The new provincial order (No 2921/2564), signed and dated by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew on Friday (May 28), is to come into effect on Tuesday, June 1 ‒ that is, effectively at midnight Monday night ‒ and is to remain in effect until another order is issued.
The order was posted publicly just before 8pm last night (May 29).
Under the order it remains forbidden to organise activities in which groups of more than 30 people are gathered together unless authorised by officials or is an activity performed by an official or is an activity in an area designated as a place of quarantine.
It is forbidden to join groups in public areas, beaches, parks, playgrounds, canal roads and roads around reservoirs.
Service establishments, pubs, karaoke bars, entertainment venues and establishments that resemble service establishments anywhere in the Phuket area are to remain “temporarily” closed until further notice.
Venues for cockfighting, fish fighting, bird races, chicken races, boxing fields and gambling venues (sic) are to remain closed.
Also prohibited from opening are snooker, billiard and pool table venues as well as computer games shops and online game cafes.
Department stores, shopping centers, community malls or other similar establishments must close at 9pm, and must limit the number of visitors at the venues. Promotional activities, game machines and amusement arcades at such venues are to remain closed.
Convenience stores and supermarkets must close at 11pm. Stores or locations that normally operate 24 hours may open for business at 4am
Also to remain closed are movie theaters, theaters and water parks.
The filming of any television programs, movies and videos must not involve more than 50 people and must not have viewers participating.
Social events in the form of parties, banquets, festivals, birthdays, housewarmings, receptions, and congratulatory celebrations for various occasions remain banned.
Traditional ceremonies such as funerals, ordinations and weddings are allowed, but must have permission from officials and must be held in accordance with COVID-prevention measures.
Dining together or drinking alcohol at home or any other place of residence must involve family members and must not have an outside party, the roder maintains.
“It is forbidden to organise any activities that have a risk of infection,” it notes in the section dedicated to social activities.
“In the event that the offender is a foreigner it may be considered to cancel [the foreigner’s permission to] living in the Kingdom in strict accordance with the Immigration Act,” the order notes.
Employers are asked to organise “work from home” and organise their operations to reduce the risk of spreading infection as much as possible.
Of note, a special section of the order notes that government agencies with areas serving people are to “perform a new format (New Normal) by using an online registration system”, whereby visitors are issued a queue reservation for service in advance.
The government office must organise the queuing system and a queuing area for visitors at the office whereby visitors are seated or stand at least one metre apart from each other.
The office is to control the number of customers to prevent the office from being crowded according to the area size.
Officials are to refrain or delay any service that is not deemed to be urgent.
The wearing of face masks in public remains mandatory. “When a person who does not comply with the first paragraph [stipulating that wearing a face mask in public is mandatory] is found the competent official shall warn and order that person to act correctly,” the order notes.
“If that person does not follow [the official’s instructions, the official is] to proceed in accordance with the Communicable Disease Act B.E. 2558 and its amendments and comply with Phuket Provincial Order No. 62/2564 dated 7 January 2021”.
“All people believed to be infected shall be examined, treated and admitted to isolation, quarantine or quarantine at the place and for the period specified by the communicable disease control officer or the public health official until medical examination has confirmed that the risk of infection has passed,” the order noted.
Any persons with “reasonable suspicion of infection” are to notify officials immediately.
As confirmed by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong late this week (May 27), the following businesses may reopen but must operate in strict accordance with Ministry of Health COVID-prevention measures:
- Spa business establishments, massage businesses for health or beauty
- Venues for providing tattoos or piercing any parts of the body
- Venues for fortune telling or other similar activities
- Venues where amulets are sold
- Venues where customers can fish for shrimp or fish
- Scuba diving businesses, including tourism-related businesses, as well as businesses that operate snorkelling activities
- Walking street markets, flea markets, retail stores, wholesaler venues, community malls and markets may open but the consumption of liquor or alcoholic beverages at the venues remains prohibited
- All private nurseries and kindergartens may reopen
- Food or beverage shops that allow customers to consume food or beverages at the venue may reopen within their normal permitted hours
- Stadiums or venues for outdoor exercise, such as parks, courtyards and open-air public activity areas, may open but there must be no spectators or congregation
- Venues for indoor exercise, such as sports courts, gymnasiums, fitness centres, badminton courts are allowed to reopen
- Golf courses or golf practice fields (driving ranges) are allowed to reopen without crowds or competitions
- Beauty clinics, centres, salons or places that provide specialised services for beauty treatments, including nail salons and venues selling slimming products may reopen
- Beauty salons, hair cutting and styling shops for men and women can open but only for hair cutting and hairdressing activities
- Pet care and grooming venues can reopen.