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Pattaya beaches restricted, more businesses close as Thailand reaches tipping point in coronavirus battle

More Pattaya businesses will close and groups are banned from beaches as Chonburi takes more steps to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai on March 23 signed the order closing public swimming pools and water parks; playgrounds and amusement parks; amulet markets; arcades, game centers and internet cafes; pool, chess and darts clubs; and bowling alleys across the provinces.

The order also included tighter screening and prohibiting people with high fever or respiratory problems to enter venues such as restaurants, fresh food markets, and cemeteries. Public canteens and toilets must be thoroughly cleaned. Golf courses are not allowed to hold any activities on the courses or clubhouses or hold any trophies presentation at this moment.

This is now a familiar sight in Pattaya. Bars and entertainment places are closed indefinitely.

The closures will continue until “the (coronavirus) situation improves”, the governor said, making it all but certain that the earlier closure order set to expire on March 31 will be extended.

While only the Interior Ministry can close beaches, Pakarathorn said groups of people eating and drinking will not be allowed on Pattaya and other beaches. Furthermore, authorities will actively discourage people from using beaches from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Pattaya and other cities also were instructed to rearrange beach seating so that benches are up to 2 meters apart.

All the restrictions are aimed at eliminating places where people continue to gather in groups, potentially spreading Covid-19. Thailand reported another 122 cases of the deadly disease on March 23, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 721.

A Public Health Ministry spokesman told the media today that unless social-distancing measures are strictly followed, Thailand could quickly resembled Europe and the United Stations with thousands of cases in a short period of time.

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