The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

Great! Just what the venue owners need - more uncertainty: "So far, Chonburi and CCSA officials have only said that they will “consider” the opening of nightlife venues by December 1st"
_______________________________________

Pattaya Tourism and Business Associations president pushes issue on alcohol sales ban at restaurants and bars as Pattaya events kick off with many visitors

By Adam Judd

6 November, 2021

Pattaya business operators, led by the Pattaya Tourism and Business Association President, are asking, once again, for permission to sell alcohol in restaurants or allow the reopening of the nighttime economy following the start of the Pattaya Music Festival this weekend.

This is only the latest in a near-daily push by business owners from across the spectrum, including in indirectly-related industries like hotels, retail, and general tourism to allow at the very least legal sales of alcohol in restaurants in Pattaya, which has currently been banned for almost seven months. Officials claim this is due to “Covid-19” concerns but other places in the country, such as Phuket, Krabi, and Bangkok have been given exceptions to the rule while Pattaya remains dry. Each area, however, has widely different rules.

In Pattaya and Chonburi, however, police have continued to double down on the ban.

In addition, police continue to raid venues and arrest customers, including tourists, if caught violating the rules around the alcohol ban. Concerned business owners in Pattaya claim that arresting customers, especially tourists, for having a beer is a massive hit on the image of tourism for Thailand and Pattaya, previously known for its famous nightlife.

This is despite Pattaya, according to Mayor Sonthaya Khunplume, having double-dose Covid-19 vaccination rates at over 80% and having reopened to foreign vaccinated tourists from low-risk countries without a strict seven to fourteen-day quarantine earlier this week.

The president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association Mr. Boonanan Pattanasin stated this weekend, “The Pattaya Music Festival is one of many scheduled weekend events which is bringing many domestic tourists to Pattaya. I understand if in the area of the festival it is not allowed to sell alcohol as it is in a public area.”

“However, the surrounding area outside has many restaurants, bars, lounges, karaoke, clubs, and other licensed businesses who are ready to open and sell alcohol but are continued to be denied despite the weekend events. They should have a chance to sell alcohol. We have already asked the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, for permission to officially discuss the issue next week, the week ending November 13th.” Boonanan stated.

“The Pattaya music festival has only limited seating in each stage area, with plastic chairs set up for social distancing and many rules for entering. This rule only caused, as seen at the festival so far, for hundreds, if not thousands, of people to gather on beaches, roads, and areas outside the limited seating area without strict rules to watch the event.”

“Pattaya City officials are aware of the limitations and are trying to develop better plans for the future festival weekends. However, it makes no sense that so many people can go to the festival, even though it is outside, but not have a legal glass of alcohol at a restaurant or go to an outside bar.” Boonanan added.

“Pattaya City is confident they can control the spread of Covid-19 at the festival. However, so can local business owners, who have much less capacity and crowds, and are ready, willing, and able to comply with all rules to allow their staff to return to work and earn a living.

“The point of these festivals is to drive domestic and foreign tourists to Pattaya to help recover the economy and assist local business owners whose venues have been closed or restricted for over half a year. How does it help them if their business or a significant revenue driver like alcohol remains closed or banned?” Boonanan concluded.

So far, Chonburi and CCSA officials have only said that they will “consider” the opening of nightlife venues by December 1st and have asked for venues to “prepare” for opening “soon”. The vague answers have continued to raise frustration and anger from business owners even as many more scheduled tourism events, such as more music festivals, Loy Krathong, and fireworks festivals come every weekend leading up to the Christmas season.

https://tpnnational.com/2021/11/06/patt ... -visitors/

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

Pattaya's Ramayana Water park is reopening Friday, November 19.

See: https://www.ramayanawaterpark.com/

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

The latest rumor going around is that the CCSA and Prime Minister intend to keep the bars and entertainment venues closed until after New Year.

That is NOT so. It is being considered if they determine the Covid situation warrants it, but no decision has been made. No need to start panicking just yet.

Here is part of an article in the Pattaya News:
TPN media notes that Pattaya, despite being a tourism area, remains “dry” with alcohol sales at restaurants being banned and nightlife and bars closed for seven months currently as of today, November 10th, 2021. The bars were first closed on April 10th of this year. He did not specifically state if Pattaya easing the unpopular alcohol rule would be on the agenda this week at the scheduled “full” CCSA meeting at the end of the week.

