Law Enforcement officials from Pattaya and Jomtien have delivered a clear message over the past several days- Get off the beach and beach walkways and all activities all currently banned due to the Chonburi Governor’s order.
The order to close the beaches came from concern of groups of people gathering, drinking and eating on the beach. With the prior closure of nearly every other business in the city due to the COVID19 Coronavirus people began flocking to the beach with a lack of other areas to visit.
Video of the enforcement on the local beaches:
However, the order was not heavily enforced until the past several days after photos of groups of people, many foreign, went viral on Thai social media with citizens asking why law enforcement had not taken action. The Pattaya News notes that in most photos people seen were respecting social distancing and not gathering, mostly exercising or sitting alone.
Now, Law Enforcement has stepped up patrols of the beach with a variety of methods.
Signs warning of draconian prison sentences and fines are placed up and down the local beaches in English and Thai. (But not Russian, of which many of the foreigners on the beach in Jomtien are notes The Pattaya News).
Warnings that eating and drinking is forbidden and gates blocking some entrances to the beach have been placed sporadically. Beach Vendors have been asked to completely remove their chairs, coolers and equipment for the time being until the beaches reopen.
Drones fly overhead at times warning people in English to get off the beach or face stiff fines.
The speaker system on Pattaya Beach, normally rarely used, blasts warnings in Thai and English to Go Home and that the beach is closed.
Law Enforcement patrols up and down on a regular basis warning people to go home and leave and have even set up mini checkpoints at times on the walkway on Pattaya Beach, warning people to go elsewhere. It is worth noting most of the enforcement takes place in the late afternoon and early evening, not in the early morning.
Critics on social media say that with all the parks closed and a lack of other sidewalks to walk on that closing the beach walk ways are just moving pedestrians and people exercising into the roads and other sidewalks. There is no lockdown order and no rule against exercising.
The Pattaya News notes that if the situation improves beaches are set to possibly reopen early next month.