New restrictions in Bangkok, other provinces announced

New restrictions in Bangkok, other provinces announced

A worker is seen at a camp in Lat Krabang district of Bangkok on June 22, 2012. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
A worker is seen at a camp in Lat Krabang district of Bangkok on June 22, 2012. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

New restrictions centred around Bangkok have been announced in a bid to tackle the country's worst coronavirus outbreak.

The new measures, which will be implemented for 30 days from Monday, include a ban on restaurant dine-ins in Bangkok and five surrounding provinces of Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Praka, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom, according to a document published in the Royal Gazette on Saturday night.

Shopping malls in Bangkok and the five provinces must be closed by 9pm, and parties or celebrations, or activities involving a gathering of more than 20 people will be banned for the same duration, the document said.

It also said construction sites in the six areas will be shut down and workers' camps will be sealed off to contain clusters. The order followed the emergence of more clusters in construction camps in the capital, which has 575 such sites housing about 81,000 workers.

Since May, 37 clusters have been found in Bangkok camps.

Authorities will set up checkpoints in Bangkok and the five provinces to limit travel and relocation of construction workers, the document said, adding that there will also be checkpoints in the country's four southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala.

#BangkokLockdown was trending on Twitter in the early hours into Sunday, with internet users criticising the timing of the announcement and saying they were taken by surprise by the new measures.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday he wanted to avoid the word lockdown and that specific businesses and activities would be targeted to contain the virus.

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