Thailand considers 2 months of State of Emergency extension

A subcommittee of Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved another 2-month extension to the Emergency Decree, which was due to expire at the end of this month, and has resolved to postpone the country’s reopening from October 1 to November 1. These proposals will be submitted to the full meeting of the CCSA, chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, on September 27.

The reopening to fully vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine in Bangkok, Chonburi (Pattaya, Bang Lamung, and Sattahip districts), Chiang Mai (Muaeng, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Doi Tao districts), Prachuap Khiri Khan Province (Hua Hin), and Phetchaburi (Cha-am) will now be on November 1.

This is to allow more time for at least 70% of the population to be fully vaccinated, which is one of the prerequisites for reopening borders to foreign tourists.

There is yet to be a decision on whether to extend Thailand’s nationwide State of Emergency, in place since March 2020, and has been repeatedly extended, with the latest extension set to expire on September 30, or on the fate of the CCSA.

Previously, some local media had erroneously reported on the cabinet’s decision not to extend the State of Emergency beyond September 30 and that the CCSA will be dissolved following the announcement of approved amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act that can be used in place of the Emergency Decree. However, Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek confirmed to Thai PBS World that no such decision has been made.

Thailand’s State of Emergency has been repeatedly claimed by the government to have helped to expedite efforts to bring the pandemic under control, but it has been criticised by anti-establishment protesters and human rights groups for curtailing freedom of expression, including media freedoms, and bans media from reporting during curfew hours.

Source: Thai PBS World