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  • Alcohol Sales @ Restaurants, Bars and Hotels

    Bangkok - Alcohol Sales in Restaurants etc.. under Review

    The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is considering allowing alcohol sales at restaurants starting Monday as the capital reopens to international arrivals. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced during a CCSA press briefing this afternoon that the BMA was meeting with relevant authorities to decide whether to lift the alcohol ban.

    Bangkok is also being reclassified on the Thai government’s colour-coded zoning scale based on Covid-19 infection rates, going from a “dark red” zone under maximum and strict control to a “blue zone” reopening under a pilot program, according to spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun. The nightly curfew in Bangkok will be lifted Sunday night.

    According to Coconuts Bangkok, the CCSA approved alcohol sales at restaurants for Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga. The new measures are set to go into effect on Monday, in line with reopening plans. As Thailand reestablishes its international tourism, allowing fully vaccinated travellers from 46 countries in without quarantine, many have predicted a failure of the grand reopening and even a lasting stain on Thailand’s reputation without the ability for tourists to have a beer or cocktail.

    The CCSA slide specifically said the word “restaurants” hinting that the alcohol ban won’t be fully lifted, but merely softened to allow an alcoholic beverage with meals. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has stated that entertainment and nightlife venues like bars, pubs, clubs, and karaoke bars are still ordered to remain closed until further notice. However, gatherings have been permitted, though attendance is limited to less than 500.
    The relaxing on alcohol rules will only apply to certain key “blue zones” – tourist areas that are considered to attract tourists that are most likely not to come without the ability to have a drink.

    These “blue zones” join the list of “dark red,” “red,” and “orange” zones in Thailand, though their status is determined by tourist marketability and not Covid-19 infections and risk, as tourist hotspots like Chiang Mai and Prachuap Khiri Khan are currently experiencing the worst spikes in infections since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

  • #2
    Pattaya - Alcohol Ban in Restaurants, Bars etc.. until January 15. 2022

    The Junta ruins the Pattaya Red Light Business.... While a great many people are thrilled with the plans to allow alcohol to be sold in the key tourism blue zones of Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga, there are some who are very angry about it: Pattaya business owners. Local tourism operators a not too pleased that Pattaya and its world-famous wild nightlife that draws millions of visitors each year was omitted from the list of provinces that could sell alcohol in restaurants starting Monday, November 01.2021

    The president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association argued that the city deserves to be included in the zones that are allowed to serve a drink with meals to restaurant-goers. He complains that Pattaya is being kneecapped in the race to attract international tourism revenue back int to Thailand when other provinces can sell beer and they can’t, as many – if not a majority – of foreign tourists want to at least have a drink with a meal, and many have argued Thailand’s dry reopening is likely to damage its reputation for a while.

    There’s less Covid-19 in Chon Buri province than in Bangkok, and even the high infection numbers there are by and large outside of Pattaya, with most infections found in clusters in factories and other close-quartered work areas, far from the touristic areas that international travellers will visit. Yesterday Chon Buri had 382 new infections, less than half that of Bangkok, and only 48 of those were in Bang Lamung district where Pattaya is situated.

    PM Prayut Chan-o-cha had announced that the government is aiming to permit alcohol sales and consumption in restaurants nationwide on December 1, and there has even been talk about allowing some entertainment venues to reopen ahead of New Year’s Eve countdowns and other holiday parties and events. For now though, a dry Pattaya awaits returning tourists on Monday, with some estimating as many as 30,000 new arrivals that will have to enjoy their meals without a cold beer to wash it down.


    • #3
      Phuket: Alcohol Sales in Restaurants available now until 11:00 pm - Not in Bars !

      Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew issued an order with revised Covid-19 rules ahead of tomorrow’s reopening, allowing restaurants to sell alcohol from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and from 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm, but keeping nightlife entertainment venues like bars and clubs closed until further notice. The wording of the order confirmed that nightlife will not reopen yet, stating, “service places, establishments similar to service places, entertainment places, pubs, bars, and karaoke will remain closed.” It also allowed for any business that serves food and alcoholic beverages through a food license to remain open until 11:00 pm, lifting the closing time one hour from the 10:00 pm limit previously.

