Finally! Pattaya restaurants can sell alcohol - but bars, not yet

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Finally! Pattaya restaurants can sell alcohol - but bars, not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

First posted by 2lz2p, but I copied his post here. I think this news merits its own topic.

The absurd 2pm-5pm ban on alcohol sales is still in place and apparently it also applies to restaurants, but for now I doubt any restaurant owners are complaining.

I think what most of us hope is if all goes well and if the Omicron variant doesn't cause problems in Thailand, maybe they will allow the bars to reopen in mid-January after all.
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https://thepattayanews.com/2021/12/03/p ... staurants/

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


Chonburi the Blue Zone:
Chonburi, Thailand
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 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. and from 5:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. 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.

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Re: Finally! Pattaya restaurants can sell alcohol - but bars, not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Booze in Pattaya is still only semi-legal say police

By Barry Kenyon

December 4, 2021

Thailand’s favorite seaside resort has given a sigh of relief after the ban on alcohol was lifted for diners. Effective late December 3. The Chonburi governor’s office has decreed the liberalization in restaurants and cafes provided they display prominently the Safety and Health Administration Plus sticker. And you don’t need to prove you are eating a meal as you enjoy a beer. A restaurant is also a bar.

The certification is only awarded to businesses – which can be souvenir shops or transport companies as well as hotels and eateries – which demonstrate they are keeping strictly to the policies of the Ministry of Health, are observing social distancing and have fully-vaccinated staff. That should include ongoing self-antigen health testing, but that detail appears to have disappeared from recent official statements.

Meanwhile, local police are reminding the public at large that the new policy has restrictions. Booze can be served only from 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm. These time restraints reflect a 1970s military junta proclamation which sought to ban afternoon intoxication and ensured you were safely in bed before midnight. The same rule was revived after the 2014 coup and still applies in supermarkets and convenience stores selling beer, spirits and wines.

Nobody seems sure how many Pattaya businesses are already approved by SHA. City Hall said that all hotels registered with Thailand Pass carried the quality assurance certification, together with some other hotels and high-class restaurants. An optimistic total might be in the region of 500 local businesses. Although a flurry of applications is now expected via the SHA website, many small operators such as street vendors or small cafes simply cannot afford the registration fees or pass the stringent health requirements.

The pre-Christmas announcement by the Chonburi Communicable Disease Committee was expected. The ban on the sale of alcohol in restaurants had become a farce by the end of November with many owners even allowing wine glasses and beer bottles on tables rather than faking with teapots and cups. Police checks were reserved for occasional raids on midnight parties in supposedly-padlocked clubs and private premises.

Granted for two years, SHA certification can be withdrawn at any time if health inspectors discover any backsliding. For example, a vaccinated employee might be replaced by an ant-vaxxer or a cockroach might be found in the beef stew. In practice, cancellation of certificates is a rare phenomenon. Maintaining standards over time isn’t one of Thailand’s strongest points.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ice-381588

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Re: Finally! Pattaya restaurants can sell alcohol - but bars, not yet

Post by Bangkokian »

I thought that I'd read somewhere that they had to have SHA+ (plus) certification, but I could be mistaken.

As an edit -- now in Bangkok Post:
"order on Friday stating that restaurants and hotel eateries with a Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus certificate located in blue zone areas are allowed to sell alcohol, while adopting preventive measures in a Covid-free setting".

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/22 ... its-thirst

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Re: Finally! Pattaya restaurants can sell alcohol - but bars, not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Bangkokian wrote:
Sat Dec 04, 2021 3:01 pm
I thought that I'd read somewhere that they had to have SHA+ (plus) certification, but I could be mistaken.
No mistake now. You were correct. Of course, at the time of this post today is only the first day. I think it will take a few days to see how this is going to play out.

According to Barry Kenyon's article above, you don't even need to order any food to be able to drink in a restaurant. If that's the case, why not just stop playing games and let the bars reopen - provided they follow the SHA rules?

In the meantime, since this apparently is not blanket approval for all the restaurants to be able serve alcohol, if I want a drink with my dinner - or even if I don't even want any dinner, just want to drink - before setting foot in whichever restaurant, I would ask them if they are serving alcohol.

I think the powers-that-be giving in at least to some degree is very good. But in my opinion it is not good enough. There is still too much standing in the way - and I believe unnecessarily - of Pattaya starting to make a serious comeback.

I could understand the government's position if I could find any solid evidence that serving alcohol or letting bars open truly is contributing to the spread of Covid. But so far I haven't found any.

I also don't understand why they won't let the bars reopen, as long as they follow the rules, for a probationary period of 1 or 2 weeks. If there is a surge of Covid cases attributable to that, then close them again, but if not, then leave them alone. As far as I can tell, the decision to keep them closed is based on assumption that such reopenings will spread Covid, but not based on evidence.

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Re: Finally! Pattaya restaurants can sell alcohol - but bars, not yet

Post by Bangkokian »

All makes sense.
And here in Bangkok, there is no need to order food. All restaurants/bars serving here do offer full menus.

Just another thought when discussing with a friend the ridiculous afternoon banning of alcohol sales everywhere, he thought that was to discourage children from buying alcohol on their school lunchbreaks or on the way home.
But I wonder why this would also apply to hotels and restaurants. Oh well as we so often say T.i.T.

