Nine people have been arrested while drinking alcohol on a beach in Sattahip yesterday and violating rules around Covid-19, according to Sattahip authorities (September 13th).
A team of Sattahip authorities led by the Sattahip Mayor Mr. Chaiwat Inanong and the Sattahip Police arrested nine people at Bang Saray Beach for violating the Chonburi Disease Control order in place due to Covid-19 which bans consumption and possession of alcohol on the beach, or for that matter, any public area like parks.
TPN media notes that, technically, alcohol was banned in public areas well before Covid-19, including in Pattaya, but was rarely if ever enforced due to relaxed enforcement for tourism. However, due to Covid-19, that is no longer the case, as authorities continue to associate a risk of spreading Covid-19 to groups socializing and partying around alcohol.
All nine people were taken to the Sattahip Police Station for further legal action.
Sattahip Mayor Mr. Chaiwat Inanong told The Pattaya News reporters, “The Bang Saray Municipality has clearly announced, including with placement of signs along Bang Saray Beach, that alcohol is not allowed to be drunk on Bang Saray Beach.”
“Even though the number of Covid-19 infections in Sattahip has decreased, we must continue to control and prevent the spread of the virus. Gatherings, parties, and socializing around alcohol is strictly prohibited and causes people to lose their inhibitions and forget social distancing rules, wearing of masks, and other precautions that help stop the spread of the virus.” The Mayor concluded.
Technically, notes TPN media, a current order in Chonburi from the Governor bans any gatherings of over one person around alcohol and parties. Gatherings of up to 25 people for legitimate reasons are currently allowed.
Bars, nightlife, and even restaurants being able to legally sell alcohol have been banned for over five months currently in Chonburi with no sign of the unpopular rules being lifted anytime soon. This is despite a plan to restore domestic and foreign tourism to Sattahip and Pattaya as soon as early October, in which many tourists would presumably want to have an alcoholic drink while relaxing and not face the threat of arrest.
Penalties for those arrested could be steep, as the violation falls under what some people call “draconian” emergency decree-laws that provide stiff fines and potential jail time. Sattahip authorities have warned they will continue to arrest those who violate the current emergency orders.