TCEB Situation Update COVID-19 virus on 21 July 2021

New Designation of Targeted Control Areas and Enforcement of Tougher Control Measures



TCEB Situation Update

COVID-19 virus on 21 July 2021

New Designation of Targeted Control Areas and Enforcement of Tougher Control Measures


The Thai Government has announced new tougher measures to effectively reduce Covid-19 infection. The number of province categorised as maximum control with tight restriction area has increased from 10 to 13 provinces where unnecessary outdoor activities are prohibited, starting from July 20. The regulations are as follows: 

1. The purpose of new measures
The stringent enforcement of the measures in this announcement aims to prevent people from leaving their dwellings, which can generate transmission risks as reflected in the fact that infected cases are family members having contact with people traveling outside. Infection and transmission within the family and communities in Bangkok and surrounding provinces are exponentially higher. Despite accelerated vaccination, herd immunity requires certain duration to be realised. What is needed for collaboration now is delaying rampant transmission by halting any acts posing risks or resulting in further transmission.

2. Adjustment of targeted control areas
The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has redesigned targeted control areas to fit the updated situation as follows:
    • Maximum and tightly restricted area: 13 provinces, including Bangkok, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Songkhla 
    • Maximum controlled area: 53 provinces, including Krabi, Kanchanaburi, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Khon Kaen, Chanthaburi, Chainat, Chaiyaphum, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Trang, Trat, Tak, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Sawan, Buriram, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Prachinburi, Phatthalung, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phetchaburi, Phetchabun, Maha Sarakham, Yasothon, Roi Et, Ranong, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Lopburi, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Sisaket, Sakon Nakhon, Satun, Samut Songkhram, Sa Kaeo, Saraburi, Singburi, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surin, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu, Ang Thong, Udon Thani, Uthaithani, Uttaradit, Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen
    • Controlled area: 10 provinces, including Chumphon, Nakhon Phanom, Nan, Buengkan, Phang Nga, Phrae, Phayao, Mukdahan, Mae Hong Son and Suratthani
    • Surveillance area: 1 province which is Phuket

3. Reduced and limited travel 
Persons living in the maximum and tightly restricted area shall avoid, limit and refrain from leaving their dwellings. Travel for medical treatment, vaccination, doing certain jobs that cannot be undertaken outside the usual office or travel for buying items of basic necessity for daily living are the exception. However, they must take high caution and strictly follow disease prevention measures. The authorised officers with the support from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, shall collaborate with related agencies and volunteers in distributing essential consumer goods as relief supplies to the affected people.

4. Prohibition against leaving residence in more provinces 
Residents in the maximum and tightly restricted area: Bangkok, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, and the southern provinces, comprising Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala, must remain at home from 21:00-04:00 hrs. of the next day for at least 14 days. The prohibition is effective from 20 July 2021 onwards and must be in line with the directives implemented by the authorities and the directives regarding the exemption of persons from this measure as stated in the regulation number 27 dated 10 July 2021 or certain cases permitted by the authorities. Violators are subject to penalties as stated in the Emergency Decree on Public Administration, B.E. 2548. 

5. Conditions on transport and screening travel measures in maximum control and tightly restricted area
The concerned authorities, with the support from The Centre for Resolution of Emergency Situation of the Ministry of Interior, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and relevant agencies, are required to set up checkpoints or blockade at the entry and exit points of the maximum control and tightly restricted area to screen the travelers or bar the movement to outside area. The measures must be implemented for at least 14 days and must be in line with the directives of the operation centre of CCSA. The authorities exercising the prohibitive and exemption duties must follow the measures established in the announcement number 25, dated 26 June 2021, and the announcement number 27, dated 10 July 2021. In case of exempted persons or cases, rule number 4 and 5 in the announcement number 27, dated 10 July 2021, shall be applied. 

6. Public transport 
The Ministry of Transport, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration or responsible agencies shall inspect and supervise inter-provincial public transport of all means throughout the country to ensure that it is in line with the directives of the operation centre of CCSA. Seating capacity will be capped at 50% maximum of each vehicle, distance arrangement must be made and the official public health measures must be strictly followed. The consideration must be made to see to it that they fit the necessary circumstances, especially in the case of travel to receive medical service and vaccination. This is effective from 21 July 2021 onwards.

