A proclamation from the Chonburi governor’s office has now announced further details of the crackdown to counter the spread of the pesky virus. Most, but not all, mirror the announcements by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority for implementation in the capital.
Throughout Chonburi, including all Greater Pattaya, a fine of 20,000 baht has been introduced for not wearing a face mask in public. If enforced, this would likely be a spot fine payable at police stations and not require a court appearance. The equivalent order for Bangkok mentions only a fine of 100,000 baht and/or a jail term of one year for any infringement of the latest anti-Covid regulations.
The Chonburi governor has brought restaurants here into line with Bangkok by mandating that they can serve food at tables from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. – but no alcohol – provided that strict social distancing occurs with diners being separated by at least 1.5 meters. Some eateries have already announced that they will not allow new customers to be seated after 7.30 pm or 8 pm to ensure the latest regulation is observed. Takeout food is allowed beyond 9 p.m.
The remainder of the Chonburi governor’s proclamation reaffirms previous announcements. All entertainment venues (bars, pubs, clubs, karaokes, massage parlours, etc.) remain shut and convenience stores must close between the hours of 10.00 pm and 5 a.m. Malls and supermarkets can operate up to 9 p.m. but subject to hygiene and monitoring rules. Gathering in groups – not formally defined but likely to mean more than four people – is banned. Breaches of these regulations can lead to fines of up to 100,000 baht and/or incarceration up to 12 months.
Beaches remain open, subject to social distancing, and golf courses and outdoor gymnasia appear to be in the clear but with various safety restrictions. Swimming pools are closed including those in condos unless the management specifically endorses them as private. There is no ban on selling takeaway alcohol and beauty salons and hairdressers have escaped closure provided they limit health risks and require waiting customers to remain outside.
Travel within Chonburi province is heavily discouraged, but not illegal, and people using public and private transport should carry documentation to show their details (proof of local address or driving licence). Foreigners should always carry their passport or a laminated copy. Random roadside checks will continue.
Meanwhile, some other Thai provinces are introducing travel restrictions on visitors from areas – like Chonburi – with high infection rates. Thus Nakhon Ratchasima is requiring completion of an entry form, production of a health certificate and self-quarantining for a fortnight. Similar rules are in force in Ubon Ratchathani and Chai Nat. Anyone travelling from Chonburi province to another is advised to use their local contacts to ascertain the entry regulations currently in force. The overall position without doubt will be a fast-moving scenario.