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Thailand Emergency Decree | Ends 01.10.2022

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  • Thailand Emergency Decree | Ends 01.10.2022

    Communicable disease law may be amended to replace emergency decree

    Thailand’s Communicable Disease law is likely to replace the emergency decree from the end of September, after Cabinet approved a draft amendment to the 2015 Act. The emergency decree was enacted in March 2020 and granted the government sweeping powers to control the spread of Covid-19 through the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. The decree is due to expire at the end of the month, taking the CCSA with it. However, according to a Bangkok Post report, deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam says the CCSA may continue to exist but under a different guise.

    “When the new law is in place, a body even larger than the CCSA may be established if needed, so it doesn’t really matter if the CCSA is dissolved or not.”
    However, deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek says no decision has yet been taken on whether or not to extend the emergency decree past September 30. She adds that it’s unlikely the newly amended disease act will be enforced by that date as it still needs to be approved by Parliament.

    The Bangkok Post reports that Rachada has also defended the new amendment, dismissing fears it could provide policy makers with an amnesty. She insists the amendment is aimed at improving disease control measures and actions aimed at preventing a new Covid-19 outbreak.

    “In case a serious outbreak erupts, the emergency decree will no longer be needed. The amended Communicable Disease Act will be invoked instead.”
    Meanwhile, Kiattiphum Wongrajit from the Public Health Ministry says the rate of new infections is coming down, but is still stuck around the 10,000 a day figure. He adds that the virus is likely to become endemic but by then, those who contract it are not expected to become seriously ill and the number of new daily infections is unlikely to be high.

  • #2
    CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

    The state of emergency in Thailand has been extended and the reopening of the country postpone following approval by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. The CCSA subcommittee met yesterday to approve the extension proposal and discuss reopening.

    Chairman of the subcommittee National Security Council Secretary-General Natthapon Nakpanich approved the proposal that keeps Thailand in a state of emergency and continues the existence of the CCSA. The extension will now continue for at least another 2 months until the end of November.

    The state of emergency was set to expire at the end of September before the extension was granted. It had originally been declared to allow the government to convene committees and enact regulations to help reign in the spread of Covid-19 throughout Thailand. Also on the slate for yesterday’s meeting, the CCSA officially resolved to delay the reopening of 5 provinces to international tourism again from October 01 to November 01. 2021
    The popular tourist areas of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya in Chon Buri, and the sister destinations of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Cha-am in Phetchaburi were all scheduled to reopen on October 01.2021 But the subcommittee made the decision that Thailand and the provinces were just not ready for international reopening with the current state of Covid-19.
    Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunploem has been adamant about their readiness to reopen on October 10. 2021 but their reopening may be postponed to allow all 5 provinces to be prepared and reopen at the same time. On the other hand, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has been just as adamantly opposed to Bangkok reopening in October saying it would only be considered when hospitalisation and daily cases come down and vaccination surpasses 70%, expected by October 22.2021 at the earliest.

    The confirmation of extending the state of emergency and of postponing the reopening have now both been approved by the CCSA and will next be ratified at a CCSA meeting Monday where PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will preside.


    • #3
      Curfew Shortened | Bangkok Spas, Gyms, Cinemas can re-open from October 2021

      The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has approved the re-opening of 10 business types in Bangkok and other dark red provinces. According to a Coconuts report, from Friday, spas, cinemas, and indoor gyms can re-open, along with pre-schools, museums, and tattoo parlours. The news is not so good for the owners of bars and clubs, which must still remain closed by law.

      Coconuts reports that the re-opening of the following 10 business types has just been confirmed at the CCSA’s afternoon meeting today. The businesses have been shut for several months as a result of Thailand’s most severe Covid-19 wave.
      1. Pre-schools
      2. Libraries
      3. Museums and historical sites
      4. Learning centres, science and cultural centres, art centres
      5. Indoor gyms and sports arenas
      6. Manicure salons
      7. Tattoo shops
      8. Spas and massage parlours
      9. Cinemas
      10. Live music in restaurants
      The CCSA has also adjusted the curfew hours to run from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am, while shopping centres and department stores must close at 9pm. Bangkok’s bars and nightclubs, some of the first businesses to be closed are likely to be the last to re-open, with several having shut for good due to receiving no government support.


