Phuket officials again ban alcohol in restaurants and ‘social activities’

PHUKET: Phuket officials have again banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in all restaurants, and reinstated a ban on all “social activities” in an order issued last night (August 2).

The bans came into effect by an order issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday and are to remain in place until at least August 16.

The order was posted online by the “Phuket Information Center”, run by the Home Ministry’s Phuke office, at 10:13 p.m. last night – just 1 hour and 47 minutes before the start of force of order.

The new order repeats many of the same restrictions already in place – heralded by a succession of new official orders issued approximately every 72 hours over the past two weeks.

The order, as published by Phuket Info Center, notes the following:

All pubs, bars, karaoke and other entertainment venues throughout Phuket are ‘temporarily’ closed, although in reality they have been continuously ordered to remain closed for months.

Other venues ordered closed are cockfighting venues, fish fighting venues, bird racing venues, chicken racing venues, boxing stadiums and gambling venues including training venues , and billiard, billiard or billiard venues as well as computer game and online game stores,

Boxing and martial arts schools of all types (Woosoo, Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Boxing, Judo, Aikido, etc.) must remain closed.

Swimming pools open to the general public for government and private contractors must remain closed.

All educational establishments and tutoring institutes, with the exception of non-formal private schools with no more than five participants in a class, must remain closed.

“Activities in which groups of more than 50 people are gathered will not be organized unless it is an activity carried out by a competent official,” the order noted.

“Do not gather in groups to do activities, socialize, drink alcohol in public spaces, beaches, parks,” he added.

Department stores, shopping malls are allowed to operate normally, except for game centers, game machines, game stores and amusement centers to suspend service.

“Food or beverage outlets may allow customers to consume food or beverages in the store as usual by refraining from selling and refraining from drinking alcohol or beverages liquor in the store,” the order reads.

Fresh produce markets, flea markets and pedestrian street markets must apply disease prevention and control measures and limit the number of customers by imposing a social distance of four square meters per person.

Convenience stores are allowed to operate “as usual”, but only from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Stadiums or places of outdoor exercise, parks, courtyards, outdoor public events and indoor sports must close at 9 p.m. Contact sports are prohibited and there must be no spectators or crowds.

Indoor exercise venues such as courts, gymnasiums, fitness centers, yoga, aerobics, exercise classes, badminton must close at 9 p.m.

Regarding “social activities”, all people must “refrain from organizing parties, celebrations, festive events”.

Traditional ceremonies that cannot be postponed, such as funerals, ordinations, weddings, religious or meritorious ceremonies, can take place with the permission of the relevant officials and must comply with all COVID-19 prevention measures.

All government offices and private companies should organize the work of off-site personnel whenever possible.

The filming of films and TV shows should not involve more than 50 people and no spectators should participate in the program. Exemption from wearing a mask or cloth mask in certain cases or during certain filming periods must be carried out in accordance with CCSA-approved filming and television program guidelines.

The order singled out migrant workers for special attention from authorities under the section “Strict inspection measures for places or activities at risk of epidemic clusters”.

“Relevant officials” have been ordered to strictly inspect places or activities that are at risk of spreading the disease, “such as factories and migrant workers’ accommodation or other places”, to ensure that places meet the conditions set by the Ministry of Public Health to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Joel C. Hicks