Dozens of tourists were arrested – including Brits and Americans – after partying at a bar flouting Covid-19 restrictions in Thailand.
More than 200 Thai and foreigners attended the event at a beachfront bar in Kho Phangan island, best known for its ‘Full Moon Party’, on January 26 evening.
However, police officers had been tracking the event through social media, where the bar promoted its fifth-anniversary party.
When officers arrived to raid the venue shortly after 9pm, some of the party-goers fled and were reportedly able to escape.
Those arrested included 110 party-goers from more than 10 countries including the U.S. Britain, Australia, Switzerland, Denmark and Thailand. They are appearing in court later today (Jan 28).
Footage shows how the revellers – many of them backpackers and ex-pats – were dancing, drinking and ignoring social distancing rules. Bars had also been banned from opening under strict guidelines rolled out last December following a surge of cases across the country.
Police Colonel Suparerk Pankosol, superintendent of the provincial immigration office, said bars are not yet allowed to operate beyond 9 pm during the pandemic.
He said: ‘Every venue has to follow the rules, even if it is their fifth anniversary. The event risked spreading Covid-19 and the organisers will be prosecuted.’
Officers were able to detain 110 people, 89 of whom were from more than ten countries including the U.S., UK, Australia, Switzerland, and Denmark.
They were taken to the police station for questioning on suspicion of violating the state emergency act, which carries fines of up to 40,000 baht ($1,330).
The bar owner and her workers could also be charged with violating the Communicable Disease Act which is punishable by imprisonment of up to a year and a fine of up to 100,000 baht ($3,330).