Rich and sporty? Thai PM teases golf course quarantine

Happy news for traveling jocks who love to swing and possibly well-connected friends of the powers that be: Thailand’s ample golf courses may soon be used as alternative quarantine sites.

Responding swirling rumors and innuendo of conflicted interests, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha yesterday dodged questions about whether he and his cronies would benefit from plans to authorize golf courses as quarantine facilities, simply saying the courses were doing no good for anyone by sitting empty.

“If we do nothing, things will stay the same and worsen all businesses,” he told reporters, testily. “Don’t focus on that right now.”

The prime minister added that the plan was waiting approval from the COVID task force (that he chairs) but would be an “interesting idea” to give tourists another option.

“[Tourists] will choose which golf clubs they will stay in. We just see that the clubs are usually featured with accomodations and they’re closed space,” Prayuth said.

Since limited travel into the country resumed, government-authorized hotels have become de facto alternative quarantine sites for travelers.

While few opposed helping the economy by appealing to golfers, some demanded that such decisions be made ethically. 

“If any golf courses are owned by any ministers, they would not be suitable for this service. Conflicts of interest mean corruption, even if they already resigned.” Yata Mongkolpun wrote online.

While Yata did not name anyone specifically, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is known to own the Rancho Charnvee Resort Country Club in Nakhon Ratchasima province.


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