The notice was issued last night, following the meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee yesterday (May 2).
People are asked to stay indoors during the specified hours unless they have “necessary reason”.
The notice was marked to “come into effect” today (May 4).
It was not made clear whether people found out of their homes or place of accommodation from midnight through to 4am this morning were considered to be in breach of the “request”.
If people did venture outside during the specified hours, they were asked to complete their task and return to their place of residence“as soon as possible” to reduce travel that may be prone to the spread of COVID-19.
“Due to the epidemic situation in Phuket and across the country more people are infected daily and the number of deaths is increasing in which the infected persons were found in clusters. This is due to the organisation of activities that gather many people, the traveling of people from high-risk areas without strictly adhering to public health measures,” the request noted.
Communicable disease control officers, staff of local administrations, police and public health officials were permitted to set up checkpoints and conduct surveillance operations for local control of the spread of the virus from today (May 4) until further notice, the request added,
The “request” came as Phuket marked 25 new confirmed infections yesterday (May 3), the highest daily total of new infections since Apr 3, which officials consider to be when the latest outbreak began.
The 25 new confirmed infections brought the total number of officially recognised COVID infections in Phuket since Apr 3 to 463.
Of note, the notice issued by Governor Narong last night was clearly worded to “request the cooperation” of people in Phuket, as did the previous “request” by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last month. PM Prayut at the time stressed there would be no curfew, but said people would be strongly “encouraged” to stay at home between the hours of 11pm and 4am each night.
However, Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin that same day (Apr 16) noted that provincial governors have the authority to introduce more stringent measures where deemed appropriate.
Regardless, the current COVID prevention order in effect in Phuket (to remain in effect until at least May 12) mandates that, “If anyone violates or fails to comply with this order it may be an offense under Section 52 of the Communicable Diseases Act 2015, liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand baht, or both, and may be punished under Section 18 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation B.E. 2548 in accordance with the regulations issued under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation B.E. 2548, and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding forty thousand baht or both.”
The “request” also follows Phuket Immigration warning that foreigners in Phuket caught ignoring COVID prevention measures and acting in a manner deemed to be not “socially responsible” will face legal penalties and may even face being kicked out of the country.