The Pattaya News has got dozens of messages, comments and inquiries over the past two days since Banglamung announced they were entering a highly controlled status and enacting restrictive measures to control the Covid-19 Coronavirus, including closing public swimming pools.
We also had a lot of interest in this topic during the previous period of closures last spring and early summer, as well as some readers that went as far as to allegedly pursue legal action against their condominiums due to keeping pools closed.
The pool order, as stated by the Banglamung closure, is for public pools. A condominium (or private housing estate, etc.) closing their pool is based on if the management/city considers the pool private or public as well as at their discretion, although in some cases if City Hall deems a particular condo pool public they will also say it needs to be closed(especially if a condo has short term rentals). This is why some condos have reportedly decided to keep their pools open but the majority (nearly all) that we are aware of locally have closed them.
We are well aware that many Pattaya residents and expats rely on their pools for their daily exercise routine. Although beaches remain open (for now) many would not prefer this option for swimming.
The main concern that condominium owners have expressed in keeping their pools open previously is not the safety of swimming in a pool and catching Covid-19 but people potentially gathering, drinking, eating, lying around and socializing around the pool area.
We suggest concerned residents contact their condo management, City Hall or juristic offices and inquire about the status of their pools, however, the condo is within their rights to state the pool is considered “public” and keep them closed if they choose to. City Hall may also tell some condos to close them if they deem them public. We have had stories of some residents in Pattaya during the previous closure period who managed to reach “deals” with their condos, such as removing all deck furniture, banning eating and drinking in the pool area and setting up limits on how long people can swim and how many can be in the area at one time to allow the pool to open for swimming only. It is possible some juristic divisions and management may accept “compromise” policies. If City hall considers the pool public, however, there will be no compromise policy.
We hope the current restrictions will not be in place for an extended period of time.