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Booze ban might stay in place indefinitely, go nationwide

Alcoholic beverage

The other shoe may yet drop for Bangkok’s drinkers. Though the three-week-old ban on selling alcohol is set to expire Friday, the outbreak task force yesterday has proposed keeping it in place.

The Centre for the Covid-19 Situation Administration proposed Tuesday afternoon that a nationwide ban on alcohol sales begin Monday.

That would leave a two-day gap – Friday and Saturday – for people to restock, so expect desperate scenes to play out in supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the realm. No expiration date was floated.

However, it is just a proposal that requires further approval. Will the prohibitionist elements which have gained the upper hand get their way? A decision should be announced at any time this week.

Days before the Songkran festival was set to begin, Bangkok’s booze ban was hastily announced April 10 just hours before it went into effect, prompting people to make a run on the liquor stores and supermarkets to stock up on however much alcohol they could.

While the authorities argued that the ban would discourage people from gathering and partying – thus decreasing risks of COVID-19 infections – many criticized the decision as ineffective social engineering, or worse, yet another drag on the economy.

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