Thai police arrested 89 foreigners on suspicion of breaching coronavirus restrictions after raiding a party at a bar on a popular resort island in southern Thailand, police told CNN on Thursday.
Police said 22 Thais were also detained in the raid Tuesday night at 360 Bar on Koh Phangan.
Attendants and organizers of the party are facing charges of violating an emergency decree which was put in place last March to combat the coronavirus. Most of them have been released on bail, and only 28 are still being detained, said Police Col. Panya Nirattimanon, chief of Koh Phangan provincial police station.
Among the foreigners arrested were 20 French, 10 Americans and six Britons. All of the arrested were swabbed by local health authorities and found negative for Covid-19, Nirattimanon said.
“They are stranded tourists who can't leave Thailand due to Covid,” Nirattimanon said. “They may think it is OK to gather in large groups and I think they may want to relax and have some fun.”
The maximum penalty for violating the emergency decrease is two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,330). The organizers are facing an additional charge of serving alcohol as this area in Thailand is banned from serving alcohol inside restaurants under the emergency law.