COVID-19: Infections trickle in, booze is blamed, businesses not following rules

Social distancing, face masks and shields are in use at a hair salon. Photo: Phoenix siam salon / Facebook
Social distancing, face masks and shields are in use at a hair salon. Photo: Phoenix siam salon / Facebook

Health officials this morning again cited alcohol consumption as the biggest cause for people to congregate despite the risk of coronavirus exposure and said many businesses are failing to follow the rules.

Announcing six additional infections but no more fatalities Monday, COVID-19 task force spokesman Taweesilp Wissanuyothin complained that a third of the roughly 18,000 businesses which have reopened have not fully followed the complex array of rules governing their operation.

“I’m glad people are trying, but please try harder,” Taweesilp said.

There’s clearly some desire to reimpose a publicly unpopular ban on alcohol sales that was in place for most of April. Taweesilp said carousing remained the No. 1 reason for people to gather but did not cite any evidence of alcohol-related infections.

Thailand has now reported 3,015 infections and 56 deaths since the outbreak began in January, despite limited testing that makes the actual number unknown. Daily case reports have fallen to the single digits since April 27.

The spokesman added some more details about further relaxed policies come May 17: Shopping malls and large department stores will be allowed to reopen except for theaters, fitness centers, bowling alleys and amulet markets they house.

He said that beauty salon patrons can now get their hair curled and colored, and nails painted, so long as it takes under two hours.


Before you go out, here are the confusing rules to Bangkok’s partial reopening

Subscribe to the WTF is Up in Southeast Asia + Hong Kong podcast to get our take on the top trending news and pop culture from the region every Thursday!

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on