Yesterday, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) approved a measure to allow restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages and allow live music, albeit with strict precautions.
Bangkok’s pubs and bars will be allowed to serve alcohol again from next Monday.
The CCSA did, however, extend the state of emergency until 31st March in light of the second wave of COVID-19, said spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin.
Restaurants in 54 green zones will next Monday also be able to resume normal business hours, but those in 14 high-surveillance provinces or yellow zones must close before midnight, he said.
In 8 orange or control zones which include Bangkok, restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol and remain open until 11 pm, said Dr Visanuyothin.
Schools and tutoring institutions in the orange zones are allowed to provide normal and hybrid (online/in class) teaching, he said.
Indoor and outdoor fitness centres and gymnasiums in orange zones can resume normal operations, while sports competitions can be arranged with limits on the number of spectators.
As for Samut Sakhon, the only maximum and strict (dark red) control zone, dine-in services will be allowed but selling alcohol will still be prohibited.
Shopping malls and restaurants will be allowed to stay open until 9 pm but schools and all types of gymnasiums and fitness clubs in the province must remain shut, he said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government would gradually ease restrictions to help the tourism and service sectors while maintaining disease control measures.
More provinces have been moved to green zones, which carry the least restrictions, the PM said. The number of green zones increased from 35 to 54, while the number of orange zones dropped from 20 to eight and yellow zones from 17 to 14.
Restrictions were further relaxed for jet ski race events after foreign countries praised Thailand for organising a badminton event that complied with COVID-19 measures, he said.
Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul said extending the state of emergency was not politically motivated and was only intended to discourage mass gatherings.