Home Coronavirus

Alcohol Ban, Red Zones, Bar Closures Likely When CCSA Meets Friday

Koh Samui Thailand Bars Closed Lockdown Coronavirus Reopen 2

The Center for Covid-19 Administration on Friday is expected to reimpose a ban on alcohol sales in restaurants, reinstate “red” zones and close bars masquerading as restaurants.

At a Thursday news conference, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Thailand’s pandemic “alert level” was raised to four on a scale of five, which will result in the closure of the restaurants similar to pubs and bars.

He said the raised alert level likely will lead to restriction on alcohol consumption because booze is a main factor in the new outbreak.

Various government officials hinted in recent days that more restrictions were coming Friday.

The most obvious move will be for the CCSA to reinstate red, or even “deep red” coronavirus-control zones in areas with large numbers of new cases, including Bangkok, Chonburi, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Samut Prakan, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen and Rayong.

Historically, red zone restaurants cannot sell alcohol and have hours either reduced to close at 9 p.m. or are restricted to delivery and takeout only.

Ending alcohol sales would put an end to the thousands of bars that have reopened using dodgy restaurant licenses or bribes to police.

Eschewing recent government pronouncements that no new national lockdown would be imposed, Anutin declined to answer when asked if lockdown measures would be necessary in a worst-case scenario.

The hypocritical blowhard minister – who was caught in photos hosting a holiday party where only one guest was seen wearing a facemask – blasted “selfish” people partying and bar owners for failing to adhere to the government’s vague disease-control schemes.

Restaurant operators can be forgiven for being unable to sort out the difference between SHA, SHA+, “Covid-Free Setting” and “Anti-Stop Covid Now”.

Anutin said that the treatment of Covid-19 patients will utilize mainly home isolation and community isolation centers to keep hospital beds free for the critically ill.

He also said that the government extended the deadline for the arrival of the travelers who had earlier applied to the now-suspended Test & Go country entry scheme. The new deadline is on Jan. 15 instead of Jan. 10.

The visitors must have health insurance as required by the government.

He claimed some visitors had submitted fake insurance documents or bought inadequate insurance coverage, failing to mention it was the fault of the Foreign Affairs Ministry for not checking the documentation thoroughly before issuing a Thaialnd Pass.

Anutin also complained that some infected tourists in Phuket refused to go to the hospital. He failed to mention that the insurance companies wrongfully denied coverage, as the tourists were asymptomatic, and insisted the foreigners pay full rates.

The Thailand News Agency contributed to this report.