      Some specifics are outlined, particularly in regards to live entertainment. Live bands will now be allowed to play, but – bad luck for ska bands – the groups are limited to 5 band members maximum. Bad news for groupies too, as musicians are prohibited from touching, sitting with, or singing with customers and must remain separated. Much like the movie Footloose, dancing and dance performances are strictly prohibited as well, in an attempt to maintain social distancing and avoid close contact to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

      All staff must be vaccinated or test negative for Covid-19 each week, and customers must have their temperature taken as they arrive. All common areas and surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised regularly. And there are specific capacity limits for air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned venues. In fact, the order included a 4-page manual of all the terms and conditions for restaurants to open and sell alcohol.

      Phuket’s Bangla Road inspected by national and local health officials

      Health officials went to Phuket’s Bangla Road, but not for a beer. The deputy director of Thailand’s Department of Health went to Phuket and inspect the famed walking street in person, reviewing Covid-19 prevention measures. While bars and nightclubs are ordered to be closed nationwide, photos from the provincial health office show bars are the street packed with people, and some venues back to playing live music. Photos show partygoers scanning their hand to check their temperature before going to party. Reports say health officials did not find any breaches of Covid-19 prevention protocols.

      Deputy Director Kajonsak Kaewjarat used to serve as the Chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, and came to the island last week to lead the inspection of Bangla. He was accompanied by the current provincial health chief and deputy chief, as well as by members of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, according to a report from the Phuket health office. The report went on to say that the purpose of the high profile inspections was to

      “raise awareness, recognise and motivate business owners and the public as well as give advice on various practices to comply with Covid-19 prevention and control measures.”
      Bangla is famous for its late-night bars and clubs. Shuttered for much of the pandemic, it has started to show signs of coming back to life. More visitors are starting to return, especially after Thailand eased entry requirements and opened its borders on November 01. 2021 Thailand is currently experimenting with its new ‘Test and Go’ scheme.

      This allows international tourists to get tested for Covid upon their arrival, quarantine for one night while awaiting test results, and then leave as soon as they are deemed virus-free. The new scheme already appears to be much more popular. The Tourism Authority of Thailand reported that in the last two weeks, 10,130 people arrived in Phuket for ‘Test and Go’, whereas only 5,769 arrived for the current Phuket Sandbox scheme.


      • #4
        Bangkok - Alcohol Sales permited in Restaurants

        The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has finally agreed to let the plan to lift the alcohol ban in restaurants for Blue Zone tourist areas proceed in Bangkok with some caveats. The CCSA created a new addition to their Covid-19 colour-coded zones for the 4 key tourist areas of Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga, based on tourism need more than Covid-19 data, that eases many health and safety restrictions including the beginning of allowing booze back in the provinces, starting with restaurants.

        The BMA has decided that alcohol will be allowed to be served and consumed in restaurants in Bangkok, but only until 9 pm. They will also limit which restaurants can serve alcohol, only allowing those who have received SHA certification. This may mean that drinks can mostly be had in chains and upscale restaurants, as The Thaiger previously reported that many local small business operators complain that they can’t get assistance to get approved for SHA and therefore can’t benefit from reopenings.

        The CCSA announced Friday that the 4 provinces would be allowed to serve alcohol in restaurants to make the destination more attractive to foreign tourists who can more easily enter Thailand from tomorrow, but the BMA responded the next day with hesitancy, hinting they might not allow alcohol in their province.

        Today they relented, with the insistence that strict Covid-19 prevention and safety protocols be enacted in any restaurant serving alcohol to limit the spread of infections. Bangkok may be more sensitive to this as it was the indulgent clubs of Thong Lor where the wealthy elite drank and partied freely without concern of Covid-19 that led to the massive spread of the third wave of the pandemic in Thailand that was exponentially more deadly than the first 2 waves.

        The BMA conceded the alcohol in restaurants rule, saying it is provisional until the end of November. But entertainment venues like bars, clubs, pubs, and karaoke will remain closed for the time being. Bangkok will ease restrictions on other businesses like tattoo shops, spas, massage, beauty salons, nail salons and beauty clinics, but most are allowed to serve only customers that are fully vaccinated or tested within 72 hours, and operate by appointment only.

        Bangkok governor says no to extending alcohol sales to 11:00 pm

        Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang is refusing to budge on the law that bans restaurant alcohol sales after 9pm, at least for now. He was responding to a call from Thanakorn Kuptajit of the Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association, who has called for sales to be extended to 11pm. According to a Bangkok Post report, Thanakorn believes allowing eateries to sell alcohol for 2 hours later than the current cut-off would help workers in the so-called “blue zones” of Bangkok, Krabi, Phuket, and Phang Nga.

