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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

As Phuket opens, Bangkok, 9 provinces face new restrictions

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: 10 provinces face new Covid-19 restrictions and partial lockdown. (via PxHere)

Things are changing next week in the level of severity of the rules and restrictions for Covid-19 safety and control. No, we’re not talking about loosening all the restrictions in the Phuket Sandbox reopening, we’re referring to partial lockdowns in Bangkok and 9 other provinces around Thailand to battle rising Covid-19 infections.

The Royal Gazette published today the new restrictions laid out by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for the 10 provinces. The regulations will implement partial lockdowns in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces, as well as 4 provinces in the deep south of Thailand. Starting tomorrow, the move will close construction sites and impose limitations on high-risk areas and activities in attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The lockdown measures are a stark contrast to the Phuket reopening pushing full steam ahead, and yet, many doctors and business associations are complaining the government’s Covid-19 prevention and containment measures are too soft to be truly effective.

The new restrictions for the provinces include the complete closure of construction sites and the stopping of all construction work for at least 1 month. While the government has been quick to strike down any labelling of the restrictions as a “lockdown”, construction workers will not be allowed to move about at all.

Food services will see the suspension of in-person dining, with restaurants and eateries, including those in shopping malls, hotels, convenience stores, and even street stalls, will be allowed only to offer takeaway services. Along with mall food courts and restaurants, cinemas, theatres, and water parks will be closed completely, and shopping malls must close by 9 pm.

In a move reminiscent of the “No Parking on days with a ‘Y’ in them” joke, convention centres and exhibition halls are allowed to stay open, but are not allowed to host events, seminars, meetings, or banquets, as indeed the overall rules forbid any gathering anywhere of more than 20 people without the permission of communicable disease officials.

Hotels are allowed to stay open, but as with convention centres, they won’t be allowed to host meetings or any type of gathering. In fact, for the areas in provinces with the most restrictions, the only gathering allowed anywhere are traditional ceremonies. Parties and social gatherings of any other kind are strictly forbidden.

In the event of a cluster or Covid-19 outbreak, provincial governors have been granted the authority to close venues or entire communities. The central provinces subject to the new partial lockdown effective tomorrow are Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nontha Buri, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon. In the south, Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala provinces will have the new restrictions enforced.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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