Nineteen French tourists arrested after flouting coronavirus restrictions during party on Thai island

Nineteen French tourists were arrested after allegedly having an illegal party during the coronavirus lockdown on a Thai island.

The holidaymakers were gathered in a beach bar named 'Bohemia' while drinking and listening music in Koh Samui, southern Thailand.

Furious residents called police to report the group for allegedly breaking a curfew and ban on social gatherings because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officers arrived on Sunday night (May 10) where they allegedly found a party going on and people ignoring social distancing guidelines.

They arrested 19 French tourists, three Thais, one Burmese waiter Aung Thin, 24, and a French manager Quentin Thiollet,24.

One of the partygoers reportedly told the police that they did not know about the state of emergency act, which came into force in March.

He said: "Me and my friends travelled to Thailand for leisure but we were stuck here due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

''Then we just came here for dinner and we ordered drinks as usual because we did not know that it is illegal to party now."

Police took all 24 people back to the station and held them in custody while the charges were processed.

Police Colonel Yuthana Borphud said: "All of them were charged with together violating the state of emergency act.

"However, the French manager will face an additionally charge for illegally open a nighttime venue.''

Violators of the state of emergency act face up to two years in prison and fines of100,000THB (2,473GBP) each.