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Update: Phuket International Film Festival

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Update: Phuket International Film Festival | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: Scheduled for June 4-13, the Phuket International Film Festival is offering 10 days of award-winning movies, parties and networking events with international filmmakers, cultural activities and, of course, world-famous Thai hospitality.

The film festival is unique in that events will be held all over Phuket, allowing visitors to experience the spice of island life as activities take place in their backyards.

The Gala Opening will take place on June 5 at Royal Phuket Marina and promises to be an evening of meeting and shmoozing with international movie stars, politicos and VIPs from Phuket Island.

Tickets for all events are available at the main theatre screening location, the Coliseum Cineplex next to Robinsons in Phuket Town.

The Phuket International Film Festival is sponsored by the Phuket Gazette and PGTV.

For more information, call the Festival Hot Line on 081-722 4461 or click here.

On the move at Phuket Radisson

Asia Travel Tips
The Radisson Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach has promoted Siriwan Nipatchareon to Director of Sales and Marketing following a two year tenure as Director of Sales.

Siriwan played a critical role in managing the resort’s pre-opening sales activities. Her prior employment includes the luxurious Conrad hotel in Bangkok, Le Royal Méridien Bangkok, and the Hotel Sofitel Central Hua Hin.

Ms Thitaya Yenwattana has been appointed as the new Director of Sales. Her employment portfolio includes placements in the Sales Department at the Conrad Bangkok and as part of the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit’s pre-opening team.

Thitaya has fifteen years of dedicated experience and will be based at the Radisson Phuket resort’s Bangkok Sales Office.

Police force under fire

Opinion: The Nation
Former prime minister Chuan Leekpai, chairman of the Democrat Party’s advisory team, has suggested that the Thai national police force should be reformed, pointing to the agency’s ineffectiveness in the midst of the recent chaos in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand.

One cannot dismiss the argument that the police need a serious overhaul, starting with the recruitment process and the need for clarification over their mandate, responsibilities and duties.

The country needs to come up with ways that permit public participation in keeping the police in line, enabling the people to reclaim control over the agency that is supposed to protect and serve them.

Java gains from Thai turmoil

The Jakarta Post
According to Ling Herdiwan, head of the West Java Tourism and Culture Office, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in West Java has substantially risen, to an average of 1,000 per day, following the recent political conflicts in Thailand and the opening of direct flights from Malayaisa to Bandung.

Speaking at the Sate building in Bandung after kicking off the West Java Adventure-Off Road event, Ling said that at least 300 tourists who had initially planned to go to Thailand last week, for example, suddenly changed their destination to West Java.

“Travel agencies which had signed contracts with the tourists to go to Thailand, changed their itineraries to other destinations, including West Java,” Ling said.

Free tourist visas and insurance extended

TTRWeekly
The Thai government has extended its emergency insurance scheme for tourists stranded during a protest or riot. The government is also extending the waiver on tourist visa fees. Both extensions will expire March 31, 2011.

The insurance scheme is underwritten by a government budget that pays a premium of US$1 per day, per tourist.

The insurance covers tourists for injuries or a disruption of their travel program due to political disturbances; hospital costs, accommodation, food and transfer costs if a tourist’s departure is delayed; and repatriation if airline arrangements are deemed invalid.

The scheme also pays out a lump sum to the family of a tourist killed during a disturbance.

— Gazette Editors

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

12 Covid-19 violators busted drinking on Patong Beach

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A group drinking on the beach was arrested for violating Covid-19 restrictions. (via Freepik)

12 violators of Covid-19 restrictions, of Thai and foreign origin, have been arrested and taken into custody by police for gathering and drinking in public on Patong Beach. The Covid-19 measures currently in place in Phuket ban all get-togethers involving alcohol, limiting the number that can drink together to just 2 people. The group were arrested for violating this order and for drinking in public.

According to the police the group had 3 foreign men in it along with 5 Thai women and 3 Thai ladyboys, so for those keen at maths the details of the 12th person were not revealed. The Covid-19 rule violators were arrested Friday night in Patong on the walkway along the beach on Thaweewong Road, the popular beachfront road.

Police noted the specifics of their liquor stash, confirming that the group had 2 bottles and 8 cans of Thai beer, 2 imported beers, 4 wine coolers, 4 soda waters, and 2 bottles of Thai liquor. The stash was confiscated by the police.

The perpetrators were brought to Phuket town to the Phuket City Police Station. There they were met by the Phuket Vice governors and medical personnel from Vachira Phuket Hospital. The medics administered swab sample Covid-19 test to each member of the group of restriction violators.