There was absolutely no mention of entertainment venues or bars and rumors and speculation, as reported on some other media, about delaying any sort of opening for them until 2022. Previously, the Prime Minister had said they would be “considered” by December of this year in time for the holiday season.
For the full article, see: https://thepattayanews.com/2021/11/10/g ... thorities/

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

Now even more types of venues are being allowed to serve alcohol - IN BANGKOK. No easing of alcohol restrictions in Pattaya or anywhere else in Thailand.

I still can't make sense out of why restaurants and venues in Bangkok are being permitted to serve alcohol, but nowhere else. I am aware that many farang, especially those in Pattaya, enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. But unless you find yourself in a restaurant that cheats, for now the best you can expect is a glass of grape juice.
___________________________

BMA eases curbs on booze sales

More venues to serve drinks until 9pm

by Penchan Charoensuthipan

November 15, 2021

More restaurants and eateries will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages on Tuesday, after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) agreed to lift restrictions at venues certified by the Department of Health.

As of Tuesday, venues with "Thai Stop Covid Plus" certification will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages in the same manner as businesses that have SHA (Safety and Health Administration) certification from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the BMA announced on Sunday.

While this means while more venues will be allowed to serve alcohol, the sale of such beverages will still be restricted after 9pm.

In the same announcement, the BMA said game shops and internet cafes will be allowed to reopen as long as they strictly enforce Covid-19 control measures, as most children in the capital have been fully vaccinated against the disease.

The relaxed restrictions will apply until Nov 30, when authorities will meet again to discuss the impact of the easing on infection numbers.

According to the director-general of the Department of Health, Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, the move was intended to help more businesses reopen.

However, he said, the majority of these venues are actually capable of managing Covid-19 risks, as shown by their Thai Stop Covid Plus certification.

As such, Dr Suwanchai said, they should be allowed to serve alcohol again.

The Thai Stop Covid Plus certification was developed by the Department of Health to help businesses assess if their health and safety measures are up to standard amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Businesses, Dr Suwanchai said, must have a good ventilation system and regularly conduct testing using antigen test kits, the frequency of which should be determined by the risk of exposure to infection sources.

Restaurants and eateries must immediately clean tables and chairs after use, frequently disinfect physical contact points and restrooms, and provide separate cutlery for each customer. In addition, Covid-19 tests must be carried out periodically to ensure the safety of service providers and consumers.

"The [Thai Stop Covid Plus] focus is on the providers and recipients of services and the practices of the businesses," said Sopon Iamsirithaworn, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

As of Nov 10, 6,579 businesses in Bangkok had obtained SHA certification, while 700 had received SHA Plus certification.

An SHA-certified venue has public health measures in place to prevent contagion, while SHA Plus certification means at least 70% of the staff are vaccinated.

The Thai Restaurant Association welcomed the latest announcement and urged business operators to strictly adhere to disease control measures to keep the virus at bay.

Thaniwan Kulmongkol, president of the association, said more than 30,000 restaurants and eateries are certified as Thai Stop Covid Plus venues, as they have been preparing for the reopening since May this year.

She said that personally she does not see a huge difference between Thai Stop Covid Plus and SHA/SHA Plus systems and urged the government to raise public awareness about the labels and what they mean.

She also called on the government to allow operators to serve alcohol until 11pm, after recent infection figures showed the easing of restrictions did not cause an uptick in new cases.

Currently, restaurants and eateries in Bangkok, Krabi, Phangnga and Phuket with SHA certificates are allowed to serve alcohol until 9pm.

Khao San Business Association president Sanga Ruangwattanakul said the most businesses have put in place Covid-19 control measures that are on par with Thai Stop Covid Plus, even before they were mandated by the government.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... ooze-sales

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

Just when I thought the news wouldn't get worse, it did. It has now been announced that Pattaya's alcohol ban has been extended to January 15. Of course the restaurants and bars are furious and are going to try to get the ban lifted. They are saying this will effectively kill this year's chances for any kind of a high season and apparently upon this announcement some venues have already announced they are giving up and will have to go out of business. I hope the protests succeed, but unfortunately my expectation is it will all fall on deaf ears.

