No Covid-19 national curfew or lockdown yet for Thailand

FILE PHOTO: The empty streets of last year's lockdown will not return just yet.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that there will be no national curfew or lockdown in Thailand as of yet, despite a growing third wave of Covid-19. More than 10,000 people have been infected this month as clusters that started in Bangkok nightlife venues rapidly spread throughout the entire country.

PM Prayut yesterday called for calm from the public while saying that people need to remain vigilant in taking safety precautions against the virus. He worries that people will not follow social distancing protocols and avoid gatherings. On the bright side, mask-wearing is said to be around 90% compliance.

PM Prayut said that during the initial Covid-19 outbreak, extreme measures and lockdown were necessary, and pointed to global praise for the curbing of Covid-19’s first wave in Thailand. Acknowledging the pandemic safety restrictions damaged the economy and will affect low-income workers again now, PM Prayut said he was hurt to have to impost restrictions, but that Thai people should be proud of how well the country did originally and work again to comply with safety measures to bring the current outbreak under control.

While the current vaccine rollout plan includes 61 million jabs over the course of 2021, the government is still looking for ways to expand and accelerate vaccinations, perhaps by importing the Russian Sputnik-V or US Pfizer vaccine in the near future. In the meantime, while full lockdown was not ordered for Covid-19, new restrictions were enacted for the whole country and the provinces listed as red zones.

  • Across all provinces…
    • Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlour (except for international schools running exams)
    • No events can have more than 50 people
    • Dining-in allowed until 11 pm
    • Serving of alcohol banned
    • Shopping centres to be closed by 9 pm
  • Provincial red zones…
    • Dining-in allowed until 9 pm (but can do takeaway until 11 pm)
    • Serving of alcohol banned
    • Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9 pm (Sporting fields, exercise places, gyms and fitness clubs must close at 9 pm)
    • Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11 pm

Additionally, people are being discouraged from travelling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise the risk of infection at the workplace.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill Fronde

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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