The ‘Blue Flag’ markets organised by the Ministry of Commerce are well known across the country for providing vendors a market where overheads are greatly reduced so they can pass on the discounts to customers.
The ongoing Blue Flag market that was held in front of the Ministry of Commerce Phuket office on Suthat Rd in Phuket Town since July last year was last held in February, where it was held on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of each month.
The market was shut down by provincial order in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Phuket Governor Phakaphong Pavipatana said at the press conference held at Phuket Provincial Hall today (June 4) to announce the relaunch.
The monthly market has been rebranded to “Commerce [Ministry] market against COVID-19”, he said.
“In order to help local people and vendors,” Governor Phakaphong said.
The monthly markets before the outbreak of COVID-19 saw about B250,000 of goods sold each time, he pointed out.
“The easing of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions has allowed the market to reopen, but there must be controls on the people entering and exiting the market, body temperatures must be checked and there must be appropriate spacing between each person,” Governor Phakaphong stressed.
Present for the relaunch today were Ministry of Commerce Phuket Office Chief Sasiphimon Mongkon, Phuket Provincial Public Health Office Chief Dr Thanit Sermkaew, among other officials.
Chief Sasiphimon explained that the market was being set up in order to help local vendors affected by the virus outbreak.
“In the market, there will be around 50 booths selling agricultural products, local handicraft goods, low-priced essential goods, and ready-to-eat foods,” Ms Saisphimon said
The market is currently scheduled to be held over five days each month, as follows: June 8-12, July 13-17, Aug 3-7 and Sept 7-11.
“We aim to create a place where local people can sell their products at value prices in order help people cope with their living expenses,” Ms Sasiphimon said.
“This will also show that Phuket has effective measures to protect the virus from spreading and is a safe place to visit,” she added.
“We expect there will be around 1,000 people coming to the market each day and around 20,000 people visiting the market during the whole campaign, altogether generating about around B3 million in sales,” she said.
Chief Thanit reminded that people visiting the market must maintain social distancing and wear a face mask at all times.
“Any vendors who develop a fever must stop selling at the market and see a doctor immediately,” he said.