Happy New Lockdown: Bangkok’s bars, massages, more shut as COVID-19 outbreak swells


Invoking the Emergency Decree, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha on Sunday imposed a set of lockdown measures which cover 28 provinces nationwide – the so-called “maximum control zones,” including Bangkok.
Some of the newly implemented restrictions, which will be effective from today through Feb. 1, are business closures and travel restrictions with people living in these provinces highly encouraged to cancel or postpone travel plans out of their provinces.
The 28 provinces are Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Tak, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Lopburi, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Nakhon Nayok, Prachinburi, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Suphan Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Sa Kaeo, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Trat, Rayong, Chumphon and Ranong.
Thailand as of Sunday reported 315 COVID-19 cases which include 294 domestic transmissions, bringing the total to 7,694 infections since last year. The death toll is 64.
The country yesterday also confirmed that it detected the first case of the new variant of coronavirus, called B117, which was found in a British family of four who arrived in Thailand from the United Kingdom. Dr. Yong Pooworavan, chief of the Virology Centre at Chulalongkorn University, said the four were in state quarantine and currently being treated inside a hospital, therefore there is no cause to be alarmed that the new variant of the virus is spreading in the nation.
After the long period of holidays, the popular tourist attraction of Pattaya, Koh Lan today announced that it imposed lockdown measures from Tuesday through Jan. 20. Tourists on the island have been asked to leave before the end of today. The island then will impose curfew that forbids people to leave their residences between 10pm and 5am.
The dawn of Monday saw several checkpoints installed around Bangkok with police stopping vehicles that leave or enter the “maximum control zones,” especially public vans and buses, for questioning and body temperature checking.
Those people living in the 28 provinces are also encouraged to work remotely to reduce crowdedness in offices.
While restaurants are allowed diners, they are, again , banned to serve alcoholic beverages. The seats for diners should be limited to remain social distancing and encourage take-away.
In Bangkok, department stores, community malls and supermarkets remain open, yet some establishments have announced reduced operating hours.
In these 28 provinces, at least 25 types of business have been ordered shut. They include entertainment venues such as nightclubs, massage parlors, sexual massage parlors, bars, gaming and internet cafes, and party and banquet venues.
The rest include flea markets, amulet markets, animal fighting arenas, racing tracks, beauty clinics, tattoo parlors, water parks, amusement parks, playgrounds, schools and nurseries, fitness centers and gyms, boxing stadiums, skate rinks, dancing studios, martial arts schools, and similar establishments.
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