beginning of the week in Thailand.
The Thai government on Friday made the sale of alcohol legal nationwide from Sunday, May 3rd. It is a move that will be welcomed with relief by many foreigners in Thailand who are partial to a cool beer and were not looking forward to waiting until May 31st to savour their favourite tipple which was what was announced at the start of the week.
Since Wednesday, the national government or Covid 19 centre has been taking more direct control of restrictive measures. This order was fast-tracked and signed by the prime minister on Friday. It has already been published in the Royal Gazette.
Government started to reopen the economy on Wednesday which will be complete in July
It is not clear what has prompted the change but the government has, since Wednesday, begun to expedite the reopening of Thailand’s businesses albeit strictly subject to medical oversight of the all-important infection rate, known technically as ‘R’ which according to an April 14th study had fallen to 0.7.
The target for the Covid 19 centre is to reduce it, if possible, but certainly to keep it under 1 in order to prevent a 2nd outbreak or wave.
This is to be achieved in fours steps between now and early July.
Guidance on alcohol sales to be issued on Saturday
Somsak Rungsita the Secretary-General of the National Security Council said on Friday that further details will be forthcoming on Saturday in relation to the easing of the alcohol ban.
It is being stressed that the consumption of alcohol within newly reopened food premises will be strictly forbidden. Alcohol must be purchased and consumed at home until the lifting of restrictions is complete.
This is likely to happen in early July if all goes well.
However, nothing can be taken for granted as many western countries have seen this week a rise in infections after reopening business premises even on a limited basis.
Ban on alcohol was linked with social gatherings
Restaurants are among the list of premises being allowed to reopen from Sunday.
The initial purpose of the alcohol ban was thought to be as a deterrence to social gatherings at home.
Tracing of the virus by medical experts in Thailand at the height of the outbreak at the end of March linked many Covid 19 cases to parties where alcohol was served.