Thai cabinet steps up social distancing measures to curb Covid-19


BANGKOK (TNA) The Thai Cabinet on Tuesday decided to close entertainment venues and educational institutes temporarily as well as to postpone the Thai New Year holiday in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 outbreak.

The Cabinet approved closures of bars, theaters, massage parlours, universities, public and private schools in Bangkok and surrounding areas for 14 days from March 18-31.

Boxing rings, stadiums and horse racing tracks will be closed indefinitely until the situation eases.

The government decided to postpone the Songkran holiday, which falls on April 13-15, to limit travel in the country.

It will also impose travel restrictions for travelers from high risk countries. They are required to travel with medicate certificates, have health insurance and install an application that allows Thai authorities to track their locations while staying in Thailand.

Meanwhile, two provinces – Buriram and Uthai Thani yesterday announced to “close the provinces” by imposing strict screening measures for travelers to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.

In response to the new order, Deputy PM and Interior Minister Gen. Anupong Paochinda said provincial governors have authority to do so, depending on the situations in respective areas.

Gen Anupong said the governor’s decision does not overlap with the central administration.

He said it is under the jurisdiction of the provincial communicable disease committee, chaired by the governor.

The measure is not the lockdown of the province but it is stepping up screening processes of travelers at train stations and the airport and cancellations of social gatherings and academic activities to prevent the spread of the virus under the social distancing measures. (TNA)