Wed, December 01, 2021

in-focus

Photo of Prayut flouting social-distancing rules in Phuket sparks argument


Facebook user Siriwan Ruksat on Friday posted a photo of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his entourage dining at a beachside restaurant in Phuket on Thursday.

Prayut was in the province to welcome tourists on the first day of the island opening under a sandbox scheme for fully vaccinated foreigners.

The restaurant that Prayut and his staff were spotted in is in Thalang district and faces the ocean. In the photo, Prayut and his team are eating and sitting close together, while some members of the party are without a mask.

This post sparked widespread criticism, with netizens slamming the PM and his entourage for violating disease control measures while leading a campaign that aims to promote Thailand as a safe destination.

“This is highly unacceptable. While restaurants in Bangkok are prohibited from allowing patrons to dine-in, the PM is out dining with no social distancing in Phuket,” one netizen posted.

Another netizen rose to Prayut’s defence, pointing out that Phuket is not a red zone so dining in does not break any rules, and urged critics to “stop attacking the government on every trivial detail”.

The original poster said that after the photo went viral, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said everybody in the photo was actually sitting a fair distance from one another and that they have all been vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Most importantly, there is no rule against dining inside restaurants in Phuket as the province has already relaxed disease control measures,” Anutin added.

Photo of Prayut flouting social-distancing rules in Phuket sparks argument

Published : July 02, 2021

By : THE NATION