12 July 2024

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has decided to extend current semi-lockdown restrictions, due to expire on Monday, for two more weeks and to expand the COVID-19 “Dark Red” zone provinces put under these restrictions from the current 13 to 29.

According to the CCSA, if the situation does not improve in the next two weeks, the restrictions may be extended until the end of the month.

However, according to a Royal Gazette announcement signed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday (Sunday), the semi-lockdown measures are being extended until the end of the month, causing confusions in reporting. Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek clarified to Thai PBS World today (Monday) that the semi-lockdown measures are “officially” extended to the end of August, but the situation is being reassessed every 14 days, which means the restrictions may change in mid-August.

The extension and expansion of the semi-lockdown measures came amid continual surges in COVID-19 cases and deaths,  as Thailand recorded 133 more deaths and 18,027 new cases were recorded in Thailand today. According to the CCSA, if the situation does not improve in the next two weeks, the restrictions may be extended until the end of the month.

The 16 new “Dark Red” provinces are Tak, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Prachin Buri, Phetchaburi, Phetchabun, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Lop Buri, Sing Buri, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi and Ang Thong.

The number of “Red” zone provinces has been reduced from 53 to 37 and “Orange” zone provinces have been increased from 10 to 11.

Restrictions in “Dark Red” provinces include a 9 pm to 4 am curfew and people are asked to stay home at all times and only go out to buy food and medicine or to see doctors or to get vaccinated. Public transport is allowed to operate at only 50% of seating capacity and enforce social distancing measures.

Interprovincial travel is restricted. Sports fields, public parks, public swimming pools, botanical gardens, competition venues, art galleries meeting centres, public performance centres, learning centres, museums, day care centres, hairdressers, manicure and tattoo parlours are to remain closed.

Convenience stores, mall and department stores are to close at 8pm.

The CCSA also decided, however,  to ease restrictions on eateries in malls and department stores by allowing them to open for deliveries only.

Cumulative infections, since April 1st this year, are 586,451, with 377,896 having recovered. 205,002 are undergoing treatment.