The Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is planning to propose the extension of drinking hours in the “Blue Zone” provinces to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) cabinet.
The Minister stated during a committee meeting last week to the Tourism and Sports Ministry that he would introduce the proposal of an extension of drinking hours at qualified restaurants in the Blue Zone areas from the previous 9:00 PM. to 11:00 PM. for local customers and foreign tourists. TPN media notes that some of the blue zones allow 11:00 P.M. already, but the hours and policies, including those around alcoholic drinks, vary. The Tourism Minister wanted a “consistent” policy to avoid confusing tourists.
The proposal would also mention the legal opening of pubs, bars, karaoke venues in certain areas, according to the Minister. It would be brought to the discussion at the next CCSA meeting before discussing with the Ministry of Public Health for possible relaxation. In reality, many of these venues were open in some blue zones as “restaurants” with easily obtainable temporary style licenses or Thai Stop Covid passes, but the Minister was looking for a legal reopening in blue zones, again to avoid confusion from tourists.
TPN media noted that the proposal of the reopening was opposite to the Prime Minister’s saying after last week’s cabinet meeting, saying that the venues’ reopening might be delayed for another month. The Tourism Minister has a history of making proposals or announcements that may not be approved as well by the CCSA or Prime Minister.
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