The following is our weekly feature in which we highlight the top five local stories in our area, Pattaya and Chonburi, for the past week.
These are chosen by our editorial team and are designed for our readers to get a quick “catch-up” of important stories they may have missed as we publish many stories daily and it is easy to lose track of important events or changes in our area.
They are in no particular order of importance. The following list is for the week from January 10th to the 16th, 2021.
1. Concern over air pollution in Pattaya as residents ask what authorities can do to resolve this annual problem
It is January and once again Pattaya (and Bangkok, especially) are cloaked in thick smog/pollution, and on some days last week, one could not even see the nearby islands. True, this is much bigger than a “Pattaya” problem and requires the work of the national and regional governments working together to resolve but year after year residents claim they have complained and only seen the problem get worse vs. improve. Due to lack of tourists and traffic in Chonburi this year due to Covid-19 this popular “reason” the past few years is out of the window as focus zeroes in on the burning of crops across the country by farmers and lack of enforcement.
2. Pattaya City planning to buy enough Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate its entire local* population
The Pattaya City Mayor made waves last week when he announced that Pattaya is planning to accept a government proposal and purchase Covid-19 vaccines for their entire local population*. (It is unknown at this point if foreigners will be included and questions around this, even if the foreigner pays tax or is a permanent resident, have so far not been answered.) The goal behind this proposal is to hopefully “speed up” the process to allow tourism to return to Pattaya later this year. The proposal will need final approval from the Thai Prime Minister.
3. Terminal 21 to build a massive 1,400 free parking space parking garage to provide further parking for tourists and residents everywhere in Pattaya
Terminal 21 announced last week that they are planning to build a major parking garage near the Food Land portion of their mall which will be free and for anyone who wants or needs to go anywhere in Pattaya. This is meant to help encourage tourism as the Covid-19 situation improves, especially during major events like music and fireworks festivals. Shuttles will also run to the beach and popular tourist attractions and should also serve as parking for a proposed monorail project when/if it is completed. The project is set to begin in March.
4. Governors stress for residents to be patient for any easing of restrictions in Chonburi and Rayong
Chonburi (Banglamung especially) have been under a variety of Covid-19 related measures and restrictions that have shuttered Pattaya’s famous nightlife, along with pretty much any other entertainment and tourist-related attraction since December 30th, 2020. Cases have plummeted (only one case in all of Chonburi today and two in Rayong) yet authorities are pleading with local residents to be calm and that they know how difficult this is for business owners and employees but it is too soon to lift restrictions at this time until they are sure the situation is resolved. Authorities have said they plan to review the restrictions by the end of the month, but that isn’t a guarantee anything will be eased or lifted.
5. Chonburi holds major public health meeting, votes to keep restrictions for now
In conjunction with the prior article, Chonburi Public Health Officials held a meeting on Friday, January 15th, and have decided to keep current restrictions and measures closing and limiting many business and travel in the area. They stressed that they understand how difficult this is for local residents and will lift and ease restrictions as soon as they are sure the situation is safe and they need more time to ensure clusters of cases in the local area are completely under control.
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