Dozens of tourists were arrested at a party after allegedly breaking Covid-19 rules in the notorious sex resort Pattaya in Thailand. More than 100 party-goers including Brits, American, Europeans and other foreigners were caught at a drunken shisha smoking session at two restaurants on June 26. A number of them later tested positive for the virus. Police seized the bottles of liquor found on the premises, which was allegedly breaking the ongoing alcohol ban, while the illegal pipes were confiscated as well. The owners were arrested and allegedly confessed that they started selling alcohol during the ban as the high demand has made it more profitable. Police Colonel Santi Kornkasem said: ‘We were informed that the restaurants were secretly serving alcoholic drinks to customers and they turned their businesses into bars during the nighttime. ‘Further investigation is needed but we will charge them with breaking the Covid-19 restrictions. The pipes and bottles of alcohol were also confiscated as evidence.’ One of the restaurants occupied a four-storey building in the area and allegedly hid their bar on the third floor. Some of the partygoers hid in different rooms while the others ran out of the building but they were cornered by the police. Thailand has recorded 244,447 Covid-19 cases and 1,912 deaths as of June 27. Ministers hope a vaccine rollout that started this month will allow them to re-open the country to international tourists before the end of the year. Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen. Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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