Police in Thailand arrested dozens of tourists for violating COVID-19 protocols. Ever since the coronavirus spread was declared a pandemic, governments across the globe took drastic measures to ensure safety of their citizens.
Protocols were placed and new rules were implemented. No one in the world was prepared for something like this but we all still tried to adjust and follow safety protocols. But some people still refuse to take the deadly virus seriously and are openly flouting rules in defiance of the law and regards for the safety of others in their community.
The violators arrested in Thailand, around 89 in total, were mostly from the United Kingdom and United States and France. According to the BBC, more than ten different country’s citizens were involved in the arrest. They had engaged in a party on January 26 at a beachfront bar called 'Three Sixty Bar' on the Kho Phangan island. There were also 22 local residents who joined the merriment. The occasion was Three Sixty Bar’s fifth-year anniversary and there was a grand celebration. According to some reports, the guest list was as large as 200 invitees.
“Every venue has to follow rules, even if it is their fifth anniversary. The event risked spreading COVID-19 and the organizers will be persecuted,” said Suparerk Pankosol, Police colonel. The bar owner and drinks seller were among those arrested. He might be charged with violating the Communicable Disease Act. The crime is worth 1 year of imprisonment along with a fine of up to 100,000 baht (Rs 2,43,046).
The police caught wind of this party from social media posts promoting the event and raided the place. One of the factors that alerted the police was that the bar was open after 9 pm. The country is currently under strict lockdown and has severe rules in an attempt to control the spread of this virus. All establishments need to be closed before 9, as there is night curfew.
When the police stormed inside, they discovered there was absolutely no social distancing (which is obvious when hundreds of guests are crammed into one room). The officers arrested many of the party-goers who were not affected in the least.
According to the Daily Mail, the arrested tourists continued to drink and smoke and made comments like “it’s a jail party.”
The violators can be charged with imprisonment of two-years or a penalty 40,000 baht (INR 97,072) or both. The local court will be deciding the fate of these arrested tourists as well as the party organizers.