The Thai government introduced new restriction measures to contain the outbreak of Covid-19 on Friday but stopped short of calling the measures a “lockdown.”
Thailand saw its highest daily infection total on Friday with 9,276 new cases and 72 deaths. It has been unable to control the third wave of the virus which has infected hundreds of thousands since it began on April 1.
The government said on Friday that checkpoints and logistics for the new measures will be introduced on July 10 but the full restrictions will not coming into effect until July 12.
They will be imposed in six highly-controlled provinces including Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon.
The new measures introduced by the government include:
- Full implementation of the work-from-home model for both public and private sector
- The setting up of checkpoints to fully ban unnecessary traveling and curfew between 21:00 and 04:00
- Public transportation will be closed between 21:00 and 03:00
- Convenience stores must close between 20:00 and 04:00
- Malls will be partially closed with only supermarkets, drug stores, banking, mobile phone shops and restaurants open. The closing time will be 20:00.
- No dining-in or sale of alcohol at restaurants. The closing time will be 20:00
- Massage parlors, spas and beauty parlors are closed
- Public parks will open for exercising. The closing time will be 20:00
- No social gathering of more than 5 people, except for authorities, work, and religious gathering.
These measures will be in place for 14 days.
The setting up of checkpoints to fully ban unnecessary traveling and curfew between 21:00 and 04:00 will also apply for Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla but other added measures will not apply there.
No lockdown, government says
Despite the new restrictions coming into effect at the end of the weekend, the government refused to call the measures a “lockdown.”
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters there was “no lockdown” before evading questions and getting into his car during the morning government session.
Analysts say the government is careful not to introduce the word because of compensation issues and whether the administration would be liable to pay compensation should a lockdown occur.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha added that cabinet ministers would forgo their salaries for three months and donate it to Covid relief.