I understand the whole idea about social distancing and am kind of on the fence about whether or not it is going to have any sort of lasting effect. That is another story entirely and also a debate that I have no desire to get involved in since no one is going to have a clear picture about the virtues of early exposure vs. low to no exposure at all in relation to Covid. But I have a difficult time understanding the complete closure of beach areas, especially when you consider that there are almost zero tourists in Thailand anymore.
I haven't actually been to Phuket in quite some time, but I have a few friends down there. Friends that just want to go surfing, alone... and they are not allowed to. I think there could be some sort of middle ground here because even if a group of a couple of people went to the beach and were huddled around the same area, thereby violating the social distancing guidelines... these same people are still going to be doing that elsewhere such as in their own homes or yards.
People don't exactly go to a massive beach and then park their asses directly next to strangers nor most people actually aspired to ever do this sort of thing. Mostly, people go to the beach to get away from cramped surroundings and have some space.
The fact that markets are re opening in most of Thailand (markets are a major part of Thai society and shutting them down would almost certainly result in backlash from the public) yet the beaches are totally off limits.
It would make more sense to me that there would be social distancing guidelines as far as approaching people that you don't know are concerned but yet again, this is something that is very unlikely to occur even before Corona-virus existed.
Naysayers would present images such as the one above as an example of why it is necessary for beaches to remain closed but that image above is Maya Bay on Phi-Phi island, one of the most popular destinations for tourists, and that has been closed for a while anyway for environmental recovery (which I applaud.)
Basically, the above image is not representative of what a majority of beaches would look like anyway, even if the droves of tourists were here, which they aren't.
It makes very little sense to me that public spaces remain closed especially when these places were not spots that people would be in close proximity to one another in anyway. The argument can be made that we have to keep people away from one another but at the end of the day the beach is where people would go to be around people they already know and probably brought there with them, and they will STILL be doing this, but just in a less fun environment such as someone's house, where they will almost certainly be in even CLOSER proximity to others than if the beaches were simply open.
While this is unlikely to be a hot topic among Thai people, who generally speaking avoid the sun and beaches in general, it kind of sucks for those of us that do enjoy those sorts of things. As the number of cases and / or deaths from Covid continue to drop in Thailand, hopefully we can start to see a bit of more of the removal of restrictions. I believe the people will distance anyway, without being forced to not go to certain locations at all.