        “Extending the period to 11pm will be better because longer hours will help increase income for wait staff, musicians, and other grassroots income-earners. Most importantly, we want the government to meet for talks with vocational groups to discuss solutions to ease further restrictions while maintaining health safety standards.”

        However, Aswin is taking a cautious approach to the easing of alcohol restrictions. The governor says the situation will be reviewed every 2 weeks and if City Hall deems it’s safe to do so, the sales and consumption period will be extended. Until then, he’s urging businesses and customers not to abuse the current guidelines. For now, only SHA-accredited restaurants in the capital are permitted to sell alcohol and only until 9:00 pm.

        “For those who do not finish their alcoholic drinks after the 9:00 pm deadline, they should take their bottles home or try to drink up or just throw them away. Officials will be sent to make regular inspections.”
        The Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association has also called for more provinces to be designated “blue zones”, to further boost international tourism. Thanakorn has predicted that the economy will grow by 20 – 30% during the last 2 months of the year as a result of Thailand’s re-opening to 63 countries, with minimal quarantine requirements for vaccinated arrivals.


        • #5
          Bars are closed in Bangkok… but not on Khao San Road
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          The Thai government says bars are closed, and will be until mid-January, but if you look hard enough you’ll find many are open… and packed. Over the weekend, the entrance to Bangkok’s notorious Khao San Road was blocked with a Covid-19 checkpoint. To get on the street to party, people needed to show proof of vaccination or test negative for Covid-19. An ambulance was parked at the entrance and medical staff in personal protective gear quickly administered rapid antigen tests, sticking swabs up partygoers’ noses before allowing them onto the street. Dozens of people were lined up. (Some people also found another way to get on the street.)

          Before the pandemic, Khao San Road was known as a backpacker’s mecca. The nightlife scene was packed with party hostels and grungy bars with strong drinks and balloons filled with laughing gas. Now, after more than a year and a half without foreign tourists, the bars on the street are focusing on drawing in Thai customers. The nightlife scene is still wild with stiff drinks… and balloons.

          Nationwide, bars and nightclubs are supposed to be closed. Following its general meeting chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday, the CCSA announced that the reopening of entertainment venues will be pushed to January 15. 2022 Alcohol sales at restaurants are allowed in Bangkok until 9:00 pm under an order set by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. Once the clock struck nine on Saturday, bars on Khao San Road quickly turned off music and customers from various bars crowded the street as police drove their pickup trucks down Khao San to do a “check” and do a photoshoot.

          Around 20 to 30 officers lined up for a photoshoot outside the empty Mulligan’s bar. What the cameras didn’t catch was the crowds of people around them. As partygoers stood close together on the street, some with drinks in hand, police spoke into a megaphone, reminding everyone to wear masks and social distance because Covid-19 is still spreading in Thailand. After the warning, bars turned the music back on and bartenders went back to pouring drinks… lots of drinks.
          The Bangkok Post reports that more “restaurants and eateries” in Bangkok will be allowed to serve alcohol, if they are certified under “Thai Stop Covid Plus.” Businesses under this certification must meet hygienic safety requirements and regularly test employees for Covid-19. The Bangkok Post spoke with the president Khao San Association president saying “most businesses have put in place Covid-19 control measures that are on par with Thai Covid Plus, even before they were mandated by the government.”

          Some bars on Khao San Road have hand sanitiser and temperature checkpoints, but that doesn’t mean they’re being used. And people clearly aren’t social distancing or wearing masks, so when it comes to these “Covid-19 control measures,” it’s unclear what exactly that means. Khao San Road isn’t the only place where you’ll be able to go out for drinks in Bangkok. Other bars in the city are serving beer and cocktails in paper cups in a not-so-discreet effort to be discreet.


          • #6
            Alcohol Sales at Bangkok Restaurants allowed until 11:00 pm starting December 01.2021

            The cutoff time for alcohol sales at restaurants in Bangkok will be pushed from 9pm to 11pm. Governor Aswin Kwanmuang reportedly signed a provincial order allowing restaurants to serve booze until 11pm starting Wednesday, according to Thai media. Under the order, entertainment venues, such as bars and nightclubs, must remain closed until the end of the year. The order still needs to be published in the Royal Gazette to be made official.

