PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has issued the Regulation No. 16, with eight measures, in an effort to remedy the emergency situation because of the resurgence of COVID-19.
The regulation issued and published in the Royal Gazette on 3 January 2021 came into effect from 06.00 hr on 4 January 2021 onwards.
It stated that the new wave of COVID-19 infections has spread widely in many areas and that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is increasing. The Government deems it necessary to issue the regulation and enforce various measures to remedy this emergency situation, as follows:
- The use of buildings and premises of schools and all other educational institutions, situated in the maximum control zones, for teaching or any activities with many participants is prohibited, except for teaching and learning electronically or through long-distance communication and for activities of public interest, with the permission of the Bangkok Governor or Provincial Governors.
- The organizing of activities at risk of spreading the disease in the maximum control zones is forbidden, except the activities carried out by the authorities or those allowed by them.
- The Bangkok Governor or Provincial Governors are empowered to order the closure of entertainment places, pubs, bars, and karaoke venues, located in the maximum control zones.
- The following activities in the maximum control zones can be carried out under conditions: 1) The sales of food or beverages; the use of these services must be rearranged in accordance with measures set by the Government, 2) The sales of liquor in food shops or other shops; consumption of liquor and alcoholic beverages in these shops is prohibited, and 3) Department stores, shopping centers, community malls, trade exhibition centers, convention centers, exhibition halls, convenience shops, supermarkets, or similar places can be opened as usual, with strict measures against the disease.
- The Bangkok Governor or Provincial Governors may order the closure of venues, limit activities, or prohibit the carrying out of certain activities at risk of spreading COVID-19 in their respective areas.
- Officials have been instructed to screen inter-provincial travel, especially the travel from the maximum control zones, depending on the suitability of each area. The public is requested to suspend their inter-provincial travel; in case of necessity, they must give an explanation and show evidence to the authorities.
- Entrepreneurs have been asked to give cooperation by considering the form of their operations for the time being, such as working outside their workplaces and introducing staggered shifts or hours, in order to reduce the large numbers of operators and people travelling for work. This measure will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections.
- A special committee has been told to consider relaxing measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 infections, screen these measures, and submit its proposal to the Prime Minister for approval. It may also propose additional activities as appropriate for the situation.