Thailand bans sale of alcoholic drinks in war on COVID-19

BANGKOK — Thailand is trying a new tactic in its battle against the new coronavirus: banning the sale of alcoholic beverages to try to curb irresponsible socializing.

With bars already ordered closed, a number of provinces, as well as the capital Bangkok, have taken things a step further and temporarily outlawed the sale of beer, wine and spirits.

Bangkok’s ban, which started Friday and runs until April 20, had the unintended effect of creating crowds and long lines at stores as people stocked up in the few hours between the ban’s announcement and its going into effect.

Authorities have been concerned about the potential for partying during the upcoming Thai new year festival known as Songkran.