Officers arrested the dozen perpetrators for illegally gathering in contravention of the provincial order issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the island, and for drinking alcohol in a public area.
Police reported that three Thai ladyboys were arrested, along with five Thai women and three foreign men.
In making the arrests, police seized two bottles of Thai liquor, two items of foreign brands of beer, two bottles and eight cans of Thai beer, four bottles of wine coolers and four bottles of soda water.
The group were sitting and drinking together along the footpath of Thaweewong Rd, better known as the Patong beachfront road.
The group were taken to Phuket City Police Station in Phuket Town, where they underwent testing for COVID-19.
Present to oversee the swab sample collection procedure performed by medical staff from Vachira Phuket Hospital were Phuket Vice Governors Vikrom Jakthee and Piyapong Choowong.
Vice Governor Vikrom explained that the provincial government had set the number of people allowed to sit together drinking alcohol to just two.
“Do not have a group and drink together comp[comprising more than two people. This is because before there was a cluster before among a group of people involving alcohol that caused infections among more than 20 people,” he said.
“The provincial government has asked for all officers to tighten enforcement [of the COVID regulations in place] and arrest those who are really violating them,” V/Gov Vikrom said.
“And we ask for cooperation from the people with this particular rule to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Phuket. If any member of the public sees an offense, please notify the police so they can investigate and strictly enforce the law,” he added.
Phuket City Police Chief Col Theerawat Liamsuwan said that the Phuket Provincial Police had emphasised that all police officers on the island are to strictly enforce anti-COVID measures to help reduce the number of infections in Phuket.