Lockdown restrictions in Thailand’s COVID-19 “dark red” provinces extended to end of August

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has agreed to partially ease some lockdown restrictions in the country’s 29 COVID-19 “dark red” provinces by allowing banks and other financial institutions, located in malls or department stores, to stay open until 8pm. Meanwhile, other businesses, activities and public venues have had the restrictions extended until end of this month, said CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin.

For the provinces not classified as “dark red”, the lockdown measures imposed two weeks ago will also remain in place until end of the month, he added.

The CCSA also eased restrictions to allow parliament to resume meetings and to allow for related movements during the curfew hours of 9pm to 4am.

All provinces across the country are required to step up COVID-19 testing, using rapid antigen test kits (ATKs), to form CCRT (Comprehensive COVID Response Teams) and to organise a system to ensure infected people enter home or community isolation or hospitals, in cases where provinces do not have such facilities.

Apart from the work from home measure for employees of private businesses and state officials in the “dark red” provinces, the CCSA recommends that ATK tests should be carried out on a weekly basis at business with more than 50 employees and they are advised to prepare space for company isolation in case their staff are infected.

Factories with more than 100 employees and wholesale markets are advised to consider “bubble and seal” measures and to screen their traders and employees on weekly basis.

Dr. Taweesin said that the CCSA has set a target to vaccinate at least 80% of the population of Bangkok and between 50% and 70% of the population in other provinces this year.

For September alone, he said at least, 10 million doses of vaccines will be administered, especially among elderly people, pregnant women and those afflicted with underlying diseases.

As part of the Phuket “sandbox” scheme, which was introduced on July 1st, Dr. Taweesin said the CCSA today endorsed the “7+7” program, under which foreign tourists arriving on Phuket and having spent the first seven days there can travel to Surat Thani, Krabi and Phang-nga provinces for the next seven days.