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What's Going On With Alcohol Sales in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing alcohol sales in Thailand and what is going on. 

It has been quite a week with respect to the issue of alcohol sales here in Thailand as many were despondent earlier in this week and we went ahead and made a video actually on the Alcohol Ban seemingly being extended to the end of May only to have it subsequently reversed. 

I am not going to quote any sources in this video today because there are quite a few out there; I mean it's across the web at this point. 

To sort of some up where everything stands overall. We are currently making this video as of May 2nd, 2020. We are looking to have it go up the morning of May 3rd, 2020 and as of May 3rd we are going into the initial reopening phase of Bangkok and greater Thailand with the sort of "white code" if you will. That is what it has been designated I guess; the “white code” reopening. So things like public parks are coming back online, certain places to undertake certain athletic activities so long as they are not contact sports etc., also restaurants but they have to be small restaurants, cafes kind of thing; eating establishments may be the best word for this, basically small eateries. To be clear they made it clear that it is not happening in shopping malls yet. I believe shopping malls are going to be reopened in the next phase. We are also seeing hair salons being allowed to reopen. We are also seeing the dog groomers allowed to reopen, small dry goods shops, small retail shops, and phone stores are all being allowed to reopen in this initial phase of this COVID-19 reopening. 

So what is going on with alcohol? That is the big question. So initially the announcement came down and it was gazetted and everything, that the ban on alcohol sales was going to be extended to May 31st. That was the initial speculation. There was some speculation that there might be a gap of two days in between the end of April and May 3rd when the new rules came online that would allow this grace period to buy alcohol. That has not come down. They have simply extended the regulations. They have extended the emergency decree until the end of May. With that extension came the extension of the alcohol ban.  Then shortly thereafter that, they rescinded certain aspects of the alcohol ban and said it is now possible for retailers and wholesalers and it is my understanding even vendors, to sell alcohol but this is crucial and this is key, so for example these eateries that are allowed to reopen, they can't be serving alcohol on their premises, in the sense that you can't sit down and have a drink. Now it looks like you can do take away of alcohol from a given eatery for example or from a given establishment, but you can't sit down and have a drink in the place. So again you have to look at this within the policy context of wanting to try to diminish as much as possible large gatherings occurring for lack of a better term, these clusters forming of people because I think the presumption is they don't want those people transmitting this disease. So as a result we are seeing this kind of phased in resumption of alcohol sales where yes you can buy, you can take it home, you can buy it off of a retailer, it looks to me like you can even buy it off of another wise eatery associated establishment and take it home but you cannot as of the time of this video at least, you cannot be drinking it on the premises for example in a restaurant or an eatery. So it is a phased limited reopening with respect to alcohol sales. It is a phased limited reopening across the board. 

Again they are going to be monitoring the situation with respect to COVID-19 cases and I think in an effort to ensure that there is not another flare up. If there is another flare-up, they made it clear in a lot of the publications I have read that they may have to re-implement certain restrictions that they previously relaxed. We hope that that is not the case. We hope that doesn't happen but for now, again as of May 2nd and going into May 3rd it is looking like retail alcohol sales are back on. You can even buy from certain establishments to take away but it is not possible to drink alcohol in an eatery as you otherwise would prior to this COVID-19 outbreak.