Bangkok golf course closed after caddy tests Covid-positive

Navatanee Golf Course was closed for three days after a caddy has been infected with the coronavirus, it said Friday.

The golf course in Kannayao, Bangkok, confirmed to the Thai Enquirer they will be closing for thorough sanitization from January 14 to January 16.

The caddy informed the company about the infection on January 13 and is now being treated in accordance with to the Department of Disease Control’s procedures, they said.

The golf course’s caddy house, clubhouse, golf carts and every other related area are being clean and sterilized, they added.

The company said other caddies and people who came into close contact were tested and are now in self-quarantine for 14 days.

They said they have informed golfers and other outsiders who have visited the golf course. They also said that they are in contact with a hospital about conducting more pro-active tests.  

The news came after the Ministry of Tourism and Sports last month announced a plan to turn golf resorts into quarantine facilities.

The government then approved six golf resorts to be quarantine facilities, three in Kanchanaburi and one each in Nakhon Nayok, Phetchaburi and Chiang Mai.

The scheme allows visitors to spend their 14 days in quarantine at a golf resort instead of state quarantine or alternate state quarantine facilities, which are normally hotels.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, said if a first coronavirus test result is negative, the person would be able to play golf while in quarantine at these facilities.

Many golf courses in Thailand depend on foreign visitors for income and it is one of the military’s main businesses. Critics said golf courses were one of the few businesses that were not locked down last year because Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha, who led the 2014 coup that brought him and the current military government to power.

The Tourism Council of Thailand said more than 50 per cent of workers in the tourism industry, accounting for 2 to 3 million people, are being laid off as the pandemic had forced businesses to close temporarily.

The Council expects redundancies to keep rising as a result of the new wave of the outbreak, which started in mid-December.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects around 10 million visitors in 2021 compared to 6 million in 2020 and 39 million in 2019.

However, the Ministry of Finance said at the beginning of the year that they only expect 5 million visitors in 2021 while Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Center is expecting around 8 million visitors.

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