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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

State of emergency likely to remain through June

Jack Burton



State of emergency likely to remain through June | The Thaiger
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Despite the reopening of many businesses and a loosening of the national curfew, Thailand’s national state of emergency appears set to remain in effect for at least another month, as authorities are “still not confident” about the nation’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, according to a military source. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha met yesterday with military top brass to address the outbreak that continues “wreaking havoc on people from all walks of life.”

The unnamed source says military chiefs are prepared to carry out the government’s wishes if it decides to extend the Emergency Decree, and strict enforcement will continue until the pandemic subsides. The National Security Council, the National Intelligence Agency and other military agencies have been keeping a close eye on the easing of business shutdowns since Sunday, when huge numbers of people flocked to shopping malls.

According to the source, the agencies are worried about the impact on public health if the state of emergency does not continue when the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration allows more businesses and activities to reopen in June. In the current “Phase 2 easing period,” the government needs to wait at least 14 days to assess whether more relaxation of restrictions will lead to further virus outbreaks.

Without the executive decree, the source says, the CCSA will be dissolved and the government will lack the legal mechanisms, including shutdowns and the curfew, which it has used since March to contain the spread of the virus should further action become necessary.

Security authorities say the enforcement of the Communicable Diseases Act alone is not adequate, as legal power will be mostly exercised by the Public Health Ministry.

This is different from the current CCSA management with the PM authorised to give a “single command” integrating the work of both security and health officials.

The secretary-general of the National Security Council says he will call a meeting today between security officers and representatives from the health and business sectors on enforcement of the Emergency Decree, which is due to end on May 31.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.



  1. Avatar


    May 21, 2020 at 11:28 am

    open the beach its surf season the Phuket Iland Surfers need to stay fit and healthly Get with it government your making the Phuket people very SAD we need our beaches its all we have!!!! please

  2. Avatar

    Chiravat Thienngern

    May 21, 2020 at 11:36 am

    There are no good-reason and justifications to extend the national curfew other than Prayuth wanting to have power in control of people’s lives and movement. Poor Thais people will suffer much longer because of the stupid PM and government. Remember to take them to task when we have our elected democratic government.

  3. Avatar


    May 21, 2020 at 11:41 am

    The reality, to everyone except the government it seems, is that in fact there has been no “emergency” in Thailand, if the figures shown are correct. There has been no first wave of the Covid 19 “crisis”, so the threat of the dreaded “second wave” is misplaced. The reported 56 deaths can hardly be called a “crisis” or “emergency”. Far more people are dying from other medical issues than this! The biggest crisis here now is the misery they are forcing onto their own people, and they should be prioritizing the full relaxing of restrictions and full opening of business to allow the people to earn money and live again.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

New rules for Thai cinemas to re-open in Phase 3

Jack Burton



New rules for Thai cinemas to re-open in Phase 3 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Yahoo News

As part of Phase 3 of the easing of Emergency Decree restrictions enacted to fight the spread of Covid-19, cinemas will be allowed to reopen on June 1 (though many operators are unlikely to do so as food and drink are their main revenue source and the movie companies say there are currently no new movies to release…)

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has released the rules for the reopening, designed to help encourage social distancing and prevent any possible spread of the virus

The rules are…

  • No eating or drinking in the movie theatre. Patrons can eat concession food outside the viewing room, but the cinema must have a properly spaced eating area that encourages social distancing, with partitions
  • A maximum of 2 people can sit next to each other. Others must be spaced out at least 3 seats apart. People must not be seated directly in front or behind others
  • Film festivals and nonstop screenings are prohibited
  • Cinemas must be fully sanitised and cleaned after every viewing
  • Masks must be worn at all times during a film
  • Cinema staff will be asked to enforce the rules about eating, drinking and social distancing

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

6 guidelines issued for schools to re-open in July

Jack Burton



6 guidelines issued for schools to re-open in July | The Thaiger

The government is considering allowing schools in Covid-19 infection-free areas to open in July, and the Public Health Ministry has issued 6 guidelines to schools nationwide on how to guard against the spread of virus among students and faculty once they reopen. The Department of Health’s director-general made the announcement yesterday.

“The first point that must be emphasised is preventing the spread of Covid-19 and other germs by setting up screening checkpoints at all entrances to check for fever and other symptoms. Furthermore, schools must stick to strict rules on wearing face masks and washing hands frequently, as well as providing adequate alcohol gel or handwashing stations.”

She says that classes should have no more than 20-25 students in order to maintain a distance of at least 1 metre between students.

“This will pose a challenge for schools as normally each classroom has around 40 students. Schools may employ an alternate study schedule where half of the students study online at home while the other half attend the school, and then switch at a suitable interval.”

“The second point is to prepare lessons and learning materials that are suitable for both classroom and online learning, to ensure that no student’s education is hindered during the Covid-19 crisis. The third point is to give underprivileged and disabled children the same learning opportunities as other students by providing suitable protection equipment or specialised tools to facilitate their education both at home and in school.”

The fourth point is to protect the health and welfare of children from families who have fallen ill with or are under investigation for the virus. Measures must be taken to ensure that affected students are not excluded from their peer groups.

The fifth point is to provide infrastructure to prevent the spread of the virus in schools, including additional handwashing sinks, partitions in cafeterias, and rearrangement of classrooms, hallways and communal areas to maintain social distancing.

“The sixth point that school should focus on is administration of their budgets, as these measures will increase the financial burden on the school and possibly on parents. Schools must make sure they are financially sound before reopening so they can ensure uninterrupted operation until the end of the semester.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket officially reopens Monday, but with restrictions

Jack Burton



Phuket officially reopens Monday, but with restrictions | The Thaiger

Phuket is scheduled to reopen to outsiders on Monday, to coincide with the start of Phase 3 of the easing of Emergency Decree restrictions enacted to fight the spread of Covid-19. It will also be a pleasant respite for the islanders who have been cooped up on the island since the last week of March.

Phuket’s outgoing governor says his administration has sought approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand to reopen Phuket International Airport to domestic flights, and will resume marine services at 24 of the island’s piers from Monday as well.

Permission to reopen the airport has not been given at this time.

Sarasin Bridge, Phuket’s only land connection to the mainland, will also be fully reopened for access to and from the island. Since the start of May there has been restricted access across the bridge where some 50,000 people registered to depart the island.

Some restrictions will remain in force: visitors to Phuket from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Narathiwat and provinces where new infections have been reported in the past 28 days, will be required to enter 14 day home quarantine, unless the they plan to remain in Phuket for fewer than 3 days.

The provincial prison will also reopen for visits from June 8.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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