            The Tourism Ministry is also pushing to extend alcohol sales to midnight on Christmas and New Years in other “blue” zone provinces, including Phuket and Krabi, which are approved to welcome foreign tourists under pilot travel schemes and restaurants in those provinces can serve alcoholic drinks.


            • #7
              Cha-am permitted to sell alcohol in restaurants from December 01.2021

              While tourist areas all across Thailand are fighting to be allowed to sell alcohol, Cha-am will be the next tourist pilot area to get to sell drinks. The Phetchaburi Provincial Communicable Disease Committee is preparing to test allowing restaurants and shops to sell alcohol in the tourist city until 10:00 pm.

              The trial run of the new permission will be from December 1 to December 15 and then reevaluated to decide if it will be continued. The municipality has not had a single case of Covid-19 since the big tourist reopening on November 1, the Deputy Governor of the province announced after a Provincial Public Health Committee meeting on Monday.

              With the feat he attributed to effective provincial management, the committee decided it was safe to allow the Blue Zone tourist municipality of Cha-am to allow alcohol to be sold and consumed in SHA+ certified restaurants while following all Covid-19 safety precautions.

              Provincial authorities will be keeping a close eye on any new infections or outbreaks in Cha-am that happen between December 1 when they allow drinking to begin and December 15 when the alcohol ban lifting will be measured for success or failure. During that time, approved venues will be allowed to sell drinks until 10:00 pm only.

              The Deputy Governor of Phetchaburi expressed thanks to its inhabitants for working together to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and allow many aspects of life to return to normal.

              “On behalf of Phetchaburi provincial office, I would like to thank all residents who had been well cooperating with the government’s rules and instructions, resulting in a steadily declining number of cases and the regulation relaxation in Cha-am. The area has become infection-free and many activities almost returned to normal now.”


              • #8
                Muang district in Ayutthaya allow to serve alcohol in restaurants

                The CCSA seems to be slowly rolling out the lifting of the alcohol ban in Thailand on a province by province, and sometimes district by district, basis. Muang district in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is the latest district to receive the green light to ease Covid-19 restrictions and allow alcohol to be served in restaurants.

                The district in Ayutthaya has been designated a Blue Zone pilot tourist area and, as such, has been granted permission to sell alcohol in restaurants until 9:00 pm each night. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha signed the order to designate Muang as a Blue Zone, according to the provincial governor. He announced the relaxation of the rules but stressed that safety protocols must still be followed.

                “Drinking alcohol in the district is allowed until 9 pm. However, all qualified restaurants must continue to strictly follow the rules and other preventive measures in order to control the infection situation at a stable rate. Officials would also deploy from time to time to monitor the area whether the venues were well cooperating.”
                The government hasn’t given much of an explanation of how they choose what areas to ease the alcohol ban, as they have ignored the mounting protests and pleas from Pattaya businesses to allow alcohol and nightlife to restart, but recently lifted restrictions in Cha-am.

                The Cha-am municipality in Petchaburi has not had a single case of Covid-19 since the big tourist reopening on November 1 according to the Deputy Governor of the province, so with the virus seemingly under control, permission was granted to serve alcohol in restaurants until 10:00 pm. There was no explanation why Cha-am was granted permission to open an hour later until 10:00 pm while Ayutthaya must stop serving alcohol at 9:00 pm.


                • #9
                  Pattaya and other Chonburi ‘Blue Zones’ officially allowed to sell alcohol in restaurants

                  The Chonburi Governor has released new orders through their Public Relations Facebook page this evening allowing (November 3rd) alcohol sales and drinks which are now allowed in the Chonburi ‘Blue Zone’ areas including Pattaya and Banglamung. Chonburi ‘Blue Zones’ are Banglamung, Pattaya including Koh Larn, Si Racha, Koh Sichang, and for Sattahip only in Najomtien and the Bang Saray sub-district.

                  Only restaurants in the blue zone and with SHA certificates are allowed alcohol sales and drinks inside. Alcohol sales are allowed from 11:00 am. to 2:00 pm. and from 5:00 pm. to 11:00 pm. These restaurants must clearly show their certificates.

                  Nightclubs, pubs, bars, karaoke, soapies remain closed.

                  The order is effective NOW until further notice.

