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Phuket schools ordered closed

PHUKET: All government and private schools, education centres, language schools and tutoring centres in Phuket have been ordered to close for two weeks from Thursday (Jan 7) through Jan 20, following an order issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 6 January 2021, 01:24AM


NOTE: See photo gallery above for a full copy of the order.

The order was announced at the meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee, chaired by Governor Narong, at Provincial Hall yesterday afternoon (Jan 5).

The Phuket office of the Public Relations Department announced the news and posted the full order last night after Phuket Vice Governor Piyaphong Chuwong announced the news through a live video broadcast online.

The closure of the schools applies to all formal and informal learning centres, Governor Narong said plainly.

Governor Narong also pointed out that Phuket’s three confirmed cases of COVID-19 have already been discharged from hospital. The father, who became infected after attending a big bike event on Koh Lanta, was already due to be discharged from hospital yesterday. His two sons were previously expected to be discharged from Vachira Phuket Hospital tomorrow (Jan 7).

The meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee yesterday resolved three main points, as follows:

1 All public and private schools / tutoring facilities, both formal and informal, are to be closed between 7-20 January 2021.

2. Any facilities that provide public services that choose to remain open, and especially government offices, police and public health departments, must strictly comply with the instructions issued by the Phuket Provincial Government and the requirements of the Ministry of Public Health.

3. To raise the intensity of screening people entering the Phuket area by land, water and air by requesting a temperature measurement, having them comply with public health measures and ask for their cooperation to use the Mor Chana [COVID risk patient tracking] application.

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee also reissued in full the same order that was issued on Dec 24, mandating that all business, organisations, the public and service providers comply with all COVID-19 prevention measures.

The reissued order announced yesterday was marked as in effect from Jan 7-20.

The order includes a comprehensive list of establishments and business operators that must comply with COVID-19 protection measures, as follows:

1. Avoid activities that include groups of people or have many participants or forms any crowd In a way of gathering together that creates easy contact, such as meetings, seminars with a large number of participants, the distribution of food or catering items, unless organised by a competent official or authorized by the competent official. Such activities must maintain a social distance of at least 1.5 metres between the participants. The location of the activity must be open or not crowded. The duration of the activity must not be long and must have disease-prevention measures as prescribed by the government.

2. No events that involve gambling, cockfights, fish catching, boxing and cards are permitted until the situation is resolved. Officers responsible must vigorously arrest [sic] any persons participating in or organising any types of illegal gambling.

3. No activities on walking streets or other similar activities.

4. It is forbidden to organise sports events where there is physical contact between players, and there must not be any spectators at sporting competition events where there are no clashes between players. Organisers must comply with health guidelines for sports activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as determined by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

5. The following establishments must comply with preventive measures as required by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Details appear in Appendix A of this order)

5.1 Service establishments, pubs, karaoke bars, entertainment venues and establishments operating in a similar fashion are prohibited from providing space for service users to dance or allow dancing. Space between service users must be strictly enforced. The disease-prevention requirements are to be strictly enforced. Violators will be prosecuted.

5.2 Department stores, shopping centers, retail / wholesale stores, markets and flea markets

5.3 Park, courtyard, public event space The gymnasium, sports ground, and sports ground must not gather audience members. Or is it a performance competition

5.4 Food or beverage restaurants, food parks, food courts

5.5 Health establishments, Thai massage establishments, foot massage and massage parlour business establishments

5.6 Institutions / Tutoring Schools

5.7 Government places that are open to the public with a specified period of action, such as driving school and driver’s license operations, registration and vehicle tax must comply with government announcements / orders.

5.8 Schools, educational institutions administrators or those with the [appropriate level of] responsibility in schools or educational institutions must use discretion in when to be open or closed, teaching or performing any other action according to the situation involving any infected person or risk groups. When issuing orders to close / open schools, educational institutions must report [the school’s intention] to the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee urgently.

People in all areas must have awareness [of COVId-19] and take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, by:

D - Distancing = spacing between each other, avoiding contact with others.

M - Mask Wearing = Always wear a cloth mask, medical mask.

H - Hand Washing = Wash hands frequently at every place, enough hand sanitiser must be provided at service points.

T - Temperature Check = Body temperature check and look for symptoms

T - Thai Chana = Install and scan the Thai Chana application.

Any person who violates or fails to comply with the order may be charged under Section 51 of the Communicable Diseases Act 2015, which may be punished by a fine not of up to B20,000.

Any breach of the order may also constitute an offense under Section 52 of the Communicable Diseases Act, which may be punished by a fine of up to B100,000 or up to one year in prison, or both.

Offences against the order may also be punished under Section 18 of the Emergency Decree, the order warned.

The official order is to remain in effect from 7 to 20 January 2021, or until another order is issued to supersede it.


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Kurt | 07 January 2021 - 14:31:26

As usual, on paper all well arranged. But the practical 'loopholes' are numerous.  See for example comment of Galong.

Galong | 06 January 2021 - 16:00:18

Lockdowns and closures only work if everyone follows the rules. The local food delivery clowns are always gathered in groups and almost never wear masks or practice social distancing.  So, eventually, we'll all likely pay for their freedom to be too cool for rules.  Meanwhile, kids are missing out on an education.

goldwing | 06 January 2021 - 15:48:41

Tried using the Thai Chana app but it seems you need an internet connection. So why bother?


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