Thailand has today announced tighter restrictions for Bangkok and nine provinces in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including travel curbs, mall closures, a curfew and limits on the size of gatherings.
Main picture Wat Arun, Bangkok credit Bernard Spragg. NZ on flickr
Some measures will take effect from Saturday, others from Monday, and come as Thailand reported one of its highest daily infection tallies at 9,276, with 72 new deaths, amid a battle against its longest-running and most severe outbreak so far.
“In the 10 provinces there will be restrictions on unnecessary travel and people cannot leave their home between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. unless necessary.”Apisamai Srirangsan, Covid-19 Taskforce Spokeswoman
Malls, beauty clinics, spas and massage shops in Bangkok and five surrounding provinces must close from Monday, while COVID-19 testing facilities will be expanded to better detect and isolate clusters, Apisamai said.
Gatherings will be capped at five people, although there will be some exceptions. The government also discouraged inter-provincial travel.
The tightened measures affect Greater Bangkok, which includes the capital and Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon.
The 9pm-4am curfew will also be imposed in Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala.
The new lockdown raises questions on the ability for Thailand to meet its target of reopening much of the country to foreign tourists by mid-October.