Thailand Enacts 14-day Domestic Flights Ban

  1. Thailand has instituted a 14-day domestic flight ban for provinces in the dark-red provinces and zones.
  2. The ban will run from July 23 through August 2, 2021, at minimum.
  3. Most new cases involve the COVID-19 Delta variant, with vaccinations not speeding up fast enough to create a herd immunity.

In order to control the COVID-19 coronavirus, the flight ban was declared and strict controls are in place effective immediately. Checkpoints and screening are in place for travel between dark-red zone provinces and other areas.

New COVID-19 cases have been recorded daily in the southern province of Songkhla with a new cluster of at the large Sapsin market in the Muang district. The Nakhon Songkhla municipal office closed the market for 7 days from today, July 22, through 28.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) provided an update on the newest round of COVID-19 restrictions announced for the 13 Maximum and Strict Controlled Areas or dark-red zone provinces.

The new cases mostly involve the Delta variant, particularly among vulnerable groups (aged 60+ and those with underlying diseases), with most of the infections coming from home from within the family. Despite attempts to speed up vaccinations, time is still needed to build herd immunity.

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) also added Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao and Chon Buri in the dark-red zone bringing the number of provinces to 13 in addition to Bangkok, and the 5 surrounding provinces – Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon – and 4 Southern Thai provinces – Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.

Public transport is allowed to operate at only 50 percent of the seating capacity and must apply social distancing measures. The relative authorities are to ensure there is enough transportation services, especially for people with vaccination appointments.

Hotels can open per normal hours, but are not allowed to hold any meetings, seminars, or banquets. Convenience stores and fresh markets are allowed to open up until 2000 hours. All 24-hour convenience stores must close nightly between 2000-0400 hours.

Ordered to close from July 23 to August 2 – or until further notice – are sports fields, public parks and botanical gardens, all kinds of competition venues, exhibition centers, meeting centers, public performance venues, learning centers and art galleries, libraries, museums, historical parks and archaeological sites, day care centers, beauty salons, hairdressers, manicure and tattoo shops, and swimming pools.

Restaurants and eateries are allowed to offer take-away services only up until 2000 hours. Department stores, shopping malls, and community malls are allowed to open until 2000 hours and only for supermarkets, pharmacies and medical supplies, and vaccination centers.

The night-time curfew remains unchanged between 2100-0400 hours. However, during the 7-hour period nightly, people are asked to remain at home and only to go out if necessary.

Allowed to remain open under strict disease control measures are hospitals, medical facilities, medical clinics, pharmacies, shops, factories, banking and financial services, ATMs, telecommunication services, postage and parcel services, pet food shops, building materials and construction supplies stores, shops selling miscellaneous necessary items, cooking gas stores, petrol stations, and online delivery services.

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