Branch offices of state-owned banks, which are located in malls or department stores in the 13 “Dark Red” provinces, including Bangkok, will suspend their services, starting tomorrow (Tuesday July 20th) until further notice, according to an announcement by the Government Financial Institutions Association (GFA).
The move is in line with the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)’s tightening of lockdown restrictions in the “Dark Red” zone, to contain escalating COVID-19 infections.
The state-run banks include the Government Savings Bank, the Government Housing Bank, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, the Export-Import Bank of Thailand, the Islamic Bank of Thailand, the SME Development Bank and the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG).
The GFA further announced that it may consider closing down more branches in the “Dark Red” zone if it is necessary.
As for the branches located in malls or department stores in other zones, they will close at 5pm. Those located outside malls or department stores will close at 3.30pm. Branches in the three southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala will close at 3pm. The number of customers and service channels at all the branches, which are still operational, will be limited in observance of social distancing measures, said the association.
In case a staff member at a branch, or a customer, is found to be infected with COVID-19, the branch must be closed temporarily for disinfection and other staff, who are in close contact with the infected person, will be isolated immediately and undergo COVID testing. The absent staff will be replaced temporarily to ensure smooth operations.
The GFA assured the public that all state-run banks are ready to serve their customers with regard to their safety and that of its employees, adding that customers can still rely on the electronic banking system and application banking system without the need to visit their branches, to reduce the risk of infections.
The “Dark Red” or “maximum controlled and restricted provinces” are Bangkok, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Narathiwat, Pathum Thani, Pattani, Ayutthaya, Yala, Songkhla, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)