The new provision follows the new provincial order, No 2553/2564, signed, dated and issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday (May 12).
The order came into effect today (May 13), and is to remain in effect until at least May 31.
As is now standard, the public information notice carried the logos of five government organisations and that of one private commercial organisation, the PKCD, making the notice a “group effort”, with no one agency or level of government specifically responsible.
The five government organistions whose logos are featured on the notice are the Phuket Provincial Government, the Phuket Provincial Administration organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor), the Phuket Provincial Office of the Ministry of Health, PR Phuket and the Official COVID-19 Information Center Phuket (which is operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, which is also otherwise known as the Phuket Provincial Government).
The notice issued today also bore a clear warning beside the Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau logo, saying: “If you witness any risky behaviour that could lead to disease transmission, please call 191, available 24 hours a day.
“Foreign offenders could be deported and lose their permission to stay in Thailand, according to the violation under the Immigration Act.”
The revised notice marked the new provision regarding no friends visiting homes at the bottom of the centre panel, coloured orange - not red or yellow, like the other panels.
The bottom of the orange panel noted: “No parties of any kind allowed… Only those of ritual ceremonies such as weddings, ordinations and funeral services that cannot be postponed.”
The notice also made clear, “No house party, no friends gathering in the residence.”
The notice specifically warned: “If they are not the family members who already live together in the same house - NOT allowed”.
The Phuket News has yet to receive specific clarification of the new provision, which in the order itself mandates that it is prohibited for people who are not members of the family staying in the house to join the family for eating together or for drinking alcohol.
The notice issued today did not clarify for which purpose, if any, any number of friends may gather at any one house.
Also not clarified is whether or not visits by friends where eating or drinking is not conducted are permitted.
Visits by other family members not staying in the house are not mentioned at all.
Of note, the new provision has spurred a whirlwind of controversy online, especially after two foreigners were fined B6,000 each for holding what was deemed to be a party of just six people in Cherng Talay on Sunday.
The other prohibited activities marked in the “No Permitted” orange panel were (verbatim):
- More than 30 persons group activities / group gathering
- Group party with alcohol drinking in public spaces
- No alcoholic beverages are sold in the restaurants, including those in hotels
- Film recording / movie making consisting of more than 50 persons
The “Temporary closure” panel, coloured red, featured the following (verbatim):
- All types of educational institutes
- Entertainment venues, pubs, bars, karaoke shops
- Massage parlors (except : medical treatment message for rehabilitation)
- Chicken fighting rings, fish fighting rings, Boxing stadium, Boxing training gyms
- Billirads, pool & snooker tables
- Computer gaming centers / Internet cafes
- Premises for tattooing or piercing of skin or any part of the body
- Amulet and Buddha statue trading markets and centers
- Fishing or shrimp catching lagoon
- Business of travelling, sea excursions, scuba diving and snorkeling activities
- Walking streets
- Private nurseries
- Cinemas, entertainment venues, water parks, amusement parks
- Gymnasium, fitness centers, badminton chords/ areas
The “Open with conditions” panel, coloured yellow, featured the following provisions (verbatim):
- Restaurants, allow to dine in until 21.00 hrs., which no more than 4 persons on the same table
- Department stores, open until 21.00 hrs., with no promotion activities
- Convenience stores, markets and supermarkets are allowed to open during 04:00 hrs. - 23.00 hrs.
- Outdoor sport arenas, opentil until 21:00 hrs. No encounter activities, no more than 3 persons per one team
- Golf diving range allowed to open without any audience
- Beauty salons (to be opened for skin and body NOT the facial part)
- Beauty salons and barber shops (to be opened only for shampooing, layering and service users waiting for service users waiting in for service in shops are not allowed)
- Animal spas & animal care centers, service users waiting for service in shops are not allowed