BANGKOK – In Bangkok, next month’s Songkran festivities have been postponed, while entertainment venues, including movie theatres, boxing rings, spas and massage parlors, are all closed for 14 days. Those who fail to comply with the lockdown are subject to a jail term of up to one year or a fine of up to 100,000 baht.
Following a meeting of the committee on communicable diseases of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the Governor of Bangkok, Pol. Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, said the postponement of Songkran celebrations and the temporary closure of entertainment venues are necessary because their activities usually involve large crowds. A total of 3,519 venues, including boxing rings, spas, massage parlors, and related businesses that are not supervised by the Health Service Support Department, extending to cinemas, theaters and fitness gyms will be closed for 14 days, from March 18 to 31, 2020.
The Bangkok Governor also asked places of worship of all religions to postpone their religious activities. Members of the public are advised to undertakeall daily activities in their own homes. Hotels and restaurants that serve more than 50 customers on a regular basis should cancel various activities while reinforcing good sanitation practices to help contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Directors of the 50 district offices in Bangkok have been instructed to inspect their respective areas, after the order was issued. The offence carries a jail term of up to one year or a fine of up to 100,000 baht.
“I have to exercise the power of Subsection 1 of Section 35 of the Communicable Disease Act B.E. 2558. Crowded venues and places where people are close together have a greater risk of infection, particularly when they shout, cheer, touch each other or use the same eating utensils. We’ll start by closing boxing rings and other entertainment venues, like massage parlors, bathing facilities, saunas, theaters, cinemas and indoor fitness gyms. As for outdoor venues, such as football stadiums and public parks where people go to exercise, we will not close them. We ask for cooperation from all sides, all organizations and all entrepreneurs to cancel their social events,” said the governor.(NNT)