The 24-hour ban comes into force at midnight tonight.
Any persons and businesses found selling alcohol during the 24-hour period face up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to B10,000, or both, the office said in its official warning today.
“We have already coordinated with the Phuket Provincial Police on the matter,” PPHO Chief Dr Thanit Sermkaew said.
“If there is a violation of the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages, the offenders are to be arrested immediately,” he added.
“Most pubs and bars will be closed, and main convenience stores know the law and will not sell alcohol during the period,” Mr Thanit noted.
“However, we are concerned about small shops. In the past, we have found shops along the Patong beachfront that have violated the law, secretly selling alcoholic beverages because there are a lot of tourists,” he said.
Mr Thanit also noted that ample warning of the alcohol ban had been given to vendors. (see story by The Phuket News last week, click here.)
“From Feb 13-18, PPHO officers have been visiting areas to make sure small shop owners know that they are not permitted to sell alcohol during the 24 hours,” he said.
“Also, health officers will be working with local authorities, such as municipalities and tambon administration organisations (OrBorTor) to check that no shops sell alcohol during the holiday. If any are found doing so, it will lead to their prompt arrest by police,” Dr Thanit warned.
Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Sermpan Sirikong also called on people to report any vendors selling alcohol during he period by calling the national police hotline 191.
The alcohol ban for tomorrow was instituted by law under an announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office on January 22, 2015.
Under the order, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on five specific Buddhist religious days: Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha, Asarnha Bucha Day, Khao Pansa and Wan Org Pansa.
Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha and Asarnha Bucha Day are all public holidays in the Kingdom. Khao Pansa and Wan Org Pansa, however, are not.
Duty-free shops in international airports are exempt from the ban.