23 May 2024

Thailand’s COVID-19 alert has been raised from Level 3 to Level 4 today (Thursday), with more restrictive measures to be announced in the near future, according to Public Health Permanent Secretary Kiattibhoom Vongrachit.

The announcement came as COVID-19 infections jumped from under 3,000 a day over the past few weeks to 3,899 yesterday and then to 5,775 today, an increase anticipated following the New Year holidays and due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

More closures of high-risk venues and tighter rules are expected, under the COVID-free setting and universal prevention measures, said Dr. Kiattibhoom, as the ministry seeks to reduce travel, both interprovincial and daily commutes. This also includes working from home, while gatherings are discouraged.

Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiattibhoom Vongrachit

“I would like to urge people, who recently returned from other provinces, to closely monitor their health for at least 14 days, and it would be great if they could work from home,” said Dr. Kiattibhoom in a press briefing.

Level 4 alert may lead to the resumption of the ban on alcohol consumption at eateries and a quarantine for all international arrivals.

The highest alert level is 5, which would involve a curfew and a ban on gatherings of five or more people.

Thailand has suspended new Thailand Pass issuances since December 22, 2021 over Omicron concerns after the reopening of many parts of the country to overseas visitors on November 1.

More than 2.2 million people have been infected with COVID-19 since the third wave began in April 2021. Yesterday, Director-general of Medical Services Dr. Somsak Akksilp said Thailand is facing the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sooner than anticipated. Over 41 million people out of about 69 million have received two vaccine doses to date.