Sales of alcoholic beverages will be allowed again from Sunday but people will not be allowed to drink in restaurants when they reopen, the government said on Friday.
The announcement was published on Friday in the Royal Gazette as part of the easing of some of the stringent measures imposed in the battle against the coronavirus.
The decision represents an about-face by the government, which said earlier this week that the alcohol ban would remain in effect until May 31 after it renewed the emergency decree for another month.
“Shops selling alcoholic beverages are allowed to open but consumption at the shop is banned,” said the Royal Gazette notice signed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. It will take effect on Sunday.
Restaurants will not be allowed to serve alcohol as part of the condition for their reopening from Sunday. Pubs and other entertainment venues where alcohol is served will remain closed.
The ban on alcoholic beverage sales was enforced for most of April across the country, with some provincial governors imposing curbs earlier than others. In Bangkok, it started from April 10.
The ban was aimed at curbing social gatherings, which increase the risk of coronavirus transmission. Gatherings in pubs and other venues where alcohol was consumed were linked to dozens of Covid-19 cases when the virus first started to spread in Thailand.
Further details of the lifting of the ban will be released on Saturday by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), according to Somsak Rungsita, secretary-general of the National Security Council.