Thailand: Emergency decree extended

  • The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on 23 Jul 20 approved the extension of the emergency decree for another month until 31 Aug 20. The current ban on public gatherings will, however, be lifted as soon as the extension takes effect.
  • CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the extension was necessary because although the coronavirus was still spreading worldwide Thailand was allowing in foreign visitors and easing lockdowns on business and activities that posed a high risk of disease transmission.
  • The emergency decree allows the government to restrict arrivals, follow up suspected cases of Covid-19 and impose disease control measures on all business and activities, Dr Taweesilp said.
  • He added: “The decree enables the mobilisation of civil servants, police and soldiers for efficient operations. It will be an important tool to prepare for a transition to the new normal until other laws can be put in place.”
  • The proposed extension and the lifting of the ban would go before the cabinet for endorsement in the week beginning 27 Jul 20.
  • Meanwhile, the CCSA also approved the entry of foreign business representatives, specialists, diplomats, migrant workers, exhibitors, film crews, medical tourists and Thailand Elite card members.
  • Dr Taweesilp said the Centre approved their arrival in principle but various ministries would work out the precise details before allowing their visits to resume.
  • The Labour Ministry would oversee the arrival of unskilled workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to meet the demand for labour.
  • This included 69,235 workers who already had work permits and visas and wanted to return to work in Thailand.
  • Local employers planned to bring in another 42,168 workers who do not already have work permits or visas.
  • The CCSA also resolved to allow in foreign exhibitors, whose number wanting entry to Thailand was growing.
  • Addressing the 7,255 members of the Thailand Elite Card scheme who live in other countries, he said the Tourism and Sports Ministry planned to first welcome about 200 members back into the country as controls on visitors to the country were eased.
  • Dr Taweesilp said the influx of people would stimulate the economy.

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