All people in Thailand are banned from leaving home from 10pm to 4am starting Friday in the government’s latest move to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced the curfew on Thursday evening.
Exempted from the curfew are medical and banking personnel, as well as logistic workers handling consumer products, farm goods, pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment, newspapers, petrol, postal parcels, or products to be imported or exported. Movements of people to quarantine places are also allowed.
Other exemptions are people working normal night shifts or those heading to or from airports with necessary documents stating the purposes, or officials working by the announcements or orders and those allowed by officials to leave the house on emergencies.
Violation will result in a jail term of not more than two years and/or a fine not more than 40,000 baht.
Existing curfew orders or announcements in any province with stricter requirements shall remain in effect.
For relief measures, Gen Prayut said three funds would be set up to help people affected by the mitigation measures.
Centres will be set up to distribute face masks. “I won’t let anyone hoard the product and take advantage of people during this difficult time,” he said.
More economic stimulus packages will be introduced such as financial aid, debt suspension, liquidity boost and debt restructuring.
In terms of disease mitigation, a centre will be set up to manage travel in and out of the kingdom with strict screening, quarantine and monitoring measures. Gen Prayut also sought cooperation in delaying entry to Thailand until April 15.
In terms of communication, a briefing will be held every day by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Unauthorised people will not be allowed to give interviews.
He again warned of the consequences of spreading fake news or sharing information from unknown sources.
He urged everyone to cooperate for the ultimate goal of “zero”.
Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, earlier explained the need for a curfew.
"Past measures have slowed the daily number of new infections but still fail to reduce it. From the start, we intend to gradually impose measures, from soft to harsh ones," he said.