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Koh Lipe enacts 1 month lockdown restrictions from tomorrow

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Sorry tourists, this beautiful picture is the closest you'll get to Koh Lipe until next month. (via Pixabay)

After a new outbreak of Covid-19, Koh Lipe will become the latest Thai destination to go into semi-lockdown and harsh restrictions including a curfew. The governor of Lipe’s province Satun has ordered a month-long near lockdown beginning August 9 and ending September 5.

The order, officially titled Satun Province 1482/2564 on preventative measures and control of Coronavirus disease 2019, comes after a cluster was uncovered with about 30 people infected with Covid-19 on Koh Lipe.

The strict order requires the closure of all businesses related to tourism on the holiday island, so guesthouses, resorts, hotels, hostels, or any other type of accommodation must be closed. This creates an awkward situation where more than 90 tourists currently vacationing on the island will no longer have any place to stay and have to evacuate the island. Under the new restrictions, all travellers will go through a health screening before leaving Koh Lipe back to the mainland.

Once the tourists are cleared out, the piers on Koh Lipe will be closed to any type of tourist boat and any boat in that category like day cruises will not be allowing in close proximity to the island either. From tomorrow until September 5, the restrictions allow only essential travel will be allowed for people with unavoidable business on Koh Lipe. All other travellers will be turned away.

Anyone entering the island must be fully vaccinated for at least 2 weeks before the date of travel or have an RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen test no older than 72 hours before arriving in Koh Lipe and be able to produce relevant documentation upon arrival to meet restrictions.

On the island, life will be quieted, with checkpoints set up by the provincial public health authorities to slow and discourage people from travelling around the island more than necessary. And to discourage gatherings, parties, and drinking that can lead to outbreaks, Koh Lipe will have a mandatory curfew in effect from 9 pm to 4 am every night, with restrictions allowing no movement allowed without approval from the authorities.

Violators of the new restrictions face up to 2 years in jail, in line with national Covid-19 laws and orders, but also a fine of up to 100,000 baht, markedly higher than the national emergency decree and Communicable Disease Act that allows for 20,000 to 40,000 baht punishments.

SOURCE: The Pattaya 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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