In response to the continuing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Thailand is preparing to announce a series of emergency measures, including restriction of movement and closures to businesses and public buildings. The containment plan, announced by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha during a news conference today (24/3) is expected to come into effect from Thursday (26/3) onwards, and remain in place until the end of 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, particularly as this time of year is traditionally when many Thai nationals return home for the Songkran holidays. Thailand will therefore be under emergency decree from this Thursday, 26th March until the end of April 2020.
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).
In preparation for the coming lockdown, Thai Airways have also confirmed they will temporarily suspend a number of flights in their international and regional networks. According to a statement on Singapore’s Thai Embassy website, all European flights will be cancelled from 1st April until 31st May 2020. All regional flights (including Singapore) will be stopped from 25th March until 31st May 2020.
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