Expats, tourists and all other foreigners have been instructed to have their original passports with them whilst travelling around Pattaya and neighboring districts from Thursday April 9 to, provisionally, the end of the month.
Government officials from Chonburi, Pattaya and Banglamung have agreed a system of road checkpoints to be set up, especially on all routes out of Pattaya and at the principal intersections between the city and the so called Dark Side, including Soi Siam County Club and Soi Nernplabwan.
Thai nationals will need to have their ID cards with them. The process will include a temperature check (the reading should be below 37.5) and questions about the purpose of travel. It is also a requirement to wear a mask in public at all times. Drivers will also be expected to show a bottle of alcohol gel or similar disinfectant in the vehicle. Pattaya mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said that the moves were designed to reduce further the impact of the Corona virus threat.
Foreigners in a vehicle are strongly advised additionally to carry two extra documents with them, one showing their Pattaya or Chonburi address (for example a valid driving licence or the receipt for the TM30 immigration form which carries the address) and the other – if possible – illustrating the reason for travel (for example hospital appointment slip, air ticket, evidence of work address, official pass). The regulations will be in force at all times except from 10.00 pm to 4 am when a strict curfew is in operation.
Social media users have reacted to the new rules by asking if they will be allowed to travel between different areas of greater Pattaya for shopping purposes. Police sources say this is not a lockdown but all travellers must be ready to show their personal papers and be ready to explain further, if required to do so.
One principal aim is to prevent foreign and Thai tourists from coming into the area which is why proof of a personal address is important. At certain times, there is likely to be a queue of traffic awaiting the checks which, in itself, is expected to be a disincentive to move around unless absolutely necessary.