- Currently Thailand lockdowns include a 9 pm to 4 am curfew in its “dark red” provinces.
- Thai businesses are demanding that lockdowns immediately cease and vaccine distribution be conducted more effectively.
- Businesses have been on lockdown for over a month and have implemented stringent disease control measures in efforts to avoid future lockdowns.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the 9:00 pm to 4:00 am curfew in 29 COVID-19 “dark red” provinces, including Pattaya City and Bangkok, may be shortened or lifted, depending on the COVID-19 situation.
He said even though the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration eased some disease controls on Wednesday, he hopes everyone will keep their guard up. The restrictions could be further relaxed if the situation improves.
Gen. Prayut said the curfew’s shortening or lifting will depend on the number of infections, fatalities, and other metrics related to the pandemic.
The Prime Minister said he knew the curfew is affecting entertainment establishments, and associations representing their owners of pubs, bars, and other night spots want to discuss the lifting of more restrictions with the CCSA, but he remains concerned about people flocking to these venues.
Thai businesses demand lockdowns stopped immediately
Many businesses were optimistic after the first day of reopening on Wednesday, following more than a month of closure with lockdown measures in place. Many businesses are implementing stringent disease control measures in order to avoid yet another lockdown in the future, while a joint committee has asked the government not to declare any more lockdowns.
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has asked the government never again to implement lockdown measures as a COVID-19 response, but instead to focus more on effective distribution of vaccines and transparent communication with the general public.
The JSCCIB Chairman, Payong Srivanich, said the lockdown measures implemented for more than a month had not led to a significant drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases, but instead caused continuous damage to the economy.
Similarly, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) President, Suphan Mongkolsuthee, said that the government should not reintroduce lockdown measures, claiming that the rate of vaccination coverage should now reach 70% of the population, if the government is able to achieve its rollout target.
Many shopping malls that were deserted during the lockdown, sprang back to life yesterday, as many shops and restaurants are now allowed to reopen.
At MBK Center in Bangkok, many retailers have reopened their shops with strict health and safety measures implemented. The food court there is now fully prepared for service with most of the staff now fully vaccinated. MBK Center, also known as Mahboonkrong, is a large 9-story shopping mall in Bangkok with around 2,000 shops, restaurants, and service outlets.