Fewer Covid control zones, drinking hours extended

Fewer Covid control zones, drinking hours extended

Customers at a restaurant on Khao San Road, Bangkok. The hours when alcohol can be consumed at approved eateries in blue and yellow zones will be extended from 9pm to 11pm from Jan 24. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Customers at a restaurant on Khao San Road, Bangkok. The hours when alcohol can be consumed at approved eateries in blue and yellow zones will be extended from 9pm to 11pm from Jan 24. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The government will reduce the number of Covid-19 control (orange) zones, redesignating them close surveillance (yellow) areas, because the situation is improving, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced on Thursday.

Drinking hours in approved premises serving food will also be extended, effective Jan 24.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said on Thursday that from next Monday the number of orange zones would drop from 69 to 44, with 25 being rezoned close surveillance (yellow) areas. There are currently no yellow zones.

The changes are in response to the improving Covid-19 situation in the country, he said.

The number of tourism pilot (blue) zones will remain the same - eight whole provinces and parts of 18 other provinces.

The 25 close surveillance (yellow) provinces will be Kamphaeng Phet, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Sawan, Narathiwat, Bung Kan, Pattani, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Phrae, Yala, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Sakon Nakhon, Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Ang Thong, Amnat Charoen, Uttaradit and Uthai Thani.

"We must thank the people in the 25 provinces for their cooperation with disease controls,  and we will ease restrictions to facilitate more business and other activities," Dr Taweesilp said.

The eight tourism pilot provinces are Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phangnga and Phuket.

Up to 500 people can gather in orange zones and up to 1,000 in yellow zones. Both zones can use school buildings, with disease control measures in place.

Eateries can open in all zones but alcohol consumption is prohibited at eateries in orange zones.

In blue and yellow zones, alcohol consumption at eateries which meet disease control standards will be extended from 9pm to 11pm.

Convenience stores and markets can open as usual in all zones.

Exhibition and convention centres and the likes in shopping centres and hotels can hold events with no more than 1,000 participants in orange zones. The restriction does not apply to the two other zones.

The CCSA did not extend its work-from-home policy beyond Jan 31, Dr Taweesilp said.

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