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Phuket vows tough action on unmasked tourists

Phuket vows tough action on unmasked tourists

PHUKET: Local authorities have vowed to take decisive legal action against tourists who fail to wear face masks in public, saying failure to comply with the disease control requirement is rampant in the island province.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 20 January 2022, 09:08AM

Tourists on Bangla Rd in Patong on Jan 6. Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran

Tourists on Bangla Rd in Patong on Jan 6. Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran

Pol Col Thanet Sukchai, the immigration chief in Phuket, said yesterday (Jan 19) tourists were failing to wear face masks in public places, and local authorities had resolved to more stringently enforce the requirement from the local communicable disease committee, reports the Bangkok Post.

Phuket governor Narong Woonciew had already asked the Phuket consuls of 22 countries to communicate the face mask mandate to their citizens, Pol Col Thanet said.

“Violators will be arrested and prosecuted... The Phuket health office has been assigned to file relevant complaints. Examples must be set,” he said.

The Phuket governor would soon form an operational team to enforce the rule, he said. Local police would take the lead and inspect people at key locations, including Soi Bangla and Patong areas.

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On Jan 7, the governor issued an order for people to wear face masks when they go out unless they are eating, drinking or exercising.

Violation of the order carries a penalty of up to B20,000 under the Communicable Diseases Act, plus a fine of up to B40,000 and/or a jail term of up to two years under the Executive Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations imposed to control COVID-19.

The local immigration chief did not elaborate on the extent to which actual punishments will be imposed on those who fail to wear face masks in public.

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reality check | 31 January 2022 - 10:03:11

Please print some stories and pictures of these fines actually being collected.  I won't believe it until I see it.

Papa paul | 27 January 2022 - 11:36:36

You would think in all fairness that all people not wearing masks would be prosecuted, not only tourists.  Tourists are marked victims. Locals do what they want without fear of prosecution .

christysweet | 21 January 2022 - 18:35:37

Start fining the management of establishments that are allowing patrons to ignore the rules. Third strike they go to jail for a month 

H2538 | 21 January 2022 - 15:48:14

WHO and in this order says. Get vaccinated, keep your distance from others and wear a mask. 2 years and ongoing. How hard can it be! If people have problems using a  mask why not have a minimum of manners and keep distance to others? Sad to see and experience the lack of politeness and logic among people in today's society.

christysweet | 21 January 2022 - 09:32:10

Cherng-Telay  and Bang-Tao Beach are a huge draw for families,  and children spread contagions like no one else. If tourists aren't going to wear masks, Bangla is probably safer

christysweet | 20 January 2022 - 19:29:15

They have a mask on to pass the entry security, then either take  it off, masktache or  chin it. Got ahold of the manager of overpriced grocery # 2- he informs me things will change. We'll see. COMPLAIN 

DeKaaskopp | 20 January 2022 - 17:02:15

Usually you don't see anyone without a mask in stores in Rawai/Chalong area. Seems like more of a problem in Thalang area. But if you look at some commenter residing there, you won't be surprised.

Fascinated | 20 January 2022 - 15:49:27

Sweetie is there anything you don't hate? men, kids, russians- any more for the list? Maybe picket the store- see how long that lasts.

Malc-thai | 20 January 2022 - 15:14:44

Utter rubbish ..just hot air and nothing will be done as usual .. the police will be looking the opposit direction for a photoshoot while its going on the other way!

SEC2 | 20 January 2022 - 13:28:19

The governor need to contact all the stores and put them on notice. Fine the stores for letting customers in without masks.  The security guards, cashiers, customer service should refuse service unless they have a mask.  Where are the managers?  Hand them a GD mask if they say they forgot and stand there until they put it on. I agree with Christy, grocery stores and malls are where I am concerned.

christysweet | 20 January 2022 - 13:08:45

You can make a complaint 
 about a store  at  1672 which is TAT SHA hotline, and  email to info(at)TAT.or.th Keep your receipts and make a note of the time. 

Kurt | 20 January 2022 - 13:04:30

Would be great when virologic professionals ventilate or it is of any use to wear face masks at the beaches.

christysweet | 20 January 2022 - 12:09:15

If store management is not enforcing the masks mandate, send a complaint  (and pics) to CD.HealthPK(at)Gmail.com. 

Mj | 20 January 2022 - 11:48:08

I also feel uncomfortable when passing all those tourist that does not wear a mask.
I would say 90 % of the tourist in Patong area does not wear a Mask and they do not even have a Mask around their Neck or on an ear. Also see some Russians in Central without Mask. How can they get in.

maverick | 20 January 2022 - 10:52:28

Unenforceable - they cant even get people to wear crash helmets on bikes more silliness from local politicians - I wear a mask at all times protects....if people are so worried don’t go out plenty of food delivery options. Some will recall how they tried to enforce drivers to wear - roadblocks and offenders had to do press ups when stopped....language barriers to overcome as well.

Den Alder | 20 January 2022 - 10:28:00

@Svcoquette, indeed! I was stunned by the lack of law enforcement regarding masks when I was there yesterday. 

christysweet | 20 January 2022 - 10:05:33

I'm not worried about beaches,   I'm worried about grocery stores that I have  to  patronize where unsupervised, unmasked wailing  brats are yelling  and touching everything. 

Kurt | 20 January 2022 - 10:04:25

Start with handing out pamflets about use of face mask on Sarasin bridge, at test boots on Phuket airport,  Immigration offices and in shops by staff to customers who not wear mask. Phuket Officialdom is completely paralized about handling the face mask obligation. Only, unsuccesful, tried to shuffle it's responsebility to Consuls.

christysweet | 20 January 2022 - 09:58:14

 Make a website to post videos and offer bounties.  Go to the overpriced grocery #2 in Cherng-Telay and round them up. 90% are from Russia  with no respect for laws.  

Svcoquette | 20 January 2022 - 09:32:58

Start with foreigners applying for VISA extensions at the Phuket Immigration office.

JohnC | 20 January 2022 - 09:23:15

It has been going on ever since Phuket decided to let tourists enter way back in July last year with their sandbox scheme.  So 6-7 months later they finally decide it is time to do something eventhough locals and expats have been complaining about it since day one. Go to any beach area or outdoor area where tourists go and see how many you can count actually wearing them. Kick them out!


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