The Vice Governor reminded people that these restrictions were put in place after more than 20 people tested positive for Covid-19 from a small group of people drinking together. That is why the regulations allow just two people together when alcohol is involved. He stressed that police and government officials have been instructed to crack down on violators to try to quickly curb the spread of Covid-19 for a chance at reopening to international tourism July 1st.

Officials asked the public to work together to attempt to eliminate the spread of Covid-19 in Phuket and instructed anybody who sees violators of the Covid-19 restrictions to contact the police immediately. Sentence and fine details were not yet available for the group of 12.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 mask violators in Phuket forced to exercise

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Pushups instead of a 6,000 baht fine at a Phuket checkpoint yesterday. (via video screenshot)

For those who have more pounds on their body than pounds in their pocket, exercise punishment seen in Phuket yesterday for mask violators may or may not be welcome. Officials have walked back the strict 6,000 baht punishment for the first warning against someone not wearing a mask and were spotted forcing those who have gone out without a mask to do exercise on the street.

The people forced to exercise were at a Covid-19 checkpoint in the Rawai subdistrict, where the Chalong Police along with local medical workers were checking people yesterday. The checkpoint was set up in an effort to push one hundred per cent mask compliance to stop the spread of Covid-19 on Phuket.

Not only were they checking everyone who passed by to make sure they had their masks, but also to correct those who were wearing their masks improperly. We’ve all seen the people who seem to think that a mask on their chin or underneath their nose is somehow just as effective as a properly worn mask, or at least that they can get away with “wearing a mask” while limiting their personal inconvenience.

Officials were quick to point out that the overwhelming majority of people passing through the checkpoint, both foreigners and Thai, did have their masks with them and were wearing them properly. But they did catch more than 10 people not wearing their face mask or not using them correctly.

Authorities decided to let them off with a first soft warning by moving bodies instead of moving baht. Police made violators do exercise right there on the street in hopes of shaming them into making better decisions next time. All violators did have their names and details taken down with a promise that if they were caught again proper traditional fines would be handed down.

No word yet on any plans to make this punishment into a Tik-Tok Channel.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Tourism

Thai public health and tourism ministers on Phuket to push the July 1 Sandbox reopening

Tim Newton

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Bangkok has sent a couple of ministerial heavyweights to Phuket today to keep pushing the July 1 ‘Sandbox’ bandwagon, insisting that Phuket will open to fully vaccinated tourists from July 1.

The Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul ,along with the Sports and Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, are doing the island PR tour today delivering a message from the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who is confirming that Phuket will open to fully vaccinated international tourists from the start of July.

Phuket has continued to rack up between 10-20 new Covid infections each day over the past week and still has hundreds of people listed as ‘active cases’. As of today 22% of the island has been vaccinated.

The original Phuket Sandbox model was intended to be quarantine-free. That issue was not made clear during today’s PR trip from the 2 ministers. The full details of how Phuket will open to international tourists, how those tourists might get to Phuket, or where they will visit on an island with its tourist infrastructure shutdown, have not been provided at this stage. It has also not been discussed how long the international tourists will have to remain on Phuket before travelling to other parts of the country.

The Phuket Governor welcomed the prime ministerial delegation to Provincial Hall at lunchtime saying that Phuket would progress with its plans to launch the Phuket Sandbox from July 1.

“All stakeholders who are frontline warriors working to solve the problem of the Covid epidemic situation have earned the goodwill and concern from Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also believes that Phuket is ready to prepare for the opening of the Phuket Tourism Sandbox on July 1 for sure.”

Phuket Province generated several hundreds of billions of baht of income for the country per year and Thailand relies heavily on tourism income. Indeed, second to Bangkok, Phuket was the government’s golden goose delivering decades of high tourism receipt returns.

Speaking to The Phuket News, Anutin said…

“The government is ready to act as soon as possible. This has been clearly proved, such as by the large number of vaccine doses that Phuket has been allocated to vaccinate the people in the area to cover all groups and be as safe as possible as the ‘Phuket Model’.

“When the economy is good, everyone gets better, so use patience to believe that good things will follow”.

Another 100,000 Sinovac vaccines arrived on the island to be formerly handed over today by Minister Anutin. An additional 100,000 doses will arrive on Tuesday.

AstraZeneca vaccines are also due to arrive from June, daily reserved for people over 60 years old or people who have other health conditions which require the AZ vaccine instead of the Chinese manufactured Sinovac.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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