At a live, televised, press conference this afternoon, March 24, 2020, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha announced that an emergency decree had been approved and would officially start on Thursday, March 26th, 2020.
The requirements for the decree will be announced on the same day. The Emergency Decree act of 2005 gives the government permission to enact these measures.
The Prime Minister said some requirements would be compulsory and some would be requests. A special committee would be formed to implement policy and procedures for the requirements. He did not state how this committee would be chosen.
He stressed for people not to return to their home provinces and that there would be checkpoints and quarantine measures taken along the way for those who do. Provincial governors have full authority and are cooperating to quarantine those who do so. Violations of those leaving quarantine or self isolation could face fines of up to 20,000 baht.
The emergency decree gives various powers, including the potential of restricting domestic travel, censoring media, implementing curfews, taking over buildings, etc.
It is important to note, however, that none of these measures have been officially announced and will not until at least Thursday of this week. Rumors of a curfew taking place as early as this evening are false, The Pattaya News notes.
The Prime Minister also said that social media would be very closely monitored during this emergency decree period. Those sharing fake news or making claims of cover-ups, etc, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Meanwhile, financial aid is being discussed and coming from both the Finance Ministry and the Department of Social Security. Banks are also working with both consumers and businesses to help those affected by the crisis.