Phuket closes Sarasin bridge at night to give fatigued health workers a break

Phuket is closing the Sarasin bridge nightly to give fatigued health workers a break after working nonstop to screen travellers for Covid-19. Only those operating emergency service vehicles will be allowed to use the bridge from 11pm to 5am. The checkpoint was previously open 24 hours a day, but since there were only a few travellers during the night, Vice Governor, Piyapong Choowong, is giving health workers a break.

“To make the management at the checkpoint better, we have decided to close the checkpoint during the night. However, we have exempted vehicles transporting necessary goods and other essential services. These people must apply for approval in advance, as we have already informed operators to follow the rule.”

“For those who are worried about the exact hours and when the checkpoint will be closed, please follow up official announcements. The official order may come in one to two days. I just want to inform the public so they can prepare. The closure [during the night] will last about two weeks, it will not be for the long term.”

Piyapong also says the number of people allowed to attend activities has been cut from 50 to 30.

“Previously, we allowed not more than 50 people, but right now we have reduced that to 30 people, except for meetings held by officials or traditional ceremonies, such as funerals, which can still be held with strict disease control measures [and with prior approval from local authorities].”

“During the meeting we were asked about people holding celebrations. I would say a celebration is a type of gathering that is banned, no matter how many people gather.”

The committee also reviewed cockfighting regulations.

“An operator of a cockfight venue asked that although the venues have been ordered closed, can cock owners conduct training at the venue. The venues for cock fighting, fish fighting, bull fighting and any kind of gambling must be closed for both fighting and training.”

“Additionally, I want to point out that drinking alcohol in public places was banned in the first order [issued for the current outbreak]. In the order, we gave only 1 example like beaches, but you must understand the concept of public places. We mean every public place which may not be [specifically] mentioned in the order.”

Piyapong says the issue of reopening tutorial schools will be discussed later.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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