PM agrees to lift night curfew

PM agrees to lift night curfew

Pubs, wet massages still off the agenda

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has agreed to lift the night curfew and allow most businesses to resume, except entertainment venues and wet massage parlours, according to the secretary-general of the National Security Council Somsak Roongsita.

The decision followed a meeting of the committee under the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The prime minister chaired the meeting at Government House yesterday. The CCSA will today decide on the relaxations proposed by the business lockdown-easing committee led by Gen Somsak.

Also present were Dr Sukum Kanchanapimai, permanent secretary for health, Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Disease Control Department and Chatchai Phromlert, permanent secretary for the interior.

Gen Somsak said the prime minister agreed with his committee's proposals saying they had been thoroughly considered.

He confirmed 95% of business and activities would resume operation.

He quoted the prime minister as saying people had been cooperating well with disease-control measures in the previous stages of relaxation of business and activity restrictions, so that justified the almost complete end to business/activity lockdowns.

"Following the CCSA's resolution, the regulations will be announced, effective on June 15. On the lifting of the curfew, please wait to hear the good news from the CCSA. May I emphasise this is not a 15-day curfew-lift trial period but consideration of whether or not it will be lifted," he said referring to previous reports of a trial period.

Sports competition will be allowed but audiences can watch only via broadcasts. Alcoholic drinks will be allowed in restaurants, but not at pubs and bars, he said.

A source who asked not to be named said Gen Prayut agreed to lift the 11pm-3am curfew so people could return to their normal lives. Almost all businesses would be allowed to resume except pubs, bars, karaoke outlets and bath-sauna-massage parlours.

"The prime minister wants to ease the pressure on people and boost the effectiveness of other disease-control measures instead," the source said.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said a "master law" will authorise announced measures. Among the measures, considered as necessary according to the situation, the curfew and the ban on gatherings might be lifted while the decree remains, he said.

Yesterday morning, there were no new cases of Covid-19, and no deaths, in the previous 24 hours, the CCSA reported.

Total local cases remained at 3,125, of whom 2,987 (96%) had recovered, including six patients discharged in the previous 24 hours. Eighty patients were still in hospital. The death toll was unchanged at 58.

Panprapa Yongtrakul, CCSA assistant spokeswoman said despite the good news people should continue to wear face masks, wash their hands often and practise social distancing.

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