Deputy Minister of Public Health said on Thursday that Thailand would prohibit online sales of alcohol in a bid to clampdown on underage drinking. This comes after a rise in sales during the COVID 19 outbreak.
The Kingdom scrapped a three-week ban on the sale of alcohol in shops in May when it lifted other restrictions following progress in containing the COVID 19 outbreak.
The legal drinking age is 20 and the sale of alcohol is prohibited in certain areas like schools and parks. Thailand already limits the hours that stores can sell alcohol.
“Since the outbreak of COVID 19, the sale of beverages online has increased and there were promotions that did not regulate age and location, making it difficult to enforce existing laws,” Deputy Minister of Public Health Satit Pitutacha said in a statement.
The new regulations would come into effect this year and carry a maximum fine of 10,000 baht ($320) and up to six months in prison. Several grocery retailers in Thailand offer alcoholic products online.
It appears the Thai government believes young underage drinkers are having their booze delivered by major retailers and not picking it up at their local mom and pop shop.
“A more logical decision would be to enforce checking of age,” Jerome Le Louer, owner of Wishbeer, an online store for craft beer, wines and spirits.
He said, “We check the ID of our customers when we deliver and retailers could do similar checks online. Cooperation between regulators and businesses would be more effective than prohibition”.