From Monday, until at least February 1st, everyone could face more stringent lockdown restrictions, to be imposed across Thailand, in a new bid to stop the relentless surge of COVID-19 infections.
CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin said today that a “strong and bitter pill” is to be proposed to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as the CCSA chairman, on Monday.
He maintained that the new measures fall short of a national lockdown, but are necessary as current measures may not be sufficient to stop the surge of the contagion, which has now spread to 53 provinces.
He said that the CCSA has assessed the situation carefully and found that a number of people who went to high-risk areas did not isolate themselves or go to see doctors for treatment and that illegal gambling activities continue.
Under the new measures, the country will be divided into three zones, called Maximum Controlled or Red Zones, Controlled or Orange Zones and Maximum Vigilance or Yellow Zones. No more Safe or Green Zones.
28 provinces, including Bangkok, will be Red Zones. Red Zone restrictions include all businesses being subject to limitation of operating hours, the closure of high-risk venues, a ban on crowd attracting activities, on-line learning, working from home, travel restrictions to and from the area and pro-active tracing efforts and arrests of those failing to comply.
If infections continue to increase in a Red Zone, the restrictions will be tightened even further, with the possible introduction of curfews.
The 27 other provinces classified as Red Zones are Tak, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Lop Buri, Ang Thong, Sing Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Suphan Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Chachoengsao, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaew, Samut Prakan, Chanthaburi, Trat, Rayong, Chumpon and Ranong.
The Orange Zone covers Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Phetchabun, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram, Nakhon Ratchasima, Surat Thani and Phang-nga.
The rest of the provinces are designated Yellow Zones.