In response to the continuing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Thailand has announced a series of emergency measures, including the blocking of all foreign arrivals, restriction of movement and closures to a range of businesses and public buildings nationwide. The containment plan, announced by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha during a news conference on Tuesday (24/3) comes into effect from today (26/3) and will remain in place until 30th April.
Invoking the Emergency Decree Act of 2005, the Prime Minister confirmed that an increase in executive powers is necessary to contain the spread of the virus. Thailand will therefore be under emergency decree until 30th April 2020, during which time no foreign nationals will be able to enter the country. Reacting to the latest news, a total of nine airlines have already confirmed they will suspend their flights to Thailand.
Under the new regulations, restaurants, shopping malls and markets will all be closed to the public, although food delivery services, supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores will remain open for the time being. Other potentially crowded public places will also be closed, including cinemas, salons, golf courses and educational institutions. Tourists currently in Thailand will find many of their favourite destinations closed off; pubs, nightclubs, health spas, swimming pools and stadiums will all be shut for the duration of the ban.
The PM will also have additional powers to control people’s movements, with checkpoints and increased police enforcement muted as possible courses of action under the new conditions. A special committee is being formed to implement the policies for nationwide containment, while provincial governors have been granted full authority to impose and enforce quarantine among their constituents. Those found to be in violation of the orders could face fines of up to 20,000 baht (US$600).
The emergency committee is meeting every day at 9.30 am to assess the latest conditions and take the appropriate action. At the time of writing, no curfew has been imposed, though this has been mentioned as the next logical step and the current situation is liable to change. Due to the fluid nature of the news coming out of Thailand, we recommend staying updated with our social media, where we’ll be posting all the developments as they happen: