Deputy PM Says No Plan to Impose Curfew Over Virus – Yet

Commuters get temperature checked at a police checkpoint in Bangkok on March 26, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — The Thai government has no plans as yet to impose a curfew to curb the spread of COVID-19, but will strictly enforce restrictions on travel and gatherings as the state of emergency takes effect after midnight of Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Wednesday.

“However, the government will not rule out the possibility of a curfew being declared if the ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 fails,” warned Wissanu.

The deputy prime minister said that initial restrictions issued under the state of emergency decree include a ban on non-Thais travelling into Thailand; however, there are a few exceptions for Bangkok-based diplomats who need to return to Thailand from overseas trips and pilots and flight attendants of airlines that still operate.

“But all pilots and flight attendants will need to show their fit-to-fly certificates. The same requirement also applies to Thai citizens wanting to return to Thailand,” said Wissanu. “This emergency decree is not a lockdown of Thailand as airports are still open.”

Thai authorities will also be empowered to discourage people from travelling, especially those travelling between provinces.

“Travelers between provinces will be subject to tough screening to the point that they may not want to leave home,” he said.

“These stringent measures include mandatory spacing between passengers, wearing of face masks, taking of temperature and frequent checks at check-points,” said Wissanu.

He emphasized that measures to be implemented under the state of emergency decree are designed to ensure that people observe social distancing and comply with the stay at home directive.

Violators of the decree are liable to a two-year imprisonment or a fine of 40,000 baht (1,220 U.S. dollars) or both.