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Zero is the new normal as traditions change in Phuket Old Town

Zero is the new normal as traditions change in Phuket Old Town

PHUKET: Shops in the Phuket Old Town area are suffering with very few customers despite many of the shopowners now being allowed to reopen their businesses.

Wednesday 20 May 2020, 06:13PM

“It is so empty now,” one shop owner lamented.

“There are no tourists due to the COVID-19 situation and local people are staying home as much as possible to help prevent the spread of the disease, and local many local shopowners have keep their doors closed since they were ordered to close,” he said.

Although the lockdown has been mostly lifted and people have flocked to shopping malls, shops in the Phuket Old Town area have been forgotten.

“We used to rely on tourists, but now there just aren’t any around, the shopowner said.

The shops that have opened are abiding by the "new normal” health regulations.

“We have to in order to boost confidence among people to come to our stores,” the shopowner, who asked not to be named, said.

“Every shop has alcohol gel available for staff and customers, and any customers who do not wear the face masks are not allowed to enter the shop,” he said.

All the shopowners in the area have also taken the time to make sure all staff are fully aware of what is required in order to follow the new rules, he added.

Thai Residential

““All shops in the area are now doing this… The training includes making sure customers follow the new health rules, such as allowing only a limited number of customers into the shop at any one time and that social distancing is followed,” he said.

Other “old norms” are also no longer allowed, the shopowner noted.

“For example, shops selling fabrics used to allow tourists to try on different clothes to see how they looked on them. They used to walk around and have pictures taken, but that is no longer allowed.

“A customer must now buy the fabric or outfit first, and if the clothes made don’t fit properly we can make alterations, but any fabric cannot be returned to the store. Once a customer has tried on an outfit, it is considered used and can no longer be sold on to another customer,” he added.

But those once-busy days seem a long way away.

“When the tourists do return, this will be our ‘new normal’. This is how we have to do things now,”’ the shopowner concluded.

- Narongsak Saengsidam

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Pascale | 23 May 2020 - 15:49:12

Dear Editor.Thank you very much to protect the endangered species of a few keyboard warriors,haters and serial complainer.It was about time someone with enough power in his hands aided them even if their comments were ridiculous ,xenophobic or sheer nonsense.So let them spew their unintelligent rant uncommented on here.Thank you.

Christy Sweet | 23 May 2020 - 12:08:15

The trip to Old Town from Thalang yesterday was pleasant and took very little time. No taxis rode my tail from less than a meter away,  and no hotel "farang" food delivery trucks tried to force  me off the road by being halfway in my lane on blind curves.  Liking this, let's keep it. 

HubertK | 23 May 2020 - 10:38:54

I see PN did follow the own announcement ! Mr.GerryT81 nailed it.
" Super"comments from LALALA and Kurt ! Hope this is not seen as a "potshot".

Timothy | 23 May 2020 - 10:17:02

Dear Editor, thank you very much for recognizing the problem with a few keyboard bullies. Many times people have made valid comments/opinions only to have the same 3 or 4 bullies gang up and  call names, attack character, throw insults. It has gone on far too long. I wouldn't be surprised if they were all the same person. Let them spew their anger and hostility somewhere else. Thanks you.  

H2538 | 22 May 2020 - 21:44:12

I agree with Kurt here. I have lived near the area quit long and remember Thalang road as a quiet area of town and the difference from other areas of town was just that "quiet and the Portuguese style buildings. Maybe the area never was ment as sales stands for souvenirs!!!

Hermann1 | 22 May 2020 - 18:48:49

A fine decision from the PN. People like us who know the truth like to comment but others only react with insults to our comments.Never comment on issues at hand.They insult us and create a unpleasant atmosphere.Enough is enough.

GerryT81 | 22 May 2020 - 17:56:27

Welcome to a new level of censorship !

Hermann1 | 22 May 2020 - 16:57:08

My Father always told me to save some money for rainy days.I asked some thai people if they would save money for rainy days.They laughed at me and said there are not many rainy days on Phuket.

harald | 22 May 2020 - 13:21:34

seems to me they too do not like tourists coming back in spite the flu is over since a long time. 

LALALA | 22 May 2020 - 11:31:33

lalala you live in Rawai are sure very familiar with the appearance of a only need to take a walk

[To all people taking potshots at the people posting comments instead of the issues at hand - please be warned that no more such comments will be going through, even if they are attached to a valid comment. That is snough -- Ed]]

Kurt | 22 May 2020 - 10:22:30

Zero = Nothing! Just handsitting, wait for new old times coming back.Meaning, doing nothing, wait for tourists only. Where are the initiatives Officialdom + employers to make Phuket less depend on tourism ( other environment clean industries) ? This episode shows how vulnerable Phuket is with. still, keeping all eggs in 1 basket. Sure, all  will repeat with a next future pandemic.

DeKaaskopp | 21 May 2020 - 23:02:40

What a pitiful person. One can only hope that the airport opens soon and his wish to leave comes true.Back to the cesspit he came from.

LALALA | 21 May 2020 - 16:28:31

And to Fascinated...why anybody should think about unemployed people in Thailand ? The Thai tourism industry was shafting their clients for quite a couple of years and now they suffer some month....thats it. Where is all the money gone ? No savings ? I call this business risk and if you put all your eggs in one basket....that is the result.... sorry but I do not feel pity for anybody here in LOS

LALALA | 21 May 2020 - 13:03:58

Agree with quinault 11... its quite relaxed here now and this is better... less traffic though... less annoying Chinese etc. etc....anyway, international flights out would be nicer

Fascinated | 21 May 2020 - 10:12:57

2 very selfish comments below. Think of all the unemployed people in the food lines and the hardships they and their families are facing.
 It's all 'me, me, me' with some people.

DeKaaskopp | 21 May 2020 - 09:50:19

@quinault11   If you don't like tourists,you should move somewhere else,as they definitely will come back.

quinault11 | 21 May 2020 - 08:52:33

I love Phuket in this kind of situation. No tourists are wonderful.

harald | 20 May 2020 - 19:39:02

seems to me they don´t like to have tourists comming back in spite the flu is over since a long time. 


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