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Re: Finally! Pattaya restaurants can sell alcohol - but bars, not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Bangkokian wrote:
Sat Dec 04, 2021 6:31 pm
he thought that was to discourage children from buying alcohol on their school lunchbreaks or on the way home.
I am not aware of that ever having been a problem. As long as I've lived in Thailand, I have never seen drunk school children, school children trying to buy alcohol, or any shops selling it to them. Plus, many schools are not even dismissed during those hours. I seriously doubt that idea had anything to do with the 2pm-5pm rule.

The part on my "I Don't Get It" list is the fact that rule is still in place. Why?

In his article, Barry Kenyon says, "Nobody seems sure how many Pattaya businesses are already approved by SHA." I think he said too much. I think he should have stopped at "Nobody seems sure" because nobody seems sure of anything yet. We'll see how this all develops.

Here is the latest:
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Pattaya slakes its thirst

Province finally ends alcohol ban after uproar from tourism operators

by Dusida Worrachaddejchai

4 December, 2021

The alcohol ban was lifted in Pattaya on Friday, a move hailed by tourism-related businesses that had complained they lost 60% of their income in what was already a lukewarm market.

The Provincial Communicable Disease Committee issued an order on Friday stating that restaurants and hotel eateries with a Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus certificate located in blue zone areas are allowed to sell alcohol, while adopting preventive measures in a Covid-free setting.

The available hours are limited to 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 11pm.

Thanet Supornsahasrungsi, acting president of the Chon Buri Tourism Council, said the province's blue zone was reporting less than 100 daily infections. In contrast, Bangkok has more than 700 cases per day and Phuket more than 100, but both are allowed to serve alcohol to guests.

Bookings for year-end banquets and staff parties from corporate groups at industrial estates in Si Racha have also fallen as a result of the ban, he said.

On Friday, 13 tourism-related organisations released a statement asking the provincial governor to lift the alcohol ban at SHA Plus-certified restaurants and hotels in blue zone areas, which includes Bang Lamung, Pattaya, Si Racha, Koh Si Chang, Na Jomtien and Bang Sare.

The number of international tourists arriving in Pattaya from Nov 1 to Dec 2 stood at 9,437, or 295 tourists per day, accounting for less than 10% of the 4,000-5,000 daily average during the pre-pandemic years.

Tourists' alcohol consumption in Pattaya averaged 500,000 baht per day prior to the pandemic.

Without alcohol sales in hotel outlets and restaurants, operators said they have lost almost 60% of revenue.

Mr Thanet said most operators also raised concerns about discrimination as convenience stores, particularly big chain stores, can sell alcoholic beverages as normal to tourists.

He said the country's reopening hasn't helped hoteliers much as most tourists under the Test & Go scheme spent just one night in a hotel in order to obtain a Covid-19 test result. Many have families or businesses in Thailand with their own home.

Hotels in Pattaya had around 9,000 room nights booked, which is inadequate to shore up business, said Phisut Sae-Khu, president of the Thai Hotels Association's eastern chapter.

He said operators are losing hope as the peak season progresses, with major markets like Russia, India and China only expected to arrive next year, while European countries are battling new waves of the virus.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/22 ... its-thirst
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Alcohol ban partly lifted in three more places

Qualified eateries in Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Cha-am free to serve

December 4, 2021

Restaurants in five districts of Chiang Mai, as well as the resort towns of Hua-Hin and Cha-am, can start serving alcohol as local authorities start easing Covid-19 restrictions.

Chiang Mai governor Prachon Pratsakul issued the order easing the Covid-19 restrictions on Saturday, effective on Monday.

The districts allowed to serve alcohol are those already opened to tourists. They are Muang, Chom Thong, Doi Tao, Mae Taeng and Mae Rim.

To qualify, the eateries must meet Covid-Free setting standards and serve alcohol only between 11am and 2pm and from 5pm to 11pm.

Bands are also allowed so long as they have no more than five members each and do not mingle with customers.

Eateries in other districts or those that do not meet the standards, as well as entertainment places and massage parlours, remain closed.

The northern province, with a population of 1.8 million last year, reported 135 new cases and one more death on Saturday, bringing its total since July to 22,779 cases and 132 fatalities, according to provincial data.

Covid-Free setting is a set of safety standards prescribed by health authorities for different types of places. For eateries, they include tables being placed at least 1-2 metres apart or separated by partitions, serving at half capacity for air-conditioned places and 75% for open-air restaurants, a maximum one-hour stay for patrons, fully vaccinated staff, who must also take antigen tests every seven days.

The easing of alcohol restrictions was announced earlier for Bangkok, while eateries in Pattaya were given the green light on Friday to serve booze.

The alcohol ban has also been lifted in the beach towns of Hua Hin and Cha-am south of Bangkok.

In Hua Hin municipality and the adjacent tambon Nong Khae to the south, restaurants with SHA or SHA+ certification can serve alcohol until 10pm.

The new regulation, signed on Nov 30 by Prachuap Khiri Khan governor Sathien Charoenruen but not announced until Friday, takes effect immediately.

In Cha-am district of Phetchaburi, restaurants with safety certification can also serve alcohol until 10pm, provincial governor Nattawut Petchpromsorn said.

The rules will be reviewed again on Dec 15, he added.

Cha-am is also planning to stage a food festival on the beach from Dec 10-12 to attract more visitors.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... ore-places

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