At 2:00 PM tomorrow, Thursday, April 9th, Pattaya City will close down access to the city to non residents and tourists and begin a restricted closure for at least three weeks according to the Pattaya City Mayor Sontaya Khunpluem.
This is to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus and to ensure that no more tourists, both domestic and foreign, arrive in the city potentially with the virus. Additionally, it may be used to help screen high risk groups within the city for potentially having the Covid-19 Coronavirus. The Chonburi Governor closed all hotels in Chonburi late last week, although tourists currently in hotels can stay until their current visit is ended. As part of this closure the Mayor asked for a total count of tourists (not expats) still in Pattaya City from the local Hotel Associations and where they were staying and got a total count of roughly 2,800 people. Recently arrived individuals may be subject to health checks to ensure they do not have Covid-19.
A look at the overall map and closure area/checkpoints to enter and exit the city is below, although the final version may change slightly. An English explanation of the checkpoints is below this Thai Map:
The map shows the entire area of Naklua, Jomtien and Pattaya (In the middle.) There will be several checkpoints to enter and exit the city manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. General traffic will be rerouted to the road by the railway which is the blue line at the top. The Red line shows the closure area and the Green X’s show checkpoints.
The locations of the checkpoints, subject to change, are:
- Soi Chaiyapornwithee, in front of the Tum Lai restaurant.
- On Motorway No. 7, 5th section, in front of the Highway Police station.
- Soi Pornprapanimit (Siam Country Club Road) in front of the Maela Pla Phao Restaurant.
- Soi Chaiyapruek, before the railway crossing, in front of a coffee shop.
- Sukhumvit Road before the District Prosecutor’s Office (under the flyover bridge in front of the Wat Na Jomtien Temple).
For people working in Pattaya City and with the need to travel to and from Pattaya, their employer will need to fill out an identification card with the following information:
The information required will be:
2. Identification card number or Passport for foreigners with a work permit
3. Phone number
4. Name of organization, job title, location
5. Attach a photograph with a signature certifying the supervisor of the affiliation
As for the general public, name-surname, location and time must be listed in the screening book at the screening unit at every checkpoint.
Foreigners must carry their ORIGINAL passport when going through the checkpoints, copies may not be accepted depending on the officer manning the checkpoint.
This is not a lock-down, according to Pattaya City Police, it is a further scrutiny of the area with the MAIN intention being to stop non residents and tourists, both foreign and domestic, from entering the city. People with valid, essential reasons for travel, such as going to the airport, visiting the doctor, going to work, going to Immigration and yes, essential shopping for groceries like Makro, may pass the Checkpoints if they are local residents in the Pattaya and Chonburi area according to local government officials. They must, however, prove they are a local resident in Pattaya/Banglamung and not a tourist or visitor.
Foreigners are advised to carry not just their passport but also proof they are a local resident. This can be a drivers license with their address, a recent bill from their home, a copy of their visa status, etc.
As stated, they must also provide the essential reason for travel and proof of the reason. This can be an airline ticket, a reservation with a doctor, their passport information showing they need to visit Immigration, etc.
Pattaya City Officials admitted queue times to get into or exit the city may be very long and this is designed on purpose to make sure people STAY HOME unless it is a critical and essential journey. They encouraged those that live outside of the checkpoints to conduct their grocery shopping at areas closer to home during the period of closure, such as the Tops supermarket on the Dark Side.
Part of the checkpoint process will include temperature checks, an interview, document review and a verification of the essential purpose of travel. As part of this upcoming closure, all people in the Pattaya area are REQUIRED to wear masks, including going through the checkpoints. Hand sanitizer will also be required, people going through the checkpoints will be asked to have their own to use while handing over documents and speaking with officers.
If the entire process sounds like a hassle and time consuming, Law Enforcement reminds people one of the main purposes is to encourage people to stay home and do not travel into the city unless it is a completely critical need.