Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha assured today that no travel restrictions will be imposed during the New Year holidays, but he would prefer Thai people to celebrate the arrival of the New Year at home and travel only if necessary, obeying restrictions imposed in each province.
After the New Year break, however, he said that the government will assess the COVID-19 situation to determine whether a lockdown is needed.
“If all members of the public cooperate fully, by strictly observing the preventive measures of the CCSA, we may not reach that point,” he said, as he urged the public not to lower their guard and health officials to exercise caution.
The prime minister reminded the business sector, especially factory owners, to be truthful and not to cover up information about illegal migrant workers they have employed, warning that they face blacklisting if it is discovered, later on, that they had lied to the authorities.
Meanwhile, Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiartipoom Wongrajit urged Thai people not to travel out of their provinces during the New Year holidays, but to celebrate with their families at home, saying that it is difficult to control the virus if many people gather together in one place.
In Bangkok, Dr. Vicharn Pawon, director of the Tropical Diseases Prevention and Control Institute, said that there have been 108 confirmed COVID-19 cases today, including a cluster of 22 people from Nonthaburi province who visited three entertainment venues in Bangkok, namely the Saeb Isan karaoke bar, Isan Krongkaew and Nong Mai Plaza.
70 are linked to the central shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province, 22 linked to entertainment venues in Bangkok and the rest related to a shoe factory in Bang Khun Thian district.
Dr. Vicharn urged anyone who visited the three entertainment venues between December 15th and 20th to monitor their health and to see health officials for screening if they suspect that they may be infected.