More Closures Due To COVID-19 In Thailand

Officials have closed Phuket Town Fresh Market 1 and its surrounding areas for one week as well as the Downtown Plaza market for 11 days until August 22 due to an outbreak of Covid-19. Last Wednesday, 27 Covid-19 infections were uncovered at the market, leading Phuket to a record 65 Coronavirus infections on that day.
The order of Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew is in effect from today until August 17, barring all people from entering and leaving the area, except for emergency medical personnel and vehicles, food and gas deliveries.
Phuket Town Fresh Market 1 and the Downtown Plaza were restricted on Monday by the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee to control a rash of Covid-19 infections. The provincial order was enacted by the governor on Tuesday.
Checkpoints will be set up around the contained area that encompasses Ranong Road, Soi Phuthorn, and Bangkok Road, manned by officials from the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, Phuket City Police, and Phuket City Municipality. Test kits and RT-PCR kits will also be dispatched to the area for the Phuket Public Health Office and Phuket City Municipality to test local residents.
During the lockdown, the municipality will sanitize the entire market and deliver supplies and food to those quarantined. Two weeks ago, Central Festival was shut down, and other markets were instructed to enforce social distancing by allowing only one person per 4 square meters.
It took just one hour and 40 minutes to travel across the Gulf of Thailand between the two popular tourist destinations. The Royal Passenger Liner operated a 150-passenger catamaran and a 262-passenger ferry.
It was launched in 2017 but struggled the entire time it ran. There was less ferry ridership than expected, and the route between Pattaya and Hua Hin just wasn’t that popular. Other problems and setbacks plagued the ferry along the way, but when Covid-19 started shutting down services and regions, it was the beginning of the end.
Last year, the Chon Buri Covid-19 Communicable Disease Committee suspended the ferry service. As the pandemic rages on, the service remains inoperative, and it’s unclear when things will return to normal with tourism returning and ferries lining up between Hua Hin and Pattaya, so Royal Passenger Liner is pulling the plug.
The mayor of Pattaya says that no company is coming to replace the canceled ferry to Hua Hin and that Royal Passenger Liner renovated the pier in a way that doesn’t meet government standards and that they must restore it before they can cancel the contract.
A new ferry had a test run last year from Sattahip near Pattaya to Prachuap Khiri Khan near Hua Hin, but it’s not a permanent schedule to replace the canceled ferry route. Plans had also been discussed regarding building a bridge to connect the two cities as well.

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