Cases of Covid-19 infections are rising in Thailand.
The areas of Chonburi (location of Pattaya), Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan have all been upgraded to “dark red zones” with additional restrictions.
For expatriates, learning and following local policies regarding restrictions in place to manage the pandemic’s outbreak can be confusing. They can be published either first, or only in the local language. They can also be difficult to follow due to culture or even the clarity of the local government communication.
Our team in Thailand sent the following information regarding the restrictions being implemented in Chonburi, Thailand.
Things in Chonburi are a bit up in the air presently and we encourage everyone to error on the side of caution. Face masks are mandatory everywhere and at all times, even in the car. While inter-provincial travel is not banned by a government decree, it appears that it is not entirely permitted or at least easy for non-Thai nationals due to road blocks.
Some additional questions and answers we hope are helpful:
Q. Do I have to wear a mask everywhere outside, even when exercising?
A. Yes. The basic rule is either wear a mask everywhere outside of your home or face a fine of up to B20,000.
Q. Do I have to wear a mask in my car?
A. Yes. We have got mixed answers on if you need one alone. Bangkok has said if there is more than one person, even family members, they must wear masks in the car. However, we have reports of some people fined for being alone in their car without a mask at the provincial level. When in doubt, wear a mask, especially if you are approaching a checkpoint and will need to speak to an official.
Q. Can I meet other people at their homes?
A. Yes, but it is officially discouraged. The limit on groups of people is 20. Keep in mind, if you are having a party, that is considered a violation of the emergency decree and if caught could face the potential of years in jail and high baht fines. The emergency decree gives the government lots of extra powers to “protect your health”. They can also consider less than 20 people a party or gathering for socializing purposes and still apply the emergency decree act, we have confirmed reports of as few as two people being arrested for drinking and “partying” (generally outside or in front of their homes though in public view.).
Q. Is Koh Larn open?
A. Yes, but all other rules and restrictions apply, including no sitting or lying on the beach.
Q. Is Koh Si Chang open?
A. Yes, but see above.
Q. Is any place outside Chonburi open?
A. Please contact that province and check locally, things change very quickly and it is difficult enough to keep up just with Chonburi!
Q. I have a question, complaint, concern who can I contact?
A. 1337 24 hours a day for the city call center
Q. Is golf open?
A. For the most part, yes, but no huge groups, clubhouse activities, meetings, etc.
Q. Is fishing open?
A. Same as golf
Q. Is there a curfew?
A. No. However, everything is essentially closed from 10:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M. including 7-11’s and take away food so there is little to do or go.
Q. Is this a lockdown?
A. Authorities have said this is not a lockdown, they consider a lockdown a strict do not leave your home order or face fines and you are free to go out. That is not in place. However, they are “requesting” people not to travel and to stay at home.
Q. Can I play outdoor sports?
A. Yes, but no fans and must be less than twenty people. Technically, you need to wear masks.
Q. What is the deal with the checkpoints I’ve heard about?
A. Ok, there are multiple checkpoints, some provincial and some designed to discourage inter provincial travel. There is no ban on domestic travel, however it is STRONGLY discouraged. The overall message is to stay home. We will break this down below more.
Q. Can I leave Chonburi province?
A. If you are a Chonburi resident, aka your domicile and address is here, you will need to get permission from a written form at a juristic office like city hall, Banglamung juristic office, the local village headsman, etc. Only essential trips are allowed, they will decide what is essential. Going to see a friend is not considered essential. If you not a resident, you do not, but may be asked to prove you are not a Chonburi resident.
Q. Can I enter Chonburi province?
A. Yes, you do not need a form to enter, however, you may be stopped at a checkpoint and asked what the purpose of your visit is. The overall goal is to discourage travel as much as possible and make it a hassle.
Q. Can I travel within Chonburi province?
A. Yes, you don’t need forms for that, although you could be stopped at a checkpoint, primarily for Covid-19 temperature scans or to check your identification.
Q. Is there a stay at home order?
A. No, but you are “requested” to stay at home unless you have essential business or exercise, etc. This isn’t being faced with fines, etc, though.
Q. What time does 7-11, Family mart, etc close?
A. Open 5:00 A.M. until 10:00 P.M. Supermarkets close at 9:00 PM, Malls at 8:00 PM.
Q. What are hours for restaurants?
A. Dine in is banned currently, take away only until 9:00 P.M. Essentially, everything is shut overnight to discourage travel.
Q. Are dentists open?
A. Yes, although some individual ones have chosen to close.
Q. Malls are open? Really?
A. Yes, primarily because closing them would put tens of thousands more out of work and asking for financial aid. Venues ordered closed are closed in malls also, and restaurants are doing take-away only. Food courts are closed for dine-in.
Q. Are barbers open?
A. Yes, but no waiting in the shop and only for basic hair cuts, not for coloring, long work, etc. Beauty clinics are closed.
Q. How long is this going to last?
A. Authorities have said “at least” two weeks, but the orders are all stated “until further notice.”