The following is a weekly feature article, that will join our other recurring weekly features like Reader Talkback, Editorials, A look at the week ahead in news, and recaps of top national and local stories.
This new section takes a look back at news from the same period last year (and sometimes different time windows, such as six months or three months) to see how things have changed, following up on the progression of stories, as well as look at potentially broken promises or things that didn’t take place in Pattaya and Thailand.
As we publish dozens of stories a week this is a quick way for people to take a look at what the biggest stories were a year ago, as chosen by our editorial team, and how they impact us today and relate to current news. They are in no particular order of importance, however, are in order of publication. This week, we cover the LAST week of March 2020.
1. Chonburi Governor tightens restrictions as the province moves further into shutdown due to Covid-19
As the days moved on and the emergency decree officially began this time last year (and is still in place a year later) more and more businesses were ordered to close out of Covid-19 concern. Entertainment venues had been closed the previous week and this week were followed by shopping malls, islands, parks, and more.
2. Emergency Decree takes effect for the first time
The decree is still in place, but the rules around it are now much, much looser. Take a look at what it looked like when it began last year.
3. Restaurants remain open but cause friction with constantly changing rules during Covid-19 crisis
Those of you here last year remember the constantly changing rules for restaurants and issues with people wanting to use them as “drinking bars” with all entertainment venues closed. At this point, restaurants were basically all that was still open (ones in malls were closed) other than non-essential services last year. A short time later, restaurants were also closed to dine-in and only allowed take-away, partly due to the number of resources being used to police social distancing rules.
4. Please, Please, just stay home
Was the message from Pattaya City officials this week last year as many local residents wandered the beaches and open restaurants and continued to gather at markets during the initial Covid-19 crisis in Pattaya. Eventually, nearly everything would be closed (although Pattaya never had a stay-at-home firm order) to “encourage” people to stay in.
5. More closure orders including golf courses and overnight closures for supermarkets, 7-11’s, etc.
As the days stretched on nearly every day brought new closure orders as officials worked on finding ways to force people to stay home without making it an “order”.
6. Construction crane collapses in Naklua
Yes, there was SOME non-Covid 19 news last year.
7. Tensions rise on mask-wearing between some foreigners and Thai nationals
At this time last year, many Western countries were still giving guidance NOT to wear masks, adding to the confusion as Thailand was requiring it from the start. This led, as expected, to confrontations between Western tourists/foreigners and local Thai residents.
8. Nearly 20 million people crash government support application for financial assistance for “informal” workers
This is when the Thai Government truly understood their initial very low estimates of 3.5 million workers in the “grey” area of non-social security work such as bar workers, food vendors, construction workers, security guards, and many more were far, far off as millions around the country applied for financial aid of 5000 baht (About 150 USD) a month for several months. The level of demand eventually caused the reworking of the program.
9. Pattaya proposes to use Grand Bella Hotel as a field hospital
A year later, the Grand Bella became the first true ASQ in Pattaya and led the way forward. This proposal was obviously approved and Grand Bella did so well they became a regular ASQ.
10. Rules tighten EVEN further at the very end of the month, as alcohol sales restricted and dine-in at restaurants end
Finally, the noose got tighter as alcohol sales were restricted to prevent people from drinking at night on beaches and sidewalks and the restaurant eat-in rule was ended. These rules would, as many remember, get even tighter in April. But that, however, is next week. Thank you as always for reading and looking back!