A sub-committee of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration in Bangkok (CCSA) approved a proposal to extend the Emergency Decree to control the Covid-19 coronavirus until January 15th of next year yesterday.
The proposal, however, will need final approval from the full CCSA and the Thai Cabinet, however both are nearly certain to happen based on analysis from multiple relevant government agencies.
General Natthaphon Nakphanich, Secretary-General of the National Security Council, made the announcement yesterday afternoon at a press conference. He also stressed the decision was not political in any way and not associated or tied into any protests taking place in the country.
The Emergency Decree has been in place since spring of this year and has been used, according to the Thai Government, to properly control measures related to the Covid-19 virus. General Natthaphon stated to the press that the measures needed relating to the decree were primarily border control and quarantine for those arriving in the country which, according to him, could not be properly managed without the decree in place.
In theory, the Decree gives the government sweeping powers to handle the Covid-19 situation, but draconian restrictions and powers like curfews, travel bans, lockdowns and others have all been lifted as Thailand has handled the Covid-19 situation from a local spread perspective well, according to the General.
The longer than usual extension of 45 days, which is normally only a month, is due to the holiday period and the fact that many people will be traveling around the country during this period and that the CCSA will need to have the Decree in place in case the amount of travel causes unexpected cases of Covid-19.
The CCSA sub-panel also stressed that border controls must be stepped up over the holiday period as many migrant workers would be tempted to illegally cross the border and return to go see their family.