Phuket authorities have officially allowed selling and drinking alcohol in “restaurants” through the night of New Year’s Eve, the Official Phuket Information Center announced on Sunday, November 28th.
According to the announcement signed by Phuket governor Narong Woonciew, alcohol servings are allowed in restaurants as previously announced. Alcoholic beverage selling is prohibited normally between 11:00 PM. and 11:00 AM., except for the night of December 31, 2021, restaurants can continue to sell alcohol and stay open until 6.00 A.M. the following day.
However, restaurants operators and customers must continue to abide by provincial Covid-19 preventive measures. Live music can be performed with a maximum of five musicians/performers on stage. Physical contact between performers and customers and service staff is strongly forbidden.
Dancing and dancing performances at the establishments remain prohibited. Other rules of Covid-Free Settings must be strictly implemented at all times.
The exception to stay open all night was reportedly granted by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration or CCSA. In theory, bars and nightclubs and other nightlife venues are not allowed to open or serve alcohol, and only restaurants, but TPN media notes that in reality widespread reports from the ground state that many bars have not-so-secretly disguised themselves as “restaurants” to be allowed to get around a current nationwide ban on nightlife until at least mid-January. Several other places in Thailand, such as Bangkok and Samui, have similar “exceptions” to open.
Meanwhile, Pattaya, normally a top nightlife destination for Thailand, remains under a strict alcohol sales ban at all venues, including restaurants, despite near-daily protests, petitions, and anger from business owners and tourism associations in the city. An official answer on why Pattaya has yet to be granted an exemption, leaving hundreds of businesses shut and thousands out of work, has not been given. Pattaya and Chonburi leaders have, however, stated that discussions about the sector are “ongoing”.
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