Chon Buri’s Governor Rules Out Lockdown Despite Rise In Cases

Although the number of local coronavirus cases in Chon Buri increased by 51, the governor of the province has ruled out a total lockdown.

Tourists are allowed to visit the province without having to self-quarantine for 14 days when arriving at Chon Buri or returning home, as Pakarathorn Thianchai said on Friday.

He added that tourists were still traveling to Pattaya even though provincial authorities suspended New Year’s countdowns and other festivities while imposing a partial lockdown in red zones or high-risk areas.

Since December 30, Pattaya and the rest of the Bang Lamung district have been under lockdown.

The region reported 22 new COVID-19 cases and, as a result, officials ordered to close most of the entertainment venues, including the city’s bars. However, there were people still shopping and strolling along the coast.

Tourists at Bali Hai Pier, for instance, have been taking ferries to Ko Lan.

They can travel under tight coronavirus preventive restrictions. According to the measures, they must check their body temperatures and scan a QR code with the Thai Chana app.

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Chon Buri rose to 51 yesterday, said the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration.

That report brought the total of cases to 211 -only considering those registered since the virus locally reemerged during the last weeks of December. Besides, it was known that two of those infected were linked to the Central Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon while the rest contracted the virus at a casino in Rayong.

Authorities have enforced new and rigorous measures.

Pattaya City suspended the traditional New Year countdown event. Moreover, entertainment venues in Walking Street were also required to close, as they are part of the highest restriction zones.

Damrongkiat Phinitkarn, secretary of the Entertainment & Tourism Association of Pattaya City stated that businesspeople were not as shocked as they were during the first wave of COVID-19 cases early last year.

“Operators have been well prepared and more cooperative,” he said.

Nonetheless, the re-emerging number of coronavirus infection is resulting in concerns among the potential visitors. Pubs and bars reported that the proportion of customers decreased more than 50% over the New Year.

However, according to Mr. Damrongkiat, the enterprise sector is still optimistic about tourism rebounding thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine that is expected to be available this year.

There was good news about Thailand’s reservation of the coronavirus vaccine from the United Kingdom.

Authorization of the vaccine by the Food and Drugs Administration would be a major boost to Pattaya’s entertainment industry, he said.