                  The order had been in place previously for almost eight months but rising pressure from many business owners and sectors helped lift the unpopular ban.


                  • #10
                    Chon Buri and Pattaya bar scene get good news, but at what cost?

                    The songwriters in Pattaya will be busy making new ‘restaurant’ signs as hundreds of bars vie to open up, serving food, so they can serve alcohol and get their businesses going again. It’s all strings and mirrors but an advancement for the seaside party town’s entertainment lockdown that’s lingered longer than other tourists areas in the country during Thailand’s tourism ‘reopening’.

                    New orders, announced yesterday, say that alcohol sales and drinks will now be allowed in the Chon Buri province, including Pattaya and Bang Lamung, as they become a ‘Blue Zone’ area. The new zoning for these location is effective from last night when the announcement was made.

                    Apart from Bang Lamung and Pattaya, the new blue zoning includes Koh Larn, Si Racha, Koh Sichang, and in the Najomtien and Bang Saray areas of the Sattahip district. So how will this all work in practice? Restaurants will need to be in a blue zone and comply with SHA+ certification are allowed alcohol sales and drinks inside. Alcohol sales are allowed from 11:00 am. – 2:00 pm, then from 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm. The SHA+ certification will have to be on clear display.

                    Premises acting as nightclubs, pubs, bars, karaoke and ‘soapie’ massage’ parlours will have to remain closed.

                    The reality is that many ‘bars’ will rush to achieve certification as an SHA+ approved ‘restaurant’. The SHA registration requires additional lighting, ventilation, social distancing and, of course, food. To what extent the bar and nightlife scene will wade through the loopholes and paperwork in the new blue zoning is yet to be seen. They will be weighing the additional costs of registration and adding food to their services, against the hope of patronage to pay for all the messing around.

                    If what’s happened in Phuket in recent months, is any indication, then there will be a level of ‘accommodation’ provided by officials who understand that some tourists are wanting a normalisation of Thailand’s nightlife before going to the effort of booking expensive flights and going through the Thailand Pass process.


                    • #11
                      Chiang Mai and Hua Hin can now serve alcohol in restaurants

                      The booze news keeps flowing like alcohol now cam in several more tourist locations around Thailand this weekend. While nightlife and entertainment venues still officially remain shuttered, restaurants are now being allowed to serve alcohol in Cha-am, Hua Hin, and 5 key districts in Chiang Mai.

                      Chiang Mai is the latest to ease restrictions on serving and consuming alcohol in restaurants as the province’s Governor Prachon Pratsakul announced today that they will partially lift the ban on Monday. The districts granted permission to drink in restaurants are the same 5 provinces reopened to tourists: Chom Thong, Doi Tao, Mae Taeng, Mae Rim, and Muang.

                      Just like the new rules allowing drinking in Pattaya food venues, restaurants in tourist zones in Chiang Mai will be allowed to sell drinks from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and again from 5 pm to 11 pm. The restaurants will now be allowed to host live music as well, with a maximum of 5 band members who are not allowed to mix with customers before or after performances.

                      All restaurants that wish to serve drinks must follow the Covid-Free setting established by health authorities which requires staff to be fully vaccinated and take weekly antigen tests and tables to be 1 to 2 metres apart or partitioned while operating at 50% capacity for air-conditioned businesses or 75% for open-air venues. Guests can stay a maximum of one hour only.

                      In Hua Hin, the decision to relax alcohol restrictions for the municipality and neighbouring Nong Khae tambon to the south was made on November 30 when the governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan signed the order, but it wasn’t announced until yesterday. Permission to serve alcohol was granted to those restaurants with SHA or SHA+ certificates, and drinks can be served until 10:00 pm.

                      Cha-am was granted a similar relaxation of drinking rules at the beginning of the month, but only for a 15-day trial period. Officials will review the Covid-19 situation and the success or failure of the drinking easement on December 15 before deciding whether or not to continue. The district is planning a beach food festival from December 10 to 12 in hopes of attracting more tourism.


                      • #12
                        Bars warned it takes proper accreditation to be a restaurant

                        The practice of bars and clubs tossing up a sign selling french fries and calling themselves a restaurant in order to reopen after Covid-19 restrictions ban entertainment venues from operating has been commonplace for months in Thailand. Now bars, pubs, and karaoke establishments are being warned in Bangkok that it takes more than a slapdash bite to eat to qualify as a restaurant and sell alcohol again.

