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Monday 30 March 2020

Party central Phuket goes into lockdown

The Thai island of Phuket has long been known as party central with its many pubs, bars and nightclubs catering to all tastes, as well as hundreds of beach resorts.

But now the lights are going out in Phuket with governor Phakaphong Tavipatana issuing a directive for residents and the few remaining tourists to stay off the streets after dark.

The governor called for the "collaboration" of local residents and tourists across Phuket to comply and stay indoors between 8pm to 3am each night, local media reported.

The only exception is for 'urgent errands.'

The majority of the Phuket economy, over 56%, is based on tourism with bar workers, dancers and massage parlour workers all without incomes at this time.

Phuket says strict measures are also in force to prevent people planning to travel to other provinces in Thailand.

"Inspection will be strictly applied in the case of traveling to other provinces," the governor's order said.

The Thai Government has imposed a state of emergency which halts most international travel and restricts overland travel between provinces.

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee announced another six Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number to 47.

A total of 52 hotels in Phuket have announced their plans to close due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, Thai Hotels Association (THA) chairman Kalin Sarasin announced over the weekend. Thai authorities are also reducing flights. 

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