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Shorter curfew likely, emergency decree extended

Bangkok roads are again becoming congested after the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration eased isolation measures and shortened curfew hours last Sunday. (Photo: Reuters)

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The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will extend use of the emergency decree for another month, but is considering shortening the night curfew as coronavirus infections continue to fall.

Easing the curfew was discussed at the meeting of the CCSA on Friday. 

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, agreed on the need to extend use of the emergency decree from the end of this month to the end of June.

The extension was necessary because the country was still battling to contain the spread of the virus and prevent new infections being brought in from abroad, Dr Taweesilp said.

The decree is the primary legal basis of the CCSA's campaign against the spread of the virus. 

The curfew will be discussed in more detail next Friday, when CCSA officials will consider allowing more kinds of businesses to reopen on June 1 -  “the third phase” of the easing process.

“There is a good chance that the CCSA will shorten curfew hours. The duration of the curfew hours and when and how it will be enforced will be discussed at the next meeting,” the Chief of Defence Forces said.

Relaxing the curfew would depend on public cooperation with virus-control measures - including no social gatherings and people keeping a safe distance, he said.

Dr Taweesilp would not say what types of businesses may be allowed to resume next month. 

The CCSA shortened the night curfew from 10pm-4am to 11pm-4am from last Sunday, when shopping centres and some businesses were allowed to reopen.

Thailand reported no new virus cases or fatalities on Friday.

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