Pattaya and Jomtien Beach restaurant and bar owners waved placards at Chonburi Governor Pakarathorn Thienchai, begging him to allow alcohol sales in their establishments.
The operators ambushed the governor outside the Chonburi Public Health Department Nov. 30 when he arrived to attend a Communicable Disease Committee meeting. They gave him a petition with the signatures of 460 bar and restaurant owners demanding he relieve the prohibition.
The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration last month designated Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya, a “blue” tourism zone, opening the door for alcohol sales. In other blue zones, including Bangkok and Cha-am, the provincial governor authorized booze sales, but Chonburi’s governor claims he can’t.
Lisa Hamilton, chairwoman of Jomtien Beach Business Operators group, said other provinces and blue zones are allowed to sell alcohol and that operators can’t understand why Pattaya remains dry.
Pakarathorn accepted the letter but claimed the decision was, in fact, not his. He put the onus on the central government. He said the disease-control committee will pass the operators’ request on to Bangkok.