I suppose the powers-that-be won't be happy until Pattaya copies the old American prohibition years way of dealing with that alcohol ban and we start seeing a Thai version of speakeasys opening up. Where's Al Capone when you need him . . . ?

For details, see the November 15 "Headline News" - viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10787&p=105891#p105891

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:54 am
I suppose the powers-that-be won't be happy until Pattaya copies the old American prohibition years way of dealing with that alcohol ban and we start seeing a Thai version of speakeasys opening up. Where's Al Capone when you need him . . . ?
Last January, the solution of certain bars was to serve alcohol in coffee mugs. Others would give you a glass of beer and an empty can of sprite to place next to it on the table. A few would brazenly sell beer in bottles.

Increased disregard for the rules is likely. TIT

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

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Jun wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 4:33 pm
Increased disregard for the rules is likely. TIT
The trouble is customers, including farang, are being arrested if caught. It will be interesting to see how many customers chance it, how many restaurants and venues will chance it, and if the local police who are well aware of Pattaya's problems will look the other way.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

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Khao San Rd: Foreigners must take 100 baht swab tests if vax is old - ambulance on standby to take them away if positive

by: webfact

November 15, 2021

Foreigners visiting a major tourism venue in Bangkok could find themselves whisked away by ambulance if they tests positive for Covid-19.

Thai media reported that the traders' association at Khao San Road were adopting their own measures to fulfil the requirements of the latest Covid protocols called "Thai Stop Covid Plus".

Association chief Sanga Reuangwattanakul said they were doing all the necessary screening and had ATK for swab tests at the ready.

Only Thais and foreigners who have been double-vaxxed are allowed entry.

All foreigners are having their documentation checked even though that condition of entry to the country has already been satisfied.

If foreigners have been vaccinated six months ago they will have to take a 100 baht swab test and wait.

An ambulance is on hand to take them away if they turn out to be positive.

But the good news is that so far 500 swab tests have been done on Thais and foreign visitors and not a single one has come back positive.

Dr Sophon Iamsirithavorn of the Department of Disease Control explained the difference between SHA (Safety and Health Administration) approved establishments and Thai Stop Covid Plus.

The former is to inspire confidence in visitors about the staff and establishment following all the rules while the latter is an extra level of protection for both businesses and patrons.

He said that the changing of the alcohol hours from 9 pm to 11 pm is a tricky issue and one that was still being discussed.

https://aseannow.com/topic/1239472-khao ... -positive/

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Jun »

webfact wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:51 pm
If foreigners have been vaccinated six months ago they will have to take a 100 baht swab test and wait.

An ambulance is on hand to take them away if they turn out to be positive.
1 Due to the risk of being sent away to hospital if failing a test, an obvious response is to avoid taking additional tests.
After all, if I get a false positive, why would I want to be sent to hospital full of infected people ?
Even if infected, I'd rather isolate in my apartment unless properly ill. [I will be packing a few lateral flow test kits.]

2 It therefore follows that I and many other foreigners will just go the other way if threatened with a test. So they lose business, exactly as they deserve to.

My 6 months will be up next months. Unfortunately I can't get a booster in the UK at present, as the experts advised a minimum of 6 months before boosters. Despite data suggesting 4~5 months would be better for people who had AZN.
I shall see what is possible in Thailand.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

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webfact wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:51 pm

Thai media reported that the traders' association at Khao San Road were adopting their own measures to fulfil the requirements of the latest Covid protocols called "Thai Stop Covid Plus".

Association chief Sanga Reuangwattanakul said they were doing all the necessary screening and had ATK for swab tests at the ready.

Only Thais and foreigners who have been double-vaxxed are allowed entry.

All foreigners are having their documentation checked even though that condition of entry to the country has already been satisfied.

If foreigners have been vaccinated six months ago they will have to take a 100 baht swab test and wait.

An ambulance is on hand to take them away if they turn out to be positive.
Jun is 100% right. This, and the latest from Pattaya, just demonstrates their inexperience. They will get Zero business.

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