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BMA Eases Restrictions On Alcoholic Beverage Sales

Published: November 15, 2021 at 5:04 pm

Khao san road

Additional establishments will serve alcoholic beverages till 9 p.m.

Starting November 16, more eateries and restaurants will be permitted to offer alcoholic drinks after the BMA or Bangkok Metropolitan Administration agree to ease restrictions on establishments that were approved by the Department of Health.

The BMA said on Sunday that venues certified as “Thai Stop Covid Plus” would be permitted to offer alcoholic drinks in the same way as establishments certified as Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certification.

While this implies that more establishments will be permitted to offer alcohol, the sale of alcoholic drinks will remain prohibited after 9 p.m.

The BMA added that game stores and internet cafés might reopen as long as they properly comply with COVID-19 control measures since the majority of youngsters in the capital have been completely vaccinated against the virus.

The loosened restrictions will remain in effect until November 30, when officials will meet to assess the impact of the relaxation on infection rates.

Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Department of Health, said that the decision was meant to get more establishments to reopen.

As shown by their Thai Stop Covid Plus accreditation, the majority of these establishments are known for practicing health and safety protocols against COVID-19.

Therefore, Dr. Suwanchai said, they should be permitted to resume serving alcohol.

The Ministry of Health designed the Thai Stop Covid Plus certification to assist companies in determining if their health and safety controls are following the required standards against COVID-19.

According to Dr. Suwanchai, businesses must have a proper ventilation system and undertake antigen testing on a regular basis, the frequency of which should be dictated by the risk of infection from infection sources.

Eateries and restaurants are required to clean chairs and tables after each use, disinfect physical contact areas and bathrooms on a regular basis, and supply separate cutlery for each client. Frequent COVID-19 testing must be conducted to protect the safety of service providers and customers.

“Thai Stop Covid Plus emphasizes on service providers and beneficiaries, as well as business practices,” said Sopon Iamsirithaworn, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

As of November 10, 6,579 establishments in Bangkok had been certified by SHA, while 700 are SHA Plus certified.

A venue that is SHA certified has public health protocols set to avoid possible contagion, while a venue that is SHA Plus certified has at least 70% of its employees inoculated.

The Thai Restaurant Association applauded the recent announcement and advised business owners to follow strict disease control procedures in order to ward off the virus.

Thaniwan Kulmongkol, Thai Restaurant Association president, said that over 30,000 restaurants and eateries had been approved as Thai Stop Covid Plus venues, as they are gearing their business for the reopening.

She said that she did not believe there was a significant difference between the Thai Stop Covid Plus and SHA/SHA Plus certification programs and encouraged the Thai government to educate locals about the designations and their meaning.

She also urged the government to allow restaurants and related establishments to sell alcohol until 11 p.m., despite recent infection data indicating that relaxing restrictions had little effect on the number of new cases.

As of today, eateries and restaurants with SHA certifications are allowed to sell alcohol until 9 p.m. in Bangkok, Krabi, Phangnga, and Phuket.

Sanga Ruangwattanakul, head of the Khao San Business Association, said that the majority of businesses had implemented COVID-19 safety protocols on par with Thai Stop Covid Plus, even before the government enforced them.

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Source: Bangkok Post

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