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Phuket face mask campaign targeting tourists begins

Phuket face mask campaign targeting tourists begins

PHUKET: Police began patrolling Bangla Rd, Patong, last night to begin enforcing heightened measures to get tourists to wear face masks in public areas.

By The Phuket News

Friday 21 January 2022, 11:52AM

Patong Police Chief Col Sujin Nonbordee led an assembly of police officers, health officials and officers from Patong Municipality at the police box at the beach end of Bangla Rd at 7pm, where he handed down the order that the initial stage of the campaign is to raise awareness among tourists only.

“By joining together to campaign for people and tourists, both Thais and foreigners, to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Bangla Road area,” was the aim of the patrols last night, explained Col Sujin.

No fines are to be imposed at this stage.

The patrols were launched “due to reports that some tourists do not comply with Thailand’s public health measures, such as refusing to wear a cloth or face mask and gathering together to dine together. This could lead to the spread of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 that is spreading widely in the area now,” Col Sujin added.

Joining the assembly and ensuing patrol of Bangla Rd was Patong Mayor Chalermsak Mannesri and Phuket Vice Governor Amnuay Pinsuwan.

A report of the patrols issued by Patong Municipality noted that the officers spoke with tourists, staff and business operators on Bangla Rd “to clarify and understand the issue of not wearing a mask in public”.

“In the epidemic situation of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), there will be a penalty of a maximum fine of 20,000 baht under the Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558, which tourists understand and are ready to cooperate in good compliance with such measures,” the report added.

However, it has long been noted that by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in Bangkok in late November, that first time offences for not wearing a face mask in public areas is to be no more than B1,000.

Meanwhile, police and other officers launched their own campaign in Phuket Town to inform tourists to wear a mask while in public.

Leading the campaign which marched along the streets of the Phuket Old Town area were Phuket Town Mayor Saroj Angkanapilas and Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Anupap Rodkwan Yodrabam.

Military officers, police officers and public health officials joined the entourage, which toured popular tourist streets of Thalang Rd, Yaowarat Rd, Ranong Rd and Phang Nga Rd.

“The campaign is for local residents and tourists, both Thais and foreigners, to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by walking along roads that are tourist attractions in the Old Phuket Town area, said  Mayor Saroj.

“Most of the people, and tourists, almost everyone wears a mask, but only some of them don’t,” he said.

“Officers spoke with tourists, who understand and are cooperating in following [the COVID measures] well,” he said.

Mr Anupap noted, “Although the number of infected people in Phuket has decreased lately, there are still some tourists, both Thais and foreigners, who do not wear masks. Therefore, this campaign has been launched for tourists to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which is the concern of the provincial governor.”

“The governor has already asked for cooperation from the consuls in Phuket to inform tourists to wear masks, as well as asking for cooperation from hotel operators where tourists stay,” he added.

The campaign will be rolled out across the island, Mr Anupap said.

“After this we will synchronize with officials in each district and integrate [campaign efforts] with relevant agencies, including the military, police, administrative departments and public health officials, to patrol various areas, especially important tourist attractions of Phuket,” he said.

“If you see tourists or other people not wearing masks, the law will be enforced in accordance with the order of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 of Phuket Province,” he warned, without clarifying exactly which penalties will be enforced.

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christysweet | 22 January 2022 - 22:15:14

Take their pic and call 1155   Get the manager's name who allows patrons  to not wear masks. 

SEC2 | 22 January 2022 - 13:09:29

The clerk at Star Bucks today could have told the maskless one, no mask no service, but didn't. Big signs on entryways & cash registers saying no mask no service and point to it and really do it.  The owners / managers of these stores need to back up their employees and enforce this or stop it all together so the rest of us don't stress out.

Virushater | 22 January 2022 - 12:24:53

Not only Russians don’t take care about wearing face masks - also many Aussies, Americans and Arabs. The difference is, when I ask a Russian to put on a face mask, they do it most of the time. When I ask and Aussie or American, they go aggressive. Stupidity and ignorance is not a matter of the country of origin.

reality check | 22 January 2022 - 10:31:35

ALL tourists know there is a mask mandate before coming to Phuket.  They CHOOSE to ignore it.  I have politely asked tourists to wear a mask and they ignore me.

JohnC | 22 January 2022 - 09:33:23

What a load of BS. I see tourists every day completely ignoring the mask wearing rules and not caring what others think. Local Thais should be the ones getting angry and telling tourists to put a mask on but the famous Thai "non-confrontational" attitude spoils that idea. Wish they would speak up much more often!

lelecuneo | 21 January 2022 - 21:15:00

what a farse... and so how many tourist they found without mask? what did they do to them? mistery... or really we should believe all the ... Russian had a musk on last night? total bull.....it..

christysweet | 21 January 2022 - 18:31:52

Enforce it the GROCERY STORES,  please. If we see people  without masks, what are we to do ? Arrange overpriced transport  down to the Tourist Police Headquarters in Phuket Town to make a report?  

Fascinated | 21 January 2022 - 17:56:40

Very mis-leading scare-mongering  headline, In the story itself it clearly states locals and tourists

SEC2 | 21 January 2022 - 16:09:15

Why don't they patrol the shopping malls and stores.  Bangla Road is too easy and advanced warning tips bar owners off so they can go and buy masks for guests.  Today man walked into shopping center today without mask and no one stopped him. I see it every day. 

Pooliekev | 21 January 2022 - 15:25:18

Of course its for show, that's the entire point!! Why patrol at all? 

maverick | 21 January 2022 - 13:55:36

Most people in Bangla Road are sitting down having a beer - wider patrols necessary including the beach road - this is all for show 


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