26 May 2024

The daily rate of new COVID-19 infections in Thailand fell to 3 today, as the country takes the first steps in the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

Accumulated infections in the country are now 2,969, recoveries have increased to 2,739, the death toll remains unchanged at 54 and 176 cases are still in hospital.

CCSA’s chief of security affairs, General Pornpipat Benyasri, told a news briefing today (Sunday) that the large number of people leaving Bangkok over the past few days appears to indicate widespread misunderstanding about the easing of restrictions, which begin today, and that the Government’s stay at home policy remains unchanged, with the relaxation intended only to enable certain business and recreational activities to resume. Inter-provincial travel remains inconvenient and is discouraged.

“The government has never said people can drop their guard,” said General Pornpipat.

With the easing of some measures, he said that the centre for security affairs will shift its focus to monitoring business and leisure activities, to ensure strict compliance with regulations imposed in each province.

The basic regulations include regular cleansing of business venues, availability of sanitizer gel for customers, wearing of face masks by customers and employees and the maintenance of social distancing, he explained, adding that any businesses found in breach of the regulations will be warned first, then closed down for any subsequent violation.

Regulation manuals will soon be distributed to the businesses by provincial administrations.

Interior Permanent Secretary Chatchai Promlert, meanwhile, explained the situation in Phuket, where tens of thousands migrant workers have been waiting to leave the island province.

A half of the roughly 100,000 migrant workers there have applied to leave, since the provincial administration locked the resort island down and closed all its hotels, leaving most of them unemployed.

Only about 3,500 have been allowed to leave during the past few days, said Mr. Chatchai, adding that some district offices are still refusing to allow them to go.

The workers not yet allowed to depart have been issued with a certificate, confirming that they have been screened, and their home provinces will be notified about their pending arrival, because they will have to enter local quarantine when they get there.

Also starting today, take-out alcohol sales are permitted again.