Trial Period: Army Proposes Lifting Curfew For 15 Days

Security officials inspect a vehicle at a checkpoint on Samui Island.
Security officials inspect a vehicle at a checkpoint on Samui Island.

BANGKOK — The nighttime curfew may be suspended for 15 days to test public opinion, the army said Wednesday.

Deputy army chief Gen. Nattapol Nakpanit said officials were still discussing the proposal, which he described as a “trial” to gather opinions and feedback. The general did not give details or dates, but he said the Emergency Decree will remain in effect under the proposal.

“We want to see whether people would agree with having the Emergency Decree but without the curfew and checkpoints,” Gen. Nattapol said. “We want them to see how things would turn out if we begin to relax lockdown measures and gather feedback from the public.”

Nattapol said the Emergency Decree is necessary because it allows government agencies to efficiently carry out coronavirus outbreak control measures that would not be possible under normal laws. The government will also listen to feedback from citizens whether to lift the decree, he said.

The curfew is currently in effect across the country from 11pm to 3am, which government officials have maintained that it is necessary to prevent people from hanging out in groups.

The measure remains enforced despite zero local transmission of the coronavirus for the past two weeks. Government officials on Wednesday said four new imported virus cases were discovered among Thais returning from India, Pakistan, and Madagascar.