The Thai government will not impose another national lockdown in order to combat any potential outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said.
The PM also said that bars and other entertainment venues are unlikely to open any time soon.
Just one week ago, a proposal had been put forward to allow nighttime entertainment venues in designated tourism zones, such as Hua Hin, to reopen on Dec 16, a month earlier than originally planned.
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) then pushed back on the proposal, with the PM’s comments today (Dec 2) appearing to dash all hopes of an early resumption to Thailand’s nightlife.
The PM said that in the interest of public health, it may be necessary to further delay the reopening of bars, pubs and karaoke shops.
He said the government will reconsider the measures for entertainment venues in one month.
He added that enclosed venues where people gather and drink are “high risk”.
Speaking with regards to concerns of about Omicron variant of COVID-19, the PM reiterated that no cases of the variant have yet been discovered in Thailand.
He added that another national lockdown will not be necessary.
All visitors arriving in Thailand will continue to be tested for the new variant, the PM said.
The requirement for RT-PCR tests and the one night quarantine pending results of the test should help Thailand identify any cases.
Prime Minister Prayuth also said the government is still trying to track some people who arrived from Africa so they can tested for the new variant.