The Tourism Authority of Thailand announced on July 19th with new travel restrictions and lockdown in 13 provinces. What are the 13 provinces? When will lockdown start, and how long they last?
The Thai Deputy Director-General of The Department of Disease Control or the Thai DDC, said, if the new infection rate is still high in the next two months, there is a possibility that we might have to impose a lockdown, like in Wuhan, China.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand Halted All Commercial Domestic Flights
On Sunday, July the 18th, The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand halted all commercial domestic flights going in or out of the dark red zones, which include Bangkok and the surrounding areas.
Thai Provinces in Lockdown (dark-red zone)
- Chon Buri (Pattaya)
- Nakhon Pathom
- Pathum Thani
- Samut Prakan
- Samut Sakhon
- Narathiwat (South of Thailand)
- Pattani (South of Thailand)
- Songkhla (South of Thailand)
- Yala (South of Thailand)
However, there is an exception made for domestic flights to the provinces with the “sandbox” project.
The flight ban will go into effect on Wednesday, July 21st, until further notice.
New Lockdown in 13 Provinces
The Tourism Authority of Thailand announced on July 19th on new travel restrictions and lockdown in 13 provinces in the dark-red zone starting Tuesday, July 20th to August 2nd.
The Thai government decided to add these dark-red provinces as there are record-breaking new covid cases in those areas, and it is mainly the Delta Variant, which is more contagious than the original variant. Research has shown that the Delta variant spreads more easily between people.
Also, people infected with the Delta Variant may get sicker. The good news here is that fully vaccinated people have adequated protection against this variant. But the bad news is that this is happening in Thailand, where at the time of this writing. About 5% of the population, or about 3.4 million people, are fully vaccinated. Also, the Thais are using the Chinese-made vaccine.
So the total percentage of Thais fully vaccinated with the western made vaccine is smaller than 5%. The government’s goal is to have 70% of the population fully vaccinated by the end of the year.
I have spoken with a few Thais here, I’m in Thailand right now. One couple owns a business, but they are not rich, but they have money. They said they want the vaccine, but they can’t find any. I asked them to pay 3,000 baht for the vaccine at a private hospital, but they told me they couldn’t find it.
Restrictions or the Lockdown Include
Night-time curfew between 9 PM-4 AM (this is for everyone living in the 13 provinces). People are asked to remain at home and only to go out if necessary.
Outside of the night-time curfew, people are also asked only to go out if necessary, i.e., to shop for everyday items like food, medicine and medical supplies, visit the doctor, or receive a vaccine.
Checkpoints and screening between dark-red zone provinces and other areas.
Public transport is allowed to operate at only 50% of the seating capacity.
Public and private organizations and people are asked to avoid any activities prone to the spread of disease where the number of attendees exceeds 5 people. Public and private organizations are advised to hold training, seminars, and meetings online.
Government agencies are asked to have their employees work from home 100%, except for those providing services in public health, utilities, traffic, disaster prevention, law and order.
Private companies are also encouraged to have their employees work from home. I have been doing that for the past 6 years; welcome to my world.
Restrictions for Business and Services Include
Restaurants and eateries are allowed to offer take-away services only up until 9 PM.
Department stores, shopping malls, and community malls are allowed to open until 9 PM.
Hotels can open normal hours but are not allowed to hold any meetings, seminars, or banquets.
Convenience stores and fresh markets are allowed to open up until 9 PM. All 24-hour convenience stores must close nightly between 9 PM-4 AM.
What Remains Open
Hospitals, medical facilities, medical clinics, pharmacies, shops, factories, banking and financial services, ATMs, telecommunication services, postage and parcel services, pet food shops, building materials and construction supplies stores, shops selling miscellaneous necessary items, cooking gas stores, petrol stations, and online delivery services are allowed to open as necessary under strict disease control measures.
If all that measures don’t work, there is a possibility of a complete lockdown.