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Tight restrictions, curfews in 13 “dark red” provinces until August 2

Caitlin Ashworth

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Despite tight restrictions imposed last week in “dark red” zones, the Covid-19 situation has not improved. To combat the spread of the Delta variant, the government classified 3 more provinces as “dark red” zones and updated the disease control restrictions. An order was published in the Royal Gazette, making it official. The new zoning and updates on restrictions will go into effect tomorrow and will be in place at least until August 2.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has been careful not to use the word “lockdown” to describe the disease control measures. A spokesperson said, “basically, the new restrictions are more stringent and targeted.”

Chon Buri, Chachoengsao and Ayutthaya are now classified as “dark red” zones, joining Bangkok and surrounding provinces as well as Thailand’s Deep South region near the Malaysian border.

“Dark red” zone restrictions

  • Avoid making unnecessary trips. Residents are advised to stay at home. A spokesperson says residents may leave the house to purchase food, basic necessities, or medicine. Residents can also leave their house if they need to go to a doctor’s appointment or to go to work. The private and public sectors are advised to work from home unless working onsite is absolutely necessary.
  • Stay at home from 9pm to 4am. Residents must stay at home during the night and early morning. They can only leave if authorised by an officer.
  • Convenience stores and restaurants must close at 8pm. Restaurants can only offer takeaway services. Non-essential stores in shopping malls, including banks, must close. Supermarkets, pharmacies and vaccination centres inside shopping malls can stay open until 8pm.
  • Avoid any gatherings larger than 5 people. Large families who live together at exempt from the rule. Any gatherings for special events, like funerals, need to have prior approval. Hotels and conference centres are prohibited from hosting events.
  • Limit the number of passengers. Public transportation services are required to limit the number of passengers to 50% of the normal maximum capacity.
  • Avoid interprovincial travel. Relevant authorities will impose stricter regulations and set up checkpoints to minimise people movement from dark red zones. The spokesperson says those travelling out of the province will need to request approval before travelling.
  • Schools remain closed.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand also announced that domestic flights out of Bangkok and other “dark red” provinces will be suspended starting on Wednesday, with the exception of emergency landings, flights for medical service, and flights in connection with the “Phuket Sandbox” or “Samui Plus” reopening schemes.

“Dark red” provinces

Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, Yala, Pattani, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Chon Buri, Chachoengsao and Ayutthaya.

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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