PHUKET: Schools are to remain closed and the ban on restaurants serving alcohol or allowing alcohol to be consumed on the premises remains in place after a new order was issued yesterday extending the COVID restrictions in effect across Phuket.
The order, No 4978/2564 issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday (Aug 29), is to come into effect on Wednesday (Sept 1) and is to remain in effect until at least Sept 14.
Under the order, all educational institutions on the island are ordered to remain closed except for those conducting “pilot teaching” and studying in private schools under the project “Phuket Safety School Sandbox” in accordance with current disease control measures and only with approval from the Phuket Provincial Disease Control Committee.
The order gave no explanation of the “Phuket Safety School Sandbox” project.
Non-formal education classes of less than five participants may also continue, but all other classes are to be conducted online.
Meanwhile, all pubs, bars and other “entertainment” venues are to remain closed, as are all venues for cockfighting, fish fighting, bird races, chicken races and gambling venues as well as boxing stadiums, venues for snooker, billiards or any other pool table establishment.
Computer game shops and internet cafes are also to remain closed.
However, now removed from the list of venues that must remain closed are swimming pools for public use operated by government offices or private entities are allowed to open, as well as boxing schools and all kinds of martial arts schools, including Woosoo, Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, International Boxing, Judo, Aikido training centres. (See previous order here.)
Restaurants and other food and beverage outlets may open for their usual hours, but the ban on serving, selling or allowing alcohol to be consumed on site remains in effect.
Fresh markets and walking street markets must limit the number of customers at the market, and maintain social distancing of four square metres per person.
The order also increases the maximum number of people allowed to gather at an approved event from 50 people to 100 people. Events or activities held by officials are exempted.
“People should refrain from organising social events in the form of parties, banquets or festivities during this time unless it is a traditional ceremony such as a funeral, ordination or wedding. If the activity cannot be postponed, then it is to be held in accordance with all COVID protection measures,” the order notes.
Convenience stores are allowed to operate only between 4am and 11pm.
Sports fields or places for outdoor exercise, parks, courtyards, open-air public activity areas may still remain open until 9pm and are allowed to host competitions with a limited number of visitors.
Places or indoor exercise such as courts, gyms, fitness, yoga, aerobics, exercise classes, badminton may remain open until 9pm, with the number of users limited according to the size of the area.
Such indoor excerise venues without air conditioning must have open space and good ventilation, and must limit the number of service users to use no more than 75% of the area. Air-conditioned rooms at such venues must not use more than 50% of the area and service providers and users must be fully vaccinated and follow the D-M-H-T-T-A disease prevention and control measures.
All government offices and workplaces are to arrange for staff to work from home where appropriate.
Government officers are prohibited from leaving the province unless it is for urgent business and may do so only with written approval from superior officers.