The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, stated today that under the now approved extension of the Emergency Decree for August there will no longer be a ban on public gatherings.
National Security Council secretary-general General Somsak Rungsita made the statements at a press conference today by the CCSA. The statement was made, according to observers, to ease fears by some that the previous prohibitions on public gatherings would be used against anti government political protesters. The Emergency decree, which has been in place since March 26, has previously had a ban on all public gatherings. There was no limit on the number of people that constituted a gathering and the decree had previously been used to break up house parties, gatherings of people on beaches and parks and other similar gatherings during the strictest parts of the lockdown.
With the lockdown restrictions now mostly released country wide General Somsak said the Emergency Decree was primarily a tool used to help manage the process now of quarantines and entry of foreigners and repatriated Thais. He stressed that without this tool the process would fall to Provincial governors and there would be less central direction and more possibility for breaches and problems as the country slowly allows more people into the Kingdom.
General Somsak did, however, note that political assemblies still needed to follow the proper laws under public assembly laws, which require getting permission from authorities and staging the protests in approved areas with proper rules. He added that failure to follow these laws could still see legal action against protesters.
General Somsak also stated that although the ban on public gatherings was being removed from the decree that all Covid-19 hygiene related measures, like wearing masks, physical distancing, using the Thai Chana platform for checking in and other similar rules must take place in any gathering.