Alcohol ban in Phuket restaurants gets lifted

Alcohol ban in Phuket restaurants gets lifted

Tourists visiting the resort island of Phuket will be able to order alcoholic beverages from tomorrow at restaurants that used to serve alcohol before it was prohibited as part of the government's Covid-19 control measures.

The sale of alcoholic beverages will be allowed at eateries normally serving them before the ban, while their closing time will be extended to 10pm, according to an announcement published by Phuket's information centre yesterday.

Dated Sept 28, the announcement deals with a range of changes to Covid-19 restrictions, which are due to take effect tomorrow.

While night entertainment venues and business establishments including cock-fighting rings and boxing stadiums will remain closed, shopping malls and restaurants will be allowed to resume almost-normal operations, according the announcement.

Live music will be allowed at restaurants while at most five members will be allowed per band, said the announcement.

Only the singer is allowed to take off his or her face mask while singing, while physical and close contact between performers and customers will be prohibited for the sake of Covid-19 prevention, said the announcement.

It is unclear how the measures will be policed or enforced.

Business operators in Prachuap Khiri Khan, another popular tourist destination, meanwhile, welcomed the decision by the government to further ease the Covid-19 restrictions, designed to enable more business and tourism promotion activities to resume their operations.

Krot Rochanasathian, a member of the Board of Trade of Thailand and president of Hua Hin Recharge tourism reopening project in Prachuap Khiri Khan, said the shortened curfew will benefit shopping malls, convenience stores and fresh markets as their closing times will be extended by one hour.

Several business operators in the province, however, appeared reluctant to invest more in reopening their businesses as they were still uncertain as to how the Covid-19 outbreak situation will turn after this, given the high number of new infections, he said. Adding more business activities will come with additional costs, he said.

Aphisit Ubonkomut, director of Hua Hin airport in Prachuap Khiri Khan, said Air Asia will resume flights between Hua Hin and Chiang Mai every Friday and Sunday from Oct 15.

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