At a press conference this afternoon following a meeting with the National Security Council and Prime Minister Prayut Chan O’Cha, General Somsak Rungsita, Secretary-General of the National Security Council (NSC), said that the NSC would officially suggest extending the Emergency Decree until the end of July.
The suggestion would be deliberated at a major CCSA meeting on Monday, June 29, and if approved then given a final approval by the Thai Cabinet on Wednesday June 30th.
Despite being a “suggestion” this important first step and approval of the NSC shows that it now looks nearly certain that the Decree, which contains strict penalties for violation of rules around the decree, will be extended another month. The Decree also gives the Prime Minister and CCSA sweeping powers to control the country during an emergency situation.
General Somsak told the Thai press that the extension of the decree was needed because of the critical re-opening of the most high risk venues in Phase Five, which is scheduled to start on July First. He stated that the laws currently in place would not allow the Government to properly respond if there was a breakout of Covid-19 due to the final phase of restrictions being lifted. He also stated that not only was Phase Five resuming that schools were also starting and this was another area for concern.
Additionally, the decree allows a central level of administration and management not available without the decree. If the decree was removed too soon there was concern, according to Somsak, that some Provincial Governor’s would adjust rules or regulations against the “advice” of the CCSA. He also said that if there was no outbreak of Covid-19 due to the final phase of measures being released that the Decree could be canceled at any time.
The Pattaya News notes no extension of the Decree would be official before Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.