Curfew to be lifted, emergency powers to remain

Curfew to be lifted, emergency powers to remain

The streets around Democracy Monument in Bangkok are deserted as the night curfew deadline approaches. Authorities plan to lift the curfew soon. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
The streets around Democracy Monument in Bangkok are deserted as the night curfew deadline approaches. Authorities plan to lift the curfew soon. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The night curfew could be lifted for 15 days, as a trial, but the emergency decree will remain in force to ensure continued containment of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Deputy army chief Gen Nathapol Nakpanit, who is also deputy of the government's committee on Covid-19 control, said on Wednesday the committee planned to lift the 11pm-3am curfew for 15 days.

However, use of state of emergency power under the executive decree on public administration in emergency situations will continue.

"Without the curfew people can resume their normal lives, but the state of emergency will remain in place in case the government needs to take swift action to stop Covid-19 from spreading," he said.

Normal laws would not facilitate swift and effective responses to the disease, he said.

The responses include 14-day quarantine for people arriving from other countries. The emergency decree prevented airlines from suing the government for banning their flights, Gen Nathapol said.

He did not say when the curfew would be tentatively lifted. He did say that during the 15 days officials would evaluate public feedback.

Gatherings would not be prohibited, to show that imposition of the emergency decree had nothing to do with any political interests, Gen Nathapol said.

Gen Somsak Roongsita, secretary-general of the National Security Council and head of the disease control committee, said that boxing stadiums might reopen in the fourth stage of relaxation of business and other activities.

However, all disease control decisions would be made by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, he said.


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