No travel restrictions in Thailand during Songkran this year

No travel restrictions will be imposed when the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) meets next week to discuss measures to be introduced during the annual Songkran festival in mid-April, said National Security Council Secretary-General Gen. Supot Malaniyom today (Thursday). 

In his capacity as chair of the CCSA operations centre, General Supot said it is expected that the ongoing surge in COVID-19 infections will level out during March and that, during the Songkran festival, people will be able to celebrate the traditional Thai New Year’s Day in a way as close to normal as possible.

He said, however, that it is not possible for the celebration to be totally normal, noting that social gatherings, parties and other high-risk activities will still be prohibited, but inter-provincial travel will not.

The NSC chief also said that the CCSA operations centre will develop a contingency plan, in case daily COVID-19 infections reach about 100,000 cases, in which case more health facilities will be needed, besides field hospitals, to accommodate patients. Thailand’s daily COVID-19 infection number has been on the rise and reached a record 23,557 cases today. 

Regarding the adjustment of the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients (UCEP) scheme, he said that the operations centre has been instructed by the cabinet to look into the details of the scheme, so the public can be informed and reassured that they will still have access to medical treatment.

On the proposal for infected students and those considered as high risk to sit examinations in a specially reserved area at school, General Supot said that this will depend on whether each school can arrange such facility.


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