Thai provincial governments have toughened up measures to stem the spread of coronavirus in the country by ordering temporary hotel closures.
The Thai Hotels Association confirmed with TTG Asia that five provinces have issued closure directives to date, with the latest being Chonburi province, home to the city of Pattaya; and Phuket.
Chonburi’s directive came into effect on April 2, while Phuket’s will commence on April 4. Both will remain in effect until further notice.
Under the directives, all licensed hotel businesses, apart from those which have been converted into field hospitals or quarantine centres, must close.
For Phuket, hotels with no guests must close immediately, whereas hotels with existing occupants must report their guests’ name and contact details to district officials who will follow up and detain any guests if they fall sick. Tourists who have already checked-in will be allowed to complete their stay, but hotels are not allowed to take in new guests. Those who breach these orders will be fined 100,000 baht (US$3,030) and/or jailed.
Other provinces that have earlier issued closure directives for hotels include Kanchanaburi, Chanthaburi and Phang Nga.
Affected hotels will be able to claim financial aid from the Thai Social Security Fund for their formally-employed, full-time staff.
These measures come as a nationwide curfew starts tonight barring all non-essential domestic movements between 22.00 and 04.00 until further notice.
Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday issued a directive blocking all travel to Thailand, including those by Thais, with immediate effect until April 15 to allow the nation time to prepare “state quarantine” facilities after more local infections were linked to imported cases.