Surat Thani –
A group of Thai and foreign customers were arrested at a restaurant in the Bo Put Subdistrict of Koh Samui on Saturday, September 18th, after allegedly drinking alcoholic beverages, gambling, and shooting pool, violating Surat Thani Provincial Orders to prevent the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus.
About 20 customers were caught drinking alcohol inside the restaurants and playing pool upon police arrival. The officials then approached the owner of the shop for an initial inspection.
The owner allegedly confessed to selling alcoholic drinks to the customers and hiding the drinks by putting in ceramic coffee mugs to attempt to fool the officials. She was initially charged for selling alcoholic beverages and allowing others to consume alcohol and play pool inside the restaurant.
All of the customers were also taken to a local police station for further questioning and legal proceedings. Under emergency decree laws, they could face stiff fines and even potential jail time.
Legally, alcohol sales at restaurants are still against a mandate from the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, nationwide. However, the enforcement of this mandate could vary based on location, TPN notes.
Bars and nightlife-related venues have been shut nationwide for close to six months by CCSA mandate as well. The mandates and closures have, unsurprisingly, been very unpopular with both ex-pats and Thai nationals around the country and with business owners continuing to plead with officials to end the ban on alcohol in restaurants and examine the ban on the nighttime economy.
However, at this time the, CCSA has stuck to their guns so to speak, and has not announced any plan for relaxing the restrictions in these sectors, at least for now. The CCSA is due to review the current regulations and measures at the end of September and many business owners hope that in areas with high vaccination rates, low numbers of Covid-19 cases, or both that the rules will be relaxed.
That remains to be seen and for now, having an alcoholic drink with your meal or at a bar remains against the law in Thailand, technically, although enforcement may vary.
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