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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

English announcement of Phuket policy: no house gatherings

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Even a few friends over for a cocktail is now illegal in Phuket.

The Public Relations Department of Phuket updated Covid-19 restrictions with an English notice confirming among other things that no house parties or gatherings are allowed in the province. The policy was instated this week and went into effect officially Thursday, posting in English seen below. The new restrictions are in place until at least the end of the month.

The notice comes as the partnership of the PK CD and five governmental organizations working together to implement and enforce the law. PR Phuket is joined by the Official Covid-19 Information Centre Phuket, the Phuket Provincial Office of the Ministry of Health, the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation, and the Phuket Provincial Government.

The new rules are tighter and compliance is stressed, warning that for foreigner disobedience is a violation of the Immigration Act and could lead to deportation and a ban from entering Thailand. It also clarifies some grey areas leaving no room for interpretation by saying directly that no house parties and no friend gatherings are allowed in private homes in Phuket. Get-togethers of people who are not already living together or family members are strictly prohibited.

While the new rules are harsh, some points of confusion still exist, with unclear wording about family members that do not live together, or if any activities at all would permit friends to meet together if they are not eating or drinking. But it might be smart to err on the side of caution as the ban calls for no parties of any kind except for rituals like funerals, weddings, ordinations that are unable to be put off.

The new rules come after 2 British Nationals were each fined 6,000 baht for a gathering of only 6 people that Phuket Police defined as a party. Of course, the proclamation has been met with frustration and controversy, as people debate over Covid-19 safety versus personal freedom. But officials seem determined to enforce the policy, including an ” if you see something, say something” warning with the release urging people to call 191 at any time to report risky behaviour.

English announcement of Phuket policy: no house gatherings | News by Thaiger

The updated policies call for the following to be completely closed:

  • Entertainment venues, pubs, bars, karaoke
  • Massage except for medical rehab
  • All education institutes
  • Chicken and fish fighting, and boxing
  • Gyms, fitness centers and arenas
  • Billiards, pool, and snooker
  • Internet cafes
  • Tattoo and piercing shops
  • Amulet and Buddha statue markets
  • Fishing Lagoons
  • Scuba, snorkelling, sea excursions or similar travel businesses
  • Walking streets
  • Nurseries
  • Cinemas, amusement parks, and water parks

Activities that are not permitted:

  • Groups of 30 people
  • Public gathering with alcohol
  • No alcohol in restaurants or hotel cafes
  • No house parties, no friends gathering at home
  • No parties of any kind except ritual ceremonies
  • Film crews of more than 50

Businesses conditionally allowed to open:

  • Restaurants: 4 people per table max, dine-in until 9 pm
  • Department stores: until 9 pm
  • Convenience stores, markets, and supermarkets: 4 am to 11 pm
  • Outdoor sports: 3 people per team max, until 9 pm
  • Driving ranges: no audience allowed
  • Beauty salons: no facial treatments, no customers waiting
  • Animal care and spas: no customers waiting

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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