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All Phuket entertainment venues ordered closed for Songkran

All Phuket entertainment venues ordered closed for Songkran

PHUKET: All entertainment venues in Phuket have been ordered closed from tomorrow (Apr 9) through Apr 18, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has confirmed.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 8 April 2021, 04:15PM

Bars on Bangla Rd, Patong, were already struggling. Now all pubs, bars and other entertainment venues have been ordered closed from Apr 9-18. Photo: The Phuket News

Bars on Bangla Rd, Patong, were already struggling. Now all pubs, bars and other entertainment venues have been ordered closed from Apr 9-18. Photo: The Phuket News

Governor Narong delivered the news at the meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at Phuket Provincial Hall this morning.

The official order was issued this afternoon.

The forced closure of all entertainment venues on the island, including pubs, bars and karaoke venues, was to help protect against any spread of COVID-19 during the Songkran holidays, during which many tourists were expected to travel to Phuket, Governor Narong said.

In addition, the three venues that hosted mass parties last weekend, now at the centre of COVID infection concerns, have been ordered closed from tomorrow through Apr 21, Governor Narong added.

The venues have been closed so that they go undergo thorough cleaning and sanitising of all key areas, he said.

The writing was on the wall for forced closures last night when Phuket Vice Governor Vikrom Jakthee, speaking at a special meeting at Provincial Hall, revealed news of the closures. A video from the meeting was released only after Governor Narong had broken the news.

“The venue operators have not done anything wrong, but we have to do so because we need to protect against an outbreak during the Songkran holidays, during which we expect a lot of tourists will come to Phuket,” V/Gov Vikrom said.

“For the activities or events to be held during Songkran, just now Phuket Governor has already clarified what kind of activities we can hold. Basically, organisers must hold activities or under the disease control measures, such as wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, checking people’s body temperatures before they are allowed to enter the event areas,” he added.

“Venues where activities or events are held must have enough space for each person taking part, four square metres for each person… The activities that can be held are traditional activities, such as pouring water on elders’ hands. The number of people attending each event must be controlled, and the venues must have adequate air flow,” V/Gov Vikrom said.

“The measures from the committee may affect some people, but we need to ask for cooperation to follow the measures because, as you know, right now we are facing the third outbreak,” he noted. 

“In Phuket, we have 10 people currently confirmed as infected with COVID-19. We do not want the virus to spread like before. Right now, if you are affected by the measures, we will try our best to control the situation as soon as possible so you all will be able resume your normal lives and the economy can move forward,” V/Gov Vikrom said.

Following the mass parties held last weekend, V/Gov Vikrom said, “For now, we have already ordered the venues to close for 14 days, so that they cannot use the places to hold any events. The places need to be sanitised.

“I have already ordered the Kathu District office to investigate and inspect the three venues. We will discuss later what we will do with the operators, but now we have ordered to close the venues for 14 days. After this, we may need officers to more frequently patrol areas or events that are at risk of spreading the virus.”

Asked by a reporter, “The organiser said they just held the events in order to stimulate the number of tourists and the economy on the island. What do you think?", V/Gov Vikrom replied, “To stimulate the economy, we have to know who gets to benefit and who are negatively affected. We as officials are pleased to help anyone looking to help our economy recover, but you must not cause problems too. If only four to five operators benefit, but all people on the island are affected, this is not what we want,” he said.

“From now on, if we find any operators violating the control measures, we need to decisively take action on them. We have arrested owners and ordered two venues to be closed for five years. We have also ordered many operators to close their venues for 15 days and one month,” he said.

“We understand well that the Phuket economy is still bad and do not want anyone to be in deeper trouble, but we need to ask for cooperation. Please follow the measures we set,” V/Gov Vikrom said.

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Galong | 10 April 2021 - 18:19:20

@Fungus there are places in the body called 'immune privileged sites' where viruses can stay dormant for long periods, difficult to detect, & reappear much later. Covid has existed within the population.  Viruses, especially DNA types, don't just disappear from a host on their own. 

Kurt | 10 April 2021 - 09:43:25

@Fungus, we not even have to wait till 'July Opening'. On initiative of minister Anutin whole Thailand ( even yellow & red provinces) is 'travel as you want' during the Songkran week! Until today we not read what measures Phuket Government put in place to block 'import' of Covid-19 on Phuket during Songkran week which actually started today, Saturday.

Fungus | 10 April 2021 - 04:43:34

How did people with covid get onto the Island. If there are safe guards at the Surisan Bridge and the Airport,how effective are the safe guards? What is going to happen when the island opens on July 1st. How safe are we going to be?

Kurt | 09 April 2021 - 12:08:35

@Foot, Thai story telling about absence Covid-19 on Phuket was not true as we learn now. Avoiding testing of Thai inhabitants is ostrich behavior. At the end,.the truth has longer legs than the lies of  
Government's Officials who have no respect for the truth. I don't know how to categorize Officialdom lying and denial. But it happens all the time.
Makes me believe opposite.

Sandbar | 09 April 2021 - 08:28:54

There will be more covid cases to follow in Phuket. How ridicules to fantasize about opening up the boarder to travelers again....especially from europe! The "cobra" is about to strike again! More lock downs, more entertainment restrictions...more chaos! 

Kurt | 09 April 2021 - 07:31:50

Governor + V/G, both said to expect many tourists to come to Phuket during Songkran. Coming for what? Get all these tourists tested at Phuket airport and Sarassin Bridge before being allowed to enter Phuket? The vaccine Stadium happening at Saphan Hin was a bloody shame. Phuket doesn't paper tiger governing, but real governing. Poor Phuket.

Sandbar | 09 April 2021 - 06:09:18

First international flights arrive in Phuket..great news for all small bussiness and battling tourists operators. Now we close down all bars, pubs and clubs for ten days. Has anyone seen the film "ground hog day"?

Foot | 08 April 2021 - 20:10:13

Just to get this straight...Phuket has had no real COVID cases and Thailand only gets them from incoming travelers.  But, now, there is a major outbreak? How can there be such an outbreak if there is no COVID on the island, other than that on working girl in Karon Beach?

Svcoquette | 08 April 2021 - 18:54:07

Phuket Immigration is not abiding by the rules. Shoulder to shoulder and some not wearing masks. And why is 2 or 3 visits needed for VISA extension?

Galong | 08 April 2021 - 18:23:06

Stellar idea, LALALA!

Nasa12 | 08 April 2021 - 17:31:39

They never learn in phuket, drive son Thais to Karon today for “vaccine“ and the place was packed whit people. No system only get a ticket nr and wait together whit 100 of another hotels employee. The hold thing are fu.. up. 

Fascinated | 08 April 2021 - 16:56:45

A big thank you to those who introduced the virus back to Phuket through their short sighted greed. Arrogance of some has ruined things for everyone. Vote with your feet people- never cross the doorstep of these 3 arrogant venues again. the organisers should be forced to make restitution  to those that will suffer.

Galong | 08 April 2021 - 16:38:59

"enough space for each person taking part, four square metres for each person" who is going to monitor that this is being done? FYI, the vaccine stadium in Saphan Hin was packed shoulder to shoulder with people when my wife went there. This is something that could be monitored but isn't. Just shut EVERYTHING down until you can come up with a foolproof strategy. 

LALALA | 08 April 2021 - 16:24:21

They had more than 1 year time to bulldoze Bangla Road venues and make a nice park out of it.


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