The Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-O-Cha, updated and released orders around the current Emergency Decree being utilized to assist in controlling the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus situation in Thailand late last night, with the highlight of the updated orders being a statement asking people to refrain from leaving their current province and going to other parts of Thailand unless the reason is essential.
The majority of the information that was released through the order in the Royal Gazette had already been set in place like a re-listing of closed businesses such as entertainment style venues and the National Curfew which currently runs from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM. The Emergency Decree currently is scheduled to run until the end of May.
New information in the order, however, under Article 5, specifically addressed that citizens were requested NOT to travel across provinces unless the journey was deemed for essential purposes.
The order stated that citizens should be prepared for detailed checkpoints when entering other provinces and will need to comply with disease prevention measures. These measures may include requirement of a mandatory home quarantine for at least fourteen days and providing documentation to authorities that the travel one is undertaking is essential.
The Thai Government, through the Covid-19 Center for Situation Administration, or CCSA, is expected to further address this statement during press conferences this morning and early afternoon.
The “request” follows concern over thousands of Thai and foreign nationals leaving Phuket yesterday after a mandatory month long closure of the island to return to other provinces across the Nation. There has been concern online that as Phuket is still considered a “red” zone for the Covid-19 Coronavirus and due to active cases still being found in the province that some of those leaving may be carriers of the virus and be asymptomatic, despite stringent health checks. Additionally, Thailand is in the start of a long holiday weekend and many Thai citizens, despite multiple warnings from the Government to refrain from doing so, clogged highways across the Nation yesterday to go home for the holiday.
Thailand has also relaunched limited domestic airline travel across the country this month but has stressed the flights are for “essential” reasons only and that flyers must ensure they are able to provide authorities of the reason for travel, prove it is essential and submit to a possible mandatory quarantine upon arrival in other provinces.