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Alcohol sales end at 4am, says Anutin

Alcohol sales end at 4am, says Anutin

In a clarification released on Tuesday, Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stated that establishments in the four locations where the hours of operation will be prolonged will be permitted to serve alcohol until 4am as long as they hold current licenses.

Mr. Anutin had earlier stated that while bar opening hours would be extended till 4am in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Chon Buri, alcohol sales periods would not be increased. Operators of nightclubs took issue with his words.

I may have been a touch off base because I covered a lot of ground. The minister stated on Tuesday that entertainment establishments are permitted to serve alcohol in accordance with their current licenses and remain open until 4 a.m.

Hotels may also have entertainment spaces that are open until four in the morning. The director-general of the Department of Provincial Administration would provide more information, according to Mr. Anutin.

But he added that eateries could only sell alcohol till midnight.

The president of the Khao San Road Businesses Association, Sanga Ruengwattanakul, had previously voiced his displeasure that the government’s plan to extend entertainment venues’ opening hours until 4am in Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phuket, and Chiang Mai did not extend the hours at which alcoholic beverages could be sold.

He claimed it would not result in more tourists spending money, which made it seem incompatible with promoting tourism. He claimed that international visitors’ drinking habits were different from Thai clubbers’, who preferred to purchase a bottle of alcohol and mixers and consume them until closing time. According to him, foreigners often ordered one drink at a time.

Extending opening hours would be useless, he argued, if entertainment venues could not provide alcohol during the extra hours.

Nightclub owners are the primary players in the issue, but the government has never asked them for their opinions, according to Mr. Sanga.

The Thai Restaurant Businesses Association agreed with Mr. Sanga that it was unfeasible to permit later hours for openings while prohibiting the sale of alcohol until after the later closing time of 4 a.m. The association also brought attention to the disparities in Thai and foreign drinking customs.

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