New virus safety measures in Bangkok
In addition to officially postponing Songkran 2020 indefinitely, Bangkok will also be taking extra measures in containing the virus.
In the latest announcement, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that there will be a ban on gatherings, and closure of entertainment venues and schools in Bangkok. He added that it was important for the government to “balance between the health and livelihood of the public.”
He also mentioned that the Ministry of Transport will try its best to ensure travellers receive refunds for foiled Songkran flight and train bookings, Khaosod reports.
Schools and entertainment venues shut down
With Thailand’s total number of infections now at 177 with a surge in cluster cases, it’s important for the public to adhere to stricter safety measures. Educational institutes including schools and universities will be shut down for 2 weeks from tomorrow, 18th March 2020. Other venues following the 2-week closure are entertainment venues, bars, and massage parlours.
PM Prayut announced that the Labour Ministry will look into ways to compensate workers affected by the closures.
Sports arenas, horse racing tracks, and boxing stadiums – where the latest cluster was reportedly linked to – will be closed indefinitely, starting tomorrow. Large gatherings such as fairs, concerts, and religious ceremonies will also be banned, unless exempted by provincial officials.
Though restaurants do not face closure orders, they are now required to disinfect facilities regularly according to health safety measures.
Travels to high-risk countries banned
Civil servants are also banned from travelling to high-risk countries unless granted approval by supervisors.
Visitors and returnees coming into Thailand still face strict travel regulations, such as those flying in from the 6 classified high-risk territories and countries to have a valid health certificate when landing in Thailand. They will also be required to follow a 14-day self quarantine and provide authorities with their residential location.