Sandbox non starter
Local politicians are pushing for Pattaya to be named as a Sandbox which would mean new arrivals could skip lengthy quarantine provided they remain in the area. The problem is how to enforce that. Buses, trains, roads and the sea all offer escape routes very difficult for the authorities to police.
Test and Go
There is still a trickle of new arrivals in Pattaya via the now abandoned Test and Go regulations. Although new applications were refused from December 22, those already granted and those in the pipeline were allowed to continue. The last Test and Goers are scheduled to arrive mid-March, but their numbers are very small.
The Test and Go rules require new arrivals to download the Mor Chana app to record their movements and to notify the health authorities of the result of their ATK health test on day five or six. But there appears to be no enforcement procedures, so many new arrivals are simply ignoring the rules. No sanctions, no obedience perhaps.
Good value for money
Keep your eye on the special offers at the upmarket Poseidon restaurant in Jomtien. They regularly have gourmet evenings with a wide choice of menu items for under 1,000 baht. This is a well-run restaurant with an excellent farang chef. It’s certainly a place to dine in style without searing a hole in your pocket.
Chrome pole dancers are currently banned for health and safety reasons. Will they ever return? Some say it’s just a matter of time before nightclubs are allowed to show scantily-clad women and fellas. Others say they are gone for good as Thailand attempts to re-orientate to a family-friendly entertainment era. Time will show.
The vaccination center at Jomtien’s indoor sports center has closed, but booster jabs have been available from early in the month at the Royal Garden. Times 11.00-15.00 but best not to arrive later than 14.00. Bring your passport and vaccination record, or at least your 13-digit number, to enable staff to check on your current status. Very efficient service.
Definitions of a restaurant
Since only restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol under current rules in Chonburi province, the definitions have been stretched and stretched. One establishment even advised customers to bring their own knife and fork as there was an on-site shortage. Another told enquirers that you could order a meat pie, but needed to pay the motorbike taxi guy to go and buy it.
No drinking up
The rule that alcohol cannot be served once the clock has struck nine applies also pre-ordered booze. In other words, there is no drinking-up time allowed. One suggestion is that you pour the remains of your lager or gin and tonic into a plastic bag for a later thrill once you back home. The defence that your watch is ten minutes fast won’t let you off the hook.
Temperature check reliability
One well-known market in Pattaya has a temperature check at the main entrance. But it has recorded every customer in the past month as having a reading of 36.1. It’s the same result morning and night and irrespective of how many customers are waiting in line. To describe this as an amazing coincidence is a very generous interpretation.
Don’t blame the officers for the very long queues at Immigration during January. The Department of Health has had a heavy hand in deciding the layout in the carpark and how many people are allowed in the building at any one time. The quietest day is said to be Wednesday. Best to keep that a secret or everyone will come.