Thailand to allow alcohol sales after three-week ban

File photo of a man pushing a cart with beer boxes in a supermarket after Bangkok and several other provinces announced a 10-day ban on alcohol sale starting April 10 during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand, April 9, 2020. — Reuters pic
File photo of a man pushing a cart with beer boxes in a supermarket after Bangkok and several other provinces announced a 10-day ban on alcohol sale starting April 10 during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand, April 9, 2020. — Reuters pic

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BANGKOK, May 1 — Thailand will end a ban on the sale of alcohol on Sunday when it lifts other restrictions following progress in containing the coronavirus outbreak, two officials said late on Friday.

The ban has been in effect since April 10 in a bid to discourage social gatherings.

“The new order, which will take effect on Sunday, means you can buy and sell liquor, beer, wine. You can buy from restaurants but only as takeaways. You can buy at convenience stores, supermarkets, anywhere in the country,” Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told Reuters.

Bangkok Metropolitan Authority spokesman Pongsakorn Kwangmuang also told Reuters the ban would be lifted in Bangkok on Sunday, and that he will make a formal announcement on Saturday.

The change came just a day after the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said the ban would be extended until further announcement, implying it could last through to May 31, the end date of the recently extended emergency decree.

Thailand reported six new coronavirus cases on Friday and no new deaths, taking its tally to 2,960 infections while fatalities remained at 54 since the outbreak began in January.

New daily infections have stayed in the single digits for five consecutive days. The six cases also marked the lowest number of new daily infections since early March.

The low numbers of cases this week prompted the government to announce on Thursday that it would start easing restrictions on some businesses, which have been forced to close since late March or early April.

Outdoor markets, small retailers, street food stalls and restaurants outside shopping malls, parks and outdoor sports facilities, barber shops, and pet groomers, will be allowed to open again on Sunday.  — Reuters

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