Thai authorities on Friday afternoon approved stricter measures for 10 Thai provinces including Bangkok that will impose overnight curfew, limit opening hours of several venues and ban gatherings of five people.
Effective Monday, people living in Bangkok, its metropolitan areas and four southern Thai provinces must not leave their homes between 9pm and 4am.
In the ten provinces – Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala – residents are urged to work from home unless their professions, such as healthcare, require them to leave the house. Activities that will be allowed include going out to buy food and groceries, seeing a doctor and getting vaccinated, Apisamai Srirangsan of COVID-19 task force announced at 4pm Friday.
Gatherings of more than five people are not allowed.
In Bangkok and its metropolitan areas, the de-facto lockdown will see closures of shopping malls except for the supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, restaurants and cafes within them; those are allowed to operate until 8pm.
Outside shopping malls, restaurants and cafes can open until 8pm. They still cannot offer dining-in. Convenient stores and night markets must close from 8pm through 4am. Public parks can open until 8pm.
Public transport will stop running at 9pm. Massage parlors, spas and nightlife venues remain closed until further notice.
These restrictions will be imposed for 14 days, starting from July 12.
#Lockdown has been a top trending hashtag on Twitter in Thailand since yesterday, when officials hinted at stricter measures to come.
The COVID-19 task force proposed that the emergency decree, which has been in place since March, 2020, be extended until September 30. It awaits for the cabinet’s approval on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, multi-millionaire Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says he will forgo three months of his THB125,590 (US$4,000) salary to alleviate the state burden in the midst of the crisis. Many netizens said Prayuth should have resigned instead.
“Instead of forgoing salary for three months, please resign instead. You fucked up the country for seven years but you’re gonna not gonna have salaries for only three months? Bastard,” wrote Twitter user @Kunsong6.
Thailand today marked another new record high of COVID-19 infections and deaths with 9,276 and 72, respectively.