Covid-19: Entertainment venues to be closed for 14 days, sporting events suspended

All entertainment places in and around Bangkok, including pubs, massage parlours, nightclubs and movie houses, will be closed for two weeks as part of the government’s attempts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced Tuesday afternoon.

Sporting events both in Bangkok and the rest of the country will also be banned until further notice, he said. They include boxing, horse-racing, bull-fighting and cock-fighting.

He said all mass public gatherings and activities will also be prohibited. They include concerts, exhibitions and religious gatherings.

The ban will take effect starting Wednesday.

They are among a package of measures proposed by the committee to fight against Covid-19 chaired by Prime Minister Prayut and approved by the Cabinet today.

The Cabinet also approved its proposal to postpone the extended Songkran holiday which was originally set for April 13-15.

Prayut insisted that the measures are short of locking down Bangkok. “We have never said anything about shutting down Bangkok. But we need to imposed control,” he said in response to speculation that the government was contemplating a lockdown for the city.

Other measures approved by the Cabinet:

• All private and state hospitals must prepare facilities to accommodate more COVID-19 patients, including additional beds, medical personnel and medicines. The medics will be entitled to special allowances.

• The provision of two million face masks a day and sanitizer gel to all hospitals.

• The COVID-19 Information Centre must update the public and receive their complaints.

• The suspension of visa-free and visa on arrival facilities and the setting up of teams in foreign countries to look after Thai citizens abroad, including students, monks, labourers and officials.

• The tightening of screening processes at all ports of entry, with mandatory doctor’s certificates and health insurance required for all arrivals.

• A tracking application so all arrivals can be traced.

• Temporary closure of universities, schools and restaurants. Any venues which remain open must check the temperatures of their customers, arrange for sanitizer gel and face masks for customers and tables must be separated by at least one metre.

• Staggered working hours for government agencies and office workers or working online from home.

• Economic rehabilitation measures to be formulated by the ministries concerned.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)