As Covid-19 closures stretch on in Pattaya, some local residents call out concerns on construction workers and social distancing

Pattaya, Thailand-

June 10th, 2021, will mark two months that Pattaya’s famous nightlife and entertainment will have ground to a halt, essentially also stopping domestic tourism that had significantly helped Pattaya with foreign tourism having been shut down for over a year without doing quarantine.

Although Pattaya has reopened restaurants for dine-in and beaches for relaxation since this date, the city still lacks most of the life that it is famous for, causing much frustration among business owners and employees. Additionally, domestic tourism has basically ground to a halt although last weekend brought out the largest number of domestic tourists to newly reopened beaches in some time which certainly helped beach vendors and some restaurants. It is true that ex-pat heavy areas like the so-called dark side are mostly normal and life goes on, but this doesn’t drive the majority of the Pattaya economy nor attract tourists.

Meanwhile, as entertainment businesses remain shuttered, massage shops are closed, gyms are shut, pools are swimming-free, and alcohol is banned from restaurants, among other restrictions, some local residents have brought up concerns with The Pattaya News on social distancing with local construction workers, most of which are migrant workers who also live in dense camps and dormitories.

The picture utilized in this article was taken by a reader and sent to TPN last week near a popular under-construction condo in Pattaya. According to both this reader and multiple other sources, it is common to see trucks like this loaded with as many as thirty to forty people with no social distancing daily.

The resident that sent the photo, who also asked not to be named, asked why nightlife is continuing to take the brunt of the closures and blame when Chonburi’s (And Bangkok’s) Covid-19 numbers have nearly all been industrial estates, migrant worker camps, markets, and construction sites, sometimes with hundreds and even thousands of workers at some sites.

Chonburi Public Health Officials state that they have been testing nearly all the major communities, industrial estates, and construction sites and recently put a fourteen-day quarantine requirement on all arriving migrant workers. However, critics online state that the majority of people are likely to duck or avoid this requirement and that although testing is regularly taking place taking simple precautions like requiring employers to add more transportation and follow social distancing rules currently in place would help the city open up much faster and avoid another round of infections in the local migrant community.

Chonburi and Rayong have also stated that these densely packed migrant workers communities are also a priority for Covid-19 vaccination programs, planning to vaccinate the majority of workers at these places as soon as possible. That being said, with no current plan to re-open hundreds of closed businesses in Pattaya and get the local economy moving again, the level of frustration is peaking with many residents.

Pattaya News also notes that we have had similar complaints around baht buses in Pattaya allegedly not following social distancing rules, even requiring the buses to be overflowing with people before agreeing to move departure points.

What do you think? What is a good solution to the problem?

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