All Pattaya hotels and beaches will close under a new order from Chonburi Province to arrest the spread of the coronavirus.
The order signed by Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai signed on Friday applies province-wide and also includes new shutdowns of several government offices and new checkpoints in and out of the province.
Beaches throughout the province are closed immediately. This gives Pattaya the authority to sweep the Pattaya and Jomtien beach promenades clear of the crowds of expats and Thais that continued to congregate in groups there, defying pleas for social distancing.
Hotels, meanwhile, have up to three days to notify the province if they will remain open to service current guests until the end of their planned stay. Otherwise, they must close.
Employees, however, cannot leave. They must remain at the hotel or in the vicinity so health officials can trace contacts in case other staff or guests contract Covid-19.
The hotel-closure order came at the request of the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region whose members have remained opened even with occupancy rates of near zero percent due labor laws that prohibited employees from collecting unemployment benefits if their employers closed voluntarily.
Ordered by the government to shut down, full-time workers can now receive up to half of their salary up to 7,500 baht a month for three months while casual workers can get 5,000 baht per month.
Pattaya also will erect additional road checkpoints to screen people entering and exiting Banglamung District. Drivers will be questioned, identification documents, passports and visas reviewed, temperatures and health checks imposed and checkpoint officers will be given the authority to turn away those they deem should not be traveling to the Pattaya area.
The province also ends counter services at the Land Transport, Land and Commercial departments, restricting business to drive-through or electronic services. Anyone who visited the Banglamung Land Department office on March 24 is asked to self-isolate for 14 days following a confirmed case of Covid-19 there.
Chonburi will continue to follow the national government’s 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, but added gas stations to the list of places that must close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tattoo and body-piercing clinics were told to close at all times.
In addition, weekend and other period markets were ordered closed. Only markets normally open every day are allowed to continue to operate, but only for selling take-away food.
Chonburi ordered all its districts and cities to form task forces to patrol and enforce the restrictions. Those found violating the national curfew face up to two years in jail and a 40,000-baht fine. Those violating non-curfew Chonburi restrictions face a year in prison and a 100,000-baht fine. (CPRD)