                        A meeting of the Bangkok Municipal Authority chaired by the Deputy Governor and focusing on the Covid-19 situation in the capital city addressed the issue of fake “restaurants” reopening. The meeting instructed that bars wanting to serve food in order to reopen must be accredited with proper Covid-19 certification.

                        Restaurants must have an SHA and SHA+ certificate as well as be approved as a Covid Free Setting and follow all the set Covid-19 safety provisions before they are allowed to operate as a restaurant. Oddly, the need for a restaurant license did not seem to be a concern for the Bangkok Municipal Authority meeting.

                        Once properly accredited, the “restaurants” would be allowed as part of the tourist Blue Zone designated area to serve alcohol until 11 pm each night. Authorities have been patrolling the 50 districts of Bangkok and will continue to do so, looking for those who are violating the rules and restrictions for businesses to open as restaurants and sell booze.

                        The meeting about Covid-19 was called to address worries about the Omicron variant which has now been identified in Thailand. Experts are reporting that they believe the new variant is no more harmful than the Delta variant, which swept Thailand (and the world) creating by far the worst phase of the pandemic so far. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has assured that Thailand is not likely to go into another lockdown over the emergence of the new variant.


                        • #13
                          Cheers! Alcohol sales at approved venues allowed until 1:00 am during New Year Holiday

                          Those in Thailand will be able to ring in 2022 with a drink in hand. Alcohol sales at restaurants and venues certified as “Covid Free Settings” will be allowed to serve alcoholic drinks until 1am on New Year’s. During its general meeting today, the CCSA decided to allow alcohol consumption during the holiday, but only at open air venues under the “Covid Free Setting” measures.

                          Those attending New Year’s countdown events with more than 1,000 people will need to present proof that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and show a negative result from a rapid antigen test taken within 72 hours. It’s possible that people will need to show proof of vaccination to attend smaller events.

                          At the moment, booze sales at restaurants are prohibited in provinces classified as “orange” with moderate Covid-19 infection rates. In provinces with low infection rates as well as provinces and districts that are reopened to tourism, alcohol sales at restaurants are allowed, but with limited hours, which vary by province.

                          Bars and nightlife venues are technically still ordered to remain closed, but some have opened under the “Covid Free Setting” measures, requiring people to show proof of vaccination to enter.


                          • #14
                            Rules and Regulations
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                            • #15
                              Updates for food and beverage venues in Pattaya

                              Pattaya businesses are being thrown another curved ball with the Chon Buri governor releasing new orders last night to clarify, and in some cases increase, restrictions and conditions for food and beverage venues.

                              The updated guidelines relate specifically to bars that are trying to re-open under a loophole that lets them open and sell alcohol in Pattaya, Bang Lamung and Nongprue.
                              The added, or clarified, guidelines have been translated by The Pattaya News…
                              • All staff, including musicians, performers, entertainers, etc (whatever ‘etc’ is) must take a rapid antigen Covid19 test daily
                              • All customers, regardless of the size of the venue and regardless of the customer’s vaccination or recovery status, must take a Covid antigen test within 72 hours of the current time period to dine-in. The venue can arrange for on-site testing or accept qualified test results.
                              • If a venue is unwilling or unable to meet the first two points they must shut immediately until/if restrictions are eased.
                              The new guidelines have no sunset date and remain in force until further announcements are made. Exactly how any of these new restrictions can be enforced has not been described. The guidelines also expect venue staff to check the validity of testing of customers.

                              Chon Buri Public Health reports 442 new Covid infections this morning, an uptick in local cases since the last month. Bang Lamung and Pattaya are contributing the biggest jump in new infections with 342 of today’s cases.

                              The CCSA last week re-affirmed their decision to restrict the opening of bars and nightlife, around the country, until at least January 15 but there’s a been a big rise in bars reopening, either under the guise of a ‘restaurant’ (so they can serve alcohol legally), or just as a normal bar and hoping to fly under the police radar.

                              The situation in other holiday hotspots, like Patong in Phuket and Cheweng in Samui, is more advanced where many bars are openly flouting the current guidelines as they battle to get their businesses open again and taking advantage of the increase in tourists over Christmas and new year.

                              In Thailand today there were 3,112 new infections and 12 Covid-related deaths. Statistically, the numbers are not showing a significant rise in cases at this time.