The government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Thursday intensified its Covid-19 controls, extending the quarantine period for arrivals, expanding "dark red" control zones and requiring the nationwide wearing of face masks outside homes.
CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said that May 1 would see the end of the shortened quarantine periods of 7-10 days earlier announced for arrivals vaccinated against Covid-19, and the return of 14-day quarantine for all arrivals.
Arrivals will not be allowed to leave their rooms except for medical treatment or Covid-19 tests.
Also from May 1, six provinces will become dark red zones of maximum and strict Covid-19 control. They are Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan. Since April 17 there have been no such zones.
The number of red zones of maximum control will rise from 18 to 45 provinces, while orange control zones will drop from 59 to 26 provinces. There are no zones with lower controls.
Twenty-six provinces declared orange zones are Krabi, Kalasin, Chai Nat, Chumphon, Trat, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Khai, Bung Kan, Buri Ram, Phangnga, Phayao, Phrae, Mukdahan, Mae Hong Son, Yasothon, Loei, Sakon Nakhon, Satun, Samut Songkhram, Sing Buri, Surin, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Uttaradit, Uthai Thani and Amnat Charoen.
In all zones, people will be required to wear face masks when going out. Fines will be set but will not be too harsh, the spokesman said. People must heed warnings and public service announcements, Dr Taweesilp said.
Nationwide, entertainment places and schools will be closed. Malls can open until 9pm with limited visitors but no promotional events. Parties will be banned, except for household and traditional functions including funerals.
In dark-red provinces, people must refrain from leaving their zones unless it is necessary and restaurants can open for takeouts only until 9pm.
Dining-in is allowed until 9pm in red zones and 11pm in orange zones, with no sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. In red zones, restaurants can take orders for takeouts until 11pm.
Convenience stores can open between 4am and 11pm in dark red and red zones. The restriction will not apply in orange zones.
Limits on crowd activities are set at 20 people in dark red zones and 50 people elsewhere.
In dark red zones, outdoor sports fields can open until 9pm but competitions must be free of spectators. Fitness clubs and gymnasiums will be closed.
In red zones, sports fields can open until 9pm with limitations on player and spectator numbers. In orange zones they can open as usual but with limited players and spectators.
Government and private organisations will introduced their highest degree of working from home for at least 14 days. This measure should be helpful for Covid-19 control when there is no lockdown, Dr Taweesilp said.
The government would quickly work out assistance for affected parties, he said.