Following the lead of several other provinces but being largest province so far to do so Chiang Mai has banned sales of alcohol from April 10th to April 20th.
The Governor, Charoenrit Sanguansat, told the press this is to help with social distancing and to fight the spread of Covid-19.
However, many people on social media said they felt the real reason was to prevent drinking during what is traditionally the Songkran Festival in Thailand which falls in the same period of dates.
Songkran has been officially postponed by the Thai Government to a later, undisclosed date but is traditionally always in Mid-April and is the largest single yearly holiday for Thai people. Many officials fear that despite the postponement (The days are no longer legal holidays) that many Thai people will still celebrate in smaller groups, possibly spreading the virus.
There is no National alcohol sales ban, however other provinces may choose to also restrict or ban alcohol sales during this upcoming period at the Governor’s discretion.
The order falls under the Emergency Decree act which calls for strict punishments of fines up to 100,000 baht and up to 2 years in prison for any places that violate the order and decide to sell alcohol during this period.