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  • Pattaya, rest of Chon Buri's Bang Lamung locked down

    Pattaya and the rest of Bang Lamung district has been locked down until further notice to curb a surge in Covid-19 infections, the provincial disease control committee said on Wednesday.

    The order, signed by governor Pakarathorn Thianchai, the committee chairman, was issued after 22 new Covid-19 infections were registered in Bang Lamung district.

    The following measures are to be taken under the order:

    - All department stores, restaurants and shops selling food and drinks are closed. They are open to customers for take-home only;

    - Convenience stores are closed between 10pm-5am;

    - All educational institutes, both public and private facilities at all levels, including tuition and nursery schools, are closed;

    - Also closed are public swimming pools, water parks, amusement parks, cinemas, entertainment venues, traditional massage parlours, spas, fitness centres, barbers, beauty shops and internet shops;

    - All venues for both outdoor and indoor activities likely to draw crowds of people are closed.

    - Face masks must be worn outdoors and at crowded venues.

    Violators are liable to penalties under the Communicable Disease Act of 2015 and other related laws.

    The order was sent to the Chon Buri police chief, heads of state enterprises and government offices, the Chon Buri provincial administration organisation (PAO), Pattaya City, and all municipalities in Bang Lamung for immediate implementation.:

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • Quiet night in Pattaya

      PATTAYA, Chon Buri: This eastern seaside tourist town was eerily quiet on Wednesday night after a lockdown order was issued by the provincial communicable disease committee to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.

      Under the order, Bang Lamung district, including Pattaya, was declared a "maximum control (red) zone" after the number of Covid-19 infections shot up to 144 on Wednesday.

      All department stores are closed, except takeaway food shops and drug stores.

      Also closed are massage parlours, fitness centres, pubs, bars and liquor shops.

      All entertainment venues in Pattaya shut their doors last night. Walking Street was empty. Only a few people were seen heading back to their homes. No tourists were in sight.

      Food shops which usually cater to night revellers were closed. Vehicles normally seen vending food and miscellaneous items were gone.

      The entire beach was empty.:

      Empty beach? No. I am sure there was a beach dog or two protecting their stretch of beach.

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • Pattaya is a ghost town, but a handful entrepreneurs persevere

        It was often said that Thailand’s world famous seaside resort town of Pattaya never sleeps. That was broadly true, until late last month, when the country’s second wave of COVID-19 struck. It began in nearby Rayong province and quickly spread to three other coastal provinces, including Chon Buri.

        All four coastal provinces in the eastern region, and Samut Sakhon, have now been declared maximum-security Red Zones, including Pattaya in Chon Buri.

        Although many tourism-related businesses in Pattaya were affected by the first wave of the infections early last year, forcing some to close, there was no complete lockdown, as is the case today, and the situation gradually improved through the second half of the year, offering renewed hope to many entrepreneurs, albeit without Chinese tourists.

        Many placed their hope on the recent long New Year holiday, which would normally have given them some short-term relief with the arrival of Thai visitors. Sadly though, their hopes were dashed.

        The formerly vibrant resort is now a ghost town. The famous walking street is eerily quiet as all the bars and shops remain shuttered. It is pitch black at night, as all the decorative lights and sign boards are off, although the street lights still illuminate the empty roads.

        Haunting “Annabelle” dolls have been placed anonymously at the entrance to the walking street, and on beach road, as if to drive home the message that Pattaya has become a ghost town.

        Despite the despair and desperation of many entrepreneurs, some have not lost all hope and remain determined to overcome the town’s worst crisis ever.

        The Center Point Prime Hotel, on the Sukhumvit Road in Bang Lamung district, is an example of the fighting spirit. The hotel recently erected an illuminated sign in Thai, which reads “Soo Soo” or “Fight Fight”, to offer moral support to the other beleaguered businesses.:

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • Pattaya hotels want to be closed so employees can claim state benefits

          Hotels and tourism-related businesses in Pattaya want the Chon Buri provincial administration to order the temporary closure of all hotels in the town, so that their employees can claim unemployment benefit from the Social Security Fund.

          This proposal was raised with Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunpluem at a meeting today.

          Pattaya is now deserted, since Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat and Samut Sakhon were declared COVID-19 Red Zones. Entry to and exit from these provinces now requires official authorization. These lockdown measures have severely impacted the hotel sector, with occupancy rates at almost zero.

          Representatives of the hotels reportedly told the city mayor that, in the neighboring province of Chanthaburi, the governor has already ordered all hotels to close temporarily and they want a similar measure applied in Pattaya and other districts in Chon Buri.

          Without the hotels being ordered to close, their employees would not be eligible for unemployment benefits, to help them weather the crisis.

          After the meeting, Mayor Sonthaya told the media he had no objection to the operators’ proposal, which will be referred to the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee for consideration.

          As chair of the committee, the governor is empowered to order the temporary closure of all hotels to contain the spread of the virus.

          Sonthaya said, however, that the proposal must be considered very carefully because the sector employs about 80,000 people and the closure of all hotels will have widespread consequences.:

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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