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Phuket officials ramp up campaign for ’new normal’ beach rules, face masks required

Phuket officials ramp up campaign for ’new normal’ beach rules, face masks required

PHUKET: Officials and Tourist Police are ramping up their campaign to ensure that people at Phuket beaches, especially at Patong, observe the ‘new normal’ rules, including the requirement to wear a face mask.

By Khunanya Wanchanwet

Friday 26 June 2020, 09:00AM

“For now, Patong Municipality has already allowed people to relax and do activities on the beach, but we found some people ignoring the requirement to wear face masks,” Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup told The Phuket News’ Thai-language sister newspaper Khao Phuket.

“We have already ordered lifeguards and municipal officers to remind them,” she said.

“We installed signs about the disease-control measures and set up officer teams to take care of people on the beach,” Mayor Chalermluck added.

“We understand that some people want to feel the beach and sea atmosphere, but please wear face masks to protect against the virus from spreading. Please be disciplined without any reminder needed from any lifeguards or officers.” she urged.

Sirawat Kriangkrai from the Department of Public Health and Environment’s Sanitation Division at Patong Municipality told The Phuket News that the requirements for visiting the beach was now considered the “new normal”.

“This to prevent a second wave of COVID-19,” he said.

However, Mr Sirawat did give the face-mask rule at the beach some breathing space.

“If you are swimming or exercising alone, your face mask can be removed, but try to avoid groups of people,” he said.

“Also make sure to bring sanitising gel to wash your hands. You must bring this by yourself,” he added.

Mr Sirawat explained that sanitising gel may lose its effectiveness if left in the heat for extended periods. “It may lose efficiency, therefore we recommend that people bring their own,” he said.

On the other rules, Mr Sirawat was just as stern.

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“Do not play sports or do activities that require touching each other, and maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from other people. You can come as a family and stay in a group, but try to avoid interacting with other people or other groups,” he said. 

“And do not gather to eat or drink,” he added.

Snr Sgt Maj Nittaya Bungthong of the Phuket Tourist Police told The Phuket News that Tourist Police patrols check along Patong Beach every day.

“Most tourists are cooperating very well in complying with the public health regulations and the ‘new normal’ as determined by Patong Municipality,” Snr Sgt Maj Nittaya said.

However, COVID-19 is not the officers’ only concern.

“In addition to observing the ‘new normal’, people also have to follow the rules for swimming safely,” Snr Sgt Maj Nittaya said.

“Playing in the sea during this period, with strong waves, can be dangerous. That is why safe swimming areas have been set up where lifeguards are on duty to provide assistance at any time,” she said.

“When you come to the beach, please follow all the rules. Take care of yourself and swim only in the designated areas,” she added.

Additional reporting by Chutharat Plerin


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Rorri_2 | 28 June 2020 - 10:31:04

When no, or very little, testing is done, then yes, the true numbers, of Covid-19, are down.. I wait for the airports to open, then see how many "victims" return home, carrying the virus, this will be the true test.

Kurt | 27 June 2020 - 16:17:27

It is very clear that on Phuket the Covid-19 fear continues brainless to be cultivated and powered  by so called thai Phuket Officials who not want to give up their new power positions given by Covid-19. Nothing about their stand on Phuket makes sense. Just keep Thai from infectious provinces off Phuket. Phuket Beaches with face mask is a big joke. It blocks Phuket recovery for the sake what?

LALALA | 27 June 2020 - 13:34:52

Thorfinger...this is exactly what it is about.

ThorFinger | 27 June 2020 - 10:38:34

Covid19 Pandemic: worldwide, if you can get populations to live in fear of something then you have an easy mechanism and excuse for control. 

Capricornball | 26 June 2020 - 18:50:44

Oh jeez...the nonsense just keeps coming.

jsrit | 26 June 2020 - 11:32:32

There has been no community transmission for 31 day! Thailand already won the war on COVID. So why use these measures???? How will the economy get back to normal if we keep fighting a war that was won a month ago? Of course we need to be vigilant but we also need to be scientific and not too paranoid!

Kurt | 26 June 2020 - 10:42:37

Laugh or cry, for Phuket's recovering? The Patong Mayor face mask bill boards sure will keep tourists away from Phuket beaches. The beach 'regimental's' are growing, having already a own life. No smoking, no eating/drinking, no beach sitting in evening. Face mask obligated in the sea breeze. Perhaps Patong Mayor bill boards are a starting up for her local re-election support?

maverick | 26 June 2020 - 09:34:50

Most tourists are co-operating !!! Really - I walked along Patong beach yesterday as I had to go to immig......I counted 12 people along a 1km stretch.....they are in cloud cuckoo land, I could not even find a Starbucks open........


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