Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha spoke briefly to the public this afternoon after today’s anticipated Thai Cabinet meeting to discuss the extension of the Emergency Decree and possibly easing some restrictions/closures that have put millions out of work around the country.
As expected and originally announced as being proposed and would happen by the Covid-19 Center Situation Administration Spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin yesterday afternoon the Thai Cabinet officially resolved to extend the Emergency Decree another month, until the end of May. The National Curfew, from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM, will also continue.
This Decree gives the Thai Government the ability to more easily manage the Covid-19 crisis and implement (or remove) rules across the nation based on the severity of the situation. The continuation of the decree does NOT mean all restrictions currently in place that have as many as fourteen million out of work and have caused many cities, like Pattaya, to be virtual ghost towns, will continue.
Various color coded charts and suggestions have been passed around on other media, but none of these are orders or firm rules on when businesses may re-open. The guidelines were presented to the Cabinet who will present them to the Ministry of the Interior and then individual Governor’s who will look at the situation with Covid-19 in their own provinces and make the final decisions on opening. It is important to note these are guidelines-for instance, hair salons and barbers have been open in Chonburi for weeks at the Governor’s order, but closed in the rest of the nation. Electronic shops, Home appliance stores, Construction and do it yourself stores are also all open in Chonburi, but most provinces still have banned and closed them.
The Chonburi Government has scheduled meetings to discuss potential new orders, but no announcements on any easing of restrictions have been made as of this afternoon.
One of the most asked questions is if the alcohol sales ban will continue, that will be up to the provincial Governor to decide. No national order banning alcohol is in place, but every province in the country has individually banned sales of alcohol. Some Governor’s, like that of Nan Province, have hinted they will likely continue the ban as it helps stop social gatherings and reduce curfew violations and crime.
The Emergency Decree officially continues the National Curfew, bans international inbound travel except for repatriated Thai nationals, gives some domestic travel restrictions and bans mass gatherings.
We will have associated press at the meetings with the Chonburi Government and will inform our readers the moment any announcements are made in regards to any local easing of restrictions. All current orders mandating closures expire at midnight on April 30th.