Although the province has allowed the sale of alcohol in restaurants as part of the tourist blue zones, only specific areas have been exempted from the alcohol ban in Thailand.
In recent days, 4 restaurant managers outside the approved Blue Zone areas, mainly in the popular alternative tourist area of Bang Saen, were arrested for selling alcohol in violation of the law
The arrests took place in Bang Saen in the Saen Suk sub-district of Mueang Chon Buri district, where police searched sites throughout the weekend. Combined forces of the Saen Suk Police, the Saen Suk District Office and other law enforcement officers reportedly gathered about 100 officers to raid the restaurants.
Authorities were in force to make it clear to locals and businesses that only Pattaya, Bang Lamung, Na Jomtien, Koh Larn, Koh Si Chang, Bang Saray and parts of Sattahip and Si Racha are allowed to sell alcohol in restaurants as part of the Blue Zone.
The governor of Chonburi had given permission to these above areas at 6:00 PM last Friday evening, but not to the other districts in Chonburi.
Many of the restaurants searched over the weekend claimed they falsely believed the county-wide alcohol ban had been lifted. The ban continues to be in effect everywhere, including other popular tourist areas such as Bang Saen Beach and continues nearly 8 months of the unpopular ban that restaurants and nightlife venues across the country are fighting against, but nowhere more passionately than in Pattaya and Chonburi.
The coastal town of Bang Saen has lobbied the governor to be added to the province’s list of Blue Zone areas to be included in the relaxation of Covid19 rules to benefit tourism as it is a popular destination, especially for domestic Thai tourists, who are vastly outnumbered international travellers in the area currently.
This weekend’s raids on restaurants resulted in the arrest of the managers of WARP Bang Saen, Hurt Bang Saen, U-TURN and H2M for violating the Covid19 alcohol ban.
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