Thailand to consider further easing of COVID-19 restrictions on Friday
The easing of restrictions on entertainment venues, such as bars and pubs, readjustment of COVID zoning and the lowering of the national alert level, from Level 3 to 2, are expected to be considered by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) tomorrow (Friday).
Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said today that, as the COVID-19 situation steadily improves, with fewer infections and deaths, the CCSA will consider easing of restrictions in line with the COVID-19 situation.
The measures to be discussed, he said, include re-zoning, the lowering of the alert level and easing of restrictions, such as allowing pubs, bars and karaoke bars to reopen fully in some areas especially touristic provinces. Currently, some such venues are allowed to open as “eateries”, as long as they meet the requirements set by the authorities.
Thanakorn said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who chairs the CCSA, has stressed the need for some measures to be in place, to control the spread of the virus, and has sought cooperation of the vulnerable people, namely those over 60, suffering from certain underlying diseases and pregnant women, by getting vaccinated for their own safety.
According to the COVID-19 Information Centre today, there were 6,305 new infections and 42 COVID related fatalities in the past 24 hours and 1,104 cases of lung inflammation still undergoing treatment. Thailand’s daily COVID-19 infections fell below 10,000 for the first time on May 2nd and have been gradually continuing to reduce. The peak for this year was 28,379 on April 1st.
Currently, there are only two types of COVID-19 zones in use, “Tourism Sandboxes” or “Blue” zones and “High Surveillance” or “Yellow” zones. The proposed rezoning would place some provinces in middle “Green” or “Surveillance” zones, which typically involve fewer COVID-19 restrictions than the “Yellow” zones.
Blue Zone provinces are provinces or districts which have reached at least 70% mass vaccination and are ready to accept overseas tourists.
According to Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiattibhoom Vonrachit, alert Level 2 means the public can engage in almost all activities, except vulnerable people and those who are not fully vaccinated. On May 9th, the level was lowered from 4 to 3. Level 5 is the highest and could involve curfews.
The unvaccinated are advised to avoid entertainment venues, crowded places and enclosed venues without air circulation. Members of the vulnerable groups, who are not fully vaccinated, are also advised to avoid inter-provincial public transport and overseas travel.