In Chiang Mai, alcohol consumption is now allowed until 11pm in all restaurants that qualify as part of a relaxation of restrictions after the whole province was reclassified as a blue zone appropriate for tourism.
However, water fights in public areas will be banned and alcohol sales will be prohibited in venues where festivities are being held during the Songkran festival in the middle of this month.
The latest rules, announced by Chiang Mai governor Prachon Pratsakul as chairman of the Chiang Mai communicable disease committee, took effect yesterday.
According to the announcement, alcoholic drinks can now be served in restaurants that meet Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus and Covid-Free Setting standards until 11pm across the whole province.
Live music performances with no more than five musicians are allowed in restaurants in line with precautions until 11pm.
Night entertainment venues such as pubs, bars, and karaoke parlours still cannot open, though they can transform into restaurants and follow the same rules, according to the announcement.
Social gatherings in the northern province are limited to no more than 500 people.
Previously, alcoholic drinks were allowed to be served at restaurants between 5pm-11pm in only five districts of Chiang Mai designated as blue zones. The committee has also banned water fights, powder smearing and foam parties in all public areas.
However, the panel has permitted traditional activities including water pouring, Buddha image bathing, Thai New Year greetings for senior citizens, folk plays, cultural performances and parades. But it has prohibited powder smearing, foam parties and the sale and consumption of alcohol at venues where these traditional activities are held.
Attendees at festival event venues must have received at least three doses of COVID-19 vaccination or passed an antigen test no more than 72 hours previously.
Event organisers must comply with all disease control measures. People have been asked to monitor their health and avoid crowded places for seven days after returning from Songkran celebrations.