11 July 2024

Bangkok authorities have insisted that the new package of stringent measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus does not amount to a lockdown of the city.   But judging from its nature, it certainly very much looks like one.

The primary objective of a lockdown is to minimize movements of people. And if you don’t have shopping malls where you can spend your money, restaurants to eat out, places to hang out with friends, gyms to work out, or event beauty salons to have your hair done, then there are practically no reasons why you want to venture out in the next three weeks.

The authorities believe that with these new measures, they can discourage Bangkokians from leaving their homes and risking the chances of spreading or contracting the virus short of imposing a lockdown.

So, starting Sunday morning, Bangkokians will wake up to find out that their normal life will be brought to a halt.

This is how the new measures, to be enforced between March 22-April 12,  will affect you:

  • All shopping malls and retail stores will be closed. That means you can forget about visiting your favourite outlets in the next three weeks. But supermarkets and pharmacies in these outlets are exempt from the ban.
  • Forget about eating out. All food-shops and restaurants will be opened only for take-out or delivery. That means no sit-down lunch or dinner. The idea is to minimize your exposure to the virus.
  • All clubs, bars, movie theaters, nail salons, hair salons, gyms, golf courses and public swimming pools will shut down.
  • You still can shop at convenience stores but don’t expect to be served foods there as their eatery sections will also be closed.
  • You can still look for fresh foods at open markets which will be allowed to sell essential items. All other goods that are considered non-essential will be banned.
  • Hotel restaurants can still stay open – but only to serve hotel guests.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) also appeals to government agencies and private companies to allow their employees to work from home as much as possible.  And starting next week, Thai PBS and ThaiPBS World will begin implementing the “stay at home” policy to ensure that a minimum number of its personnel will need to travel to work.

And don’t forget that all the measures announced by BMA today apply only to Bangkok which so far has registered the highest number of infection cases.

Medical experts want everyone to understand that the most effective way to avoid spreading or contracting Covid-19 is social distancing. And staying home and taking care of one’s health is definitely the best form of social distancing.