7. Urgent integrated control measures in maximum and tightly restricted area
The Governor of Bangkok or the city governor, with the consent of their city/provincial communicable disease committee, shall consider continuing the closure of public venues and establishments for at least 14 days. The operation of establishments, enterprises and services must abide by more stringent terms, duration, arrangement and disease control measures as follows:
1) Restaurants and food and beverage outlets can provide takeaway services only and must be closed by 20:00 hrs.
2) Shopping malls, shopping centres, community malls, or other similar establishments can operate until 20:00 hrs. However, the only permitted services are selling necessary consumer goods, medicine and medical supplies, supermarkets, services on vaccination or other medicine and public health services. 
3) Hotels can operate during its regular time; however, such activities as meetings, seminars and caterings are prohibited.
4) Convenience stores and flea markets can operate until 20:00 hrs. 24-hour convenience stores must be closed between 20:00 – 04:00 hrs. of the next day.
5) Schools, educational or training institutes must comply with the measures previously announced. 

Hospitals, medical and public health clinics, drugstores, other stores, factory, banking, finance and securities, telecommunication, post and parcels, pet food, repair and maintenance, tools and building materials, stores selling items of basic necessity for daily living, cooking gas, fuel, petrol station, gas station, and online delivery services can operate but must strictly comply with preventive control measures.

The Governor of Bangkok, with the consent of the city’s communicable disease committee, has issued an announcement number 37 dated 19 July 2021 regarding the temporary closure of certain establishments and venues. This announcement, aiming at enforcing tougher measures to fit the situation, requires that certain establishments and venues as stated in the following announcements remain closed: announcement number 32 dated 14 June 2021, number 33 dated 20 June 2021, number 34 dated 27 June 2021, number 35 dated 5 July 2021, and number 36 dated 10 July 2021. 

The operation of establishments, enterprises and services must abide by stringent terms, duration, arrangement and disease control measures, in line with the regulation number 28 dated 17 July 2021 executed under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration, B.E. 2548. More establishments allowed to operate as deemed fit under the regulation number 28 are market (only food and raw materials for consumption zones), nurseries (only those in hospitals and night nursery), nursing homes (only night nursing ones), insurance, emergency services, vehicle and repair services, battery stores, inspection and maintenance of public utilities, drainage, fuel and gas pipeline, garbage collection and elimination. However, they all must strictly follow official disease control measures. This announcement is effective from 20 July until 2 August 2021 or until further notice.  

8. Prohibition of risk-posing activities in maximum and tightly restricted area
Organising activities with over 5 attendances is prohibited. The measure must be executed in line with the prohibitions and exceptions stated in the announcement number 24, dated 19 June 2021. In this respect, government and private sectors must organise meetings, seminars, training via electronic means. Gathering activities allowed under the previous announcement, if they are to be held during this period, must seek permission from the authorities so that the reexamination and review of their disease prevention measures can be conducted to make them fit the current change of the situation as established by the operation centre of CCSA.

9. Operation of public sector and government agencies 
Head of government agencies and any public sector located in maximum and tightly restricted area shall operate outside their usual offices at full capacity. Their meetings, seminars, training, examination must be organised via electronic means as much as possible. Group activities or group travel must be refrained. Onsite operation is allowed only for those duties deemed necessary which are related to public health, disease control, public utilities, traffic, relief and security operation or duties performed under fixed schedules or with prior appointments. They must be able to comply with disease control measures. To allow such operation, its suitability and necessity must be considered according to the regulation number 27 dated 10 July 2021. The same is applied to the private sectors whose operation outside their usual office must be conducted 
at its full capacity.   

10. Integration and coordination
Public sectors, government agencies, and other operation centres under CCSA shall consider any measures, accelerate their implementation and exercise their duties to create quick and concrete results. Also, they shall support the duties of the operation centre of CCSA if requested or coordinated. Any problems occurring during the operation involving the public or the officials, they must be considered, screened and initial opinions must be secured before discussing them with CCSA. 

11. Enforcement of stringent control measures
The authorities shall inspect and supervise the implementation of the measures, prohibitions and directives as stated in this announcement for at least 14 days until 2 August 2021. They will assess the situation and the appropriateness of the measures in this announcement every 7 days.  However, the preparation of personnel, venue, and public relation to inform the public and concerned officials to be prepared in advance must be made all the time.

Effective from 20 July 2021 onwards.

Reference: 

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Further information about COVID-19 outbreak from WHO
Department of Disease Control Contact Centre (Call 1422 24/7)
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) (Call +66 (0) 2694 6000)