Danish badminton players suffer under strict Covid-19 restrictions in Thailand

The command center is filled with authority personnel who follow the players’ movements 24 hours a day. Photo: Badminton Thailand

A total of 22 Danish badminton players who are playing at the YONEX Thailand Open Super tournament these days are struggling with Thailand’s strict Covid-19 restrictions.

In an interview with TV2, the Danish group describes the Thai authorities’ measures as extreme and not something that would ever be allowed in the west. The players are under constant monitoring as the government has taken surveillance into use to make sure all players obey the rules.

The players were isolated in their hotel rooms for the first three days after arriving in the country. Food was being delivered outside their door and they had little or no contact with their teammates. After three days the players were allowed outside their room for 75 minutes of training a day and they had to wait for a phone call before they could exit their room. Only two people are allowed in the lift at a time, every surface is constantly being disinfected and players are reminded if they do not keep the appropriate social distance measures enforced by the government.

The players are under such monitoring that makes breaking the rules impossible. Some realized that when they on the second day left their door open to chat to teammates across the hall. It was quickly interrupted by the management of the hotel, who had been informed of the activity by the government command center. The players were shocked to realize that there were cameras in the hallway and also surprised to hear the official warning over the hotel’s speaker system when they were informed to immediately return to their room.

The players says that it will be like this the first 14 days and they will have to adapt and accept the very foreign measures. In Denmark, players are used to self-discipline but they say that there is zero trusts in Thailand and that has been hard to adapt to especially in the beginning.

Mette Larsen

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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