This article was originally published on March 17, 2020.
“The country and cities will not close down,” said Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-o-Cha, during today’s press conference. But certain tourists “must agree to use government tracking applications”.
On Tuesday afternoon, General Prayuth gave a much anticipated press conference on state policies to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. The presser came after the kingdom’s cabinet held their weekly meeting at Government House.
In case you didn’t catch the presser, watch it in full here. Otherwise, here are the main points that you should know.
March 18-31, closure of all places where people gather in clusters, or in General Prayuth’s own words, “rub up against each other.” These include universities, schools, bars, clubs, theaters, massage parlors and other entertainment spots in Bangkok and surrounding areas.
Songkran will be moved. April 13-17 will be normal working days. The five-day holiday will be made up at a later period.
Temporary closure until further notice are boxing stadiums, sport fields and horse-racing tracks. Concerts and religious gatherings are also canceled.
Meanwhile, government officials are barred from traveling abroad, unless in exceptional cases.
Tourists from high-risk countries must have medical certification dated within three days of arrival. They are also required to accept government tracking applications.
Tourists from countries where the virus is spreading, but not classified as high risks, are also required to accept government tracking applications.
Tourists suspected of contracting the disease will be subjected to 14 days’ quarantine.
“A committee has been set up to monitor Thais living abroad,”said General Prayuth. He also promised financial aides to industries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Malls, fitness gyms, markets, government buildings, offices, restaurants and other establishments can stay open, but are required to take health safety measures.
As of Tuesday, there have been 177 cases reported in Thailand resulting in one death. The number recently skyrocketed as many citizens outed their diagnosis online, including famed singer Sarunrat “Lydia” Deane and her husband, actor Matthew Dean.
For information about COVID-19, go to the Ministry of Public Health’s website or social media pages.