Despite underlying health woes, some Pattaya foreigners just won’t stay home

European George and his pals pine for the days when they could walk around the beaches and have a brew at their local watering hole.

European George and his pals are exactly the type of people Pattaya’s lockdown was aimed at, but they’re still outside anyway.

The elderly foreigners, who for years have come for long-term vacations in Pattaya, all suffer from chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high-blood pressure and spend their time in Pattaya hanging out at the beach and boozing it up at beer bars. They are the ones most at risk of dying if infected by Covid-19.

To prevent such cases, Pattaya has locked down the city and closed the beaches. But on April 24 there was George and his friends outside in Jomtien Beach, complaining they had no place to walk and relax at night.

When will the beaches return to normal?

George said he and his companions have been shocked at the extent of Pattaya’s shutdown, although he grudgingly acknowledged that the coronavirus is serious and measures needed to be taken.

But he said he wants the city to relax the prohibitions and open things up again.

Pattaya again reported no new cases of the coronavirus on April 26, the sixth consecutive infection-free day. Chonburi has reported 89 cases of Covid-19 overall with 69 of those released from the hospital as of Sunday. Provincial officials said they are considering relaxing some lockdown measures May 1 if the trend continues.

Pisut Ku, president of the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region, said he is hopeful Pattaya could start seeing tourists again in June, although he acknowledged the city’s restart would begin with domestic Thai tourists who would be subjected to severe social-distancing and safety measures.