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What does the extension of the Emergency Decree mean?




PHOTO: Yahoo News

The Covid-19 Centre for Situation Administration announced today that the Emergency Decree for Thailand will be extended, although it technically will not be official until announced in official channels. The announcement has caused many to believe the extension means that nearly all businesses must remain closed and all current restrictions, such as closures of public spaces and beaches, will not be lifted for another month. This is not the case

The Emergency Decree mainly allows PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the CCSA to control and manage the national situation, and help stop the spread, or even a second wave, of Covid-19. But restrictions in place can, and in some cases have, already been eased or strengthened, as the order allows for fluidity based on the overall situation. Many orders and restrictions, like the sale of alcohol, are at the discretion of provincial governors. Without the Emergency Decree, restrictions can’t be applied (or removed) quickly and easily on a national level.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the CCSA, told the Thai press this afternoon that that the national curfew will very likely remain. Bans on international flights, except for repatriated Thai citizens and a few other exceptions, have now been extended to the end of May. Some domestic travel restrictions will remain. Social and mass gatherings will still be banned.

But Tawesilp says the administration will be looking in depth at reopening businesses and easing restrictions, based on a colour coded scale of guidelines, gradually throughout May. Businesses will have to adhere to new health rules and guidelines once opened. These could include the compulsory wearing of face masks in stores, limits to the numbers of people in stores and no special incentives that may create too many customers at one time.

Provincial governors also have significant freedom in making decisions about openings for their districts and areas, as much of easing local business measures will be “guidelines” and open to local interpretations. In Chon Buri, for instance, based on the Governor’s discretion, hair salons (a red item on the national chart for opening) have been re-opened for with no problems reported.

Orders such as beach and park closures, alcohol bans etc. will be based on the decisions of provincial governors and will likely be announced this week.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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