After openly defying the island’s alcohol ban and being raided by police, restaurants in Phuket can resume sellng booze on Oct. 1.
Bars, nightclubs, pubs, karaoke clubs and other entertainment venues still are not allowed to reopen, but the alcohol reprieve for restaurants comes as welcome news to both struggling businesses and international travelers arriving in the Phuket “sandbox”.
Phuket Gov. Narong Woonciew signed the order Sept. 28 following appeals by business associations to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, which gave its blessing, but only for Phuket. Elsewhere in Thailand “deep red”, “red” and “orange” coronavirus control zones, alcohol sales remain prohibited.
The order revises the previous dictate regarding measures to close the place or prohibit activities that are at risk of spreading disease, which will remain in effect until midnight Thursday night.
On Friday, all venues licensed as restaurants will be able to serve alcohol until 10 p.m. Expect Bangla Road bars to scramble to open a kitchen and put out a menu.
In order to qualify for the alcohol-sales pass, all restaurant employees must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and all patrons also need to be fully vaccinated ith staff required to check proof of vaccination and identifications.
For sandbox tourists, who arrived on the island and find very little to do, that will not be a problem, as, to get in, they had to be fully vaxed.
While the order applies to both outdoor/un-air conditioned and indoor/air-conditioned eateries, those with aircon must space tables a metr apart and limit each table to six people. The entire restaurant can only operate at 50 percent capacity.
Open-air restaurants can operate at 75 percent capacity and, per the CCSA’s earlier relaxations, live music will be allowed. Life in the sandbox just got a bit better.
Should a staff member fall ill with Covid-19, the restaurant will have to close for a week. If a guest gets infected, the closure lasts three days.