      • #4
        Activists petition to stop emergency decree being used to curtail freedom of speech

        A human rights NGO has petitioned the Civil Court to abolish the government’s use of the emergency decree to quash freedom of expression. The Internet Law Reform Dialogue group filed the petition against the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, and the relevant authorities. According to a Bangkok Post report, iLaw manager Yingcheep Atchanond, feminist activist Chutima Tangkliang, and Atthapol Buapat from the Ratsadon protest group, are demanding compensation of 4.5 Million THB.

        The activists say the emergency decree has been used to file charges against them after they addressed an anti-government rally on March 24. They say that despite freedom of expression and participation in peaceful protest being guaranteed under the constitution, they still face prosecution for exercising these rights.

        The Bangkok Post reports that Yingcheep has stated the decree can be used to limit rights in order to curtail the spread of Covid-19, but should not be used to suspend or end political protest. He adds that suppressing freedom of speech should not be the purpose of the emergency decree, yet it continues to be invoked in order to file criminal charges against protesters.

        To date, there are 483 criminal cases in which 1,171 activists face legal proceedings. Should the court grant the request to revoke the decree, it would mean all charges would be annulled, with Yingcheep pointing out that anyone involved in violence at anti-government rallies can be prosecuted via the criminal system. The group’s lawyer says that while waiting for the court’s ruling, he will request an injunction to prevent the government using the decree against activists.

        Following another protest on Monday evening, that spilt over into Tuesday morning, Bangkok police have arrested 26 people, mostly youths from the Thalugas group. The protesters are accused of throwing fire crackers and flares near the Din Daeng intersection.


        • #5
          Emergency Decree extended until January 31.2022

          The Emergency Decree has been extended until January 31, giving the Thai government sweeping powers to impose measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.

          In its general meeting chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, the CCSA decided to extend the decree due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. The decree was imposed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and has been extended several times since then.

          Recently, the government has been considering an amendment to the Communicable Disease Act, a more long term solution which would essentially replace the decree.

          The government’s Covid task force, the CCSA, was also established under the decree. Ending the Emergency Decree would dissolve the CCSA and officials have said that with a new law in place, another government body similar to the CCSA could potentially be established.


          • #6
            Thailand extends State of Emergency for another two months

            Thailand’s State of Emergency was extended for another two months. The decree, which was first invoked by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha in March 2020, gives the government sweeping powers, through the establishment of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, to set restrictions and measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Thailand.

            The decree was last set to expire on January 31.2022 It has been extended numerous times due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. The government has discussed ending the State of Emergency, but an end to a decree would mean an end to the CCSA. The Covid-19 task force has been responsible for setting disease control measures, including entry schemes like the Test & Go quarantine exemption scheme.

            As an alternative to the decree, the government has discussed amending the Communicable Disease Act for a more long term approach to manage the Covid-19 situation in Thailand and transition the CCSA into another government body once the decree is lifted.


            • #7
              Thailand’s State of Emergency extended until May 31.2022 | Covid-19 is still a Pandemic – PM Prayut

              Two years into the pandemic, Thailand’s State of Emergency is still in effect and has been extended for another two months, giving the government sweeping powers to tackle the outbreak through its establishment of a Covid-19 task force. The decree was extended from April 1 to May 31.2022

              In a press conference today, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said Covid-19 is still a pandemic and there needs to be careful consideration and evaluation before transitioning to an endemic phase.

              The Emergency Decree was first invoked by the prime minister in March 2020. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration was formed under the emergency orders and has been responsible for setting measures, including health regulations, travel restrictions and entry schemes, to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Thailand.

              The Emergency Decree has been extended numerous times. In past discussions, the government has considered ending the decree, but ending the decree would dissolve the CCSA. Officials have been considering more permanent measures to essentially replace the emergency decree as well as form a government body to handle the Covid-19 situation and other public health emergencies in the future.


              • #8
                AGAIN Emergency Decree extended until Sept. 30.2022 Emergency Decree extended by cabinet until end of September

                The Thai cabinet met yesterday to officially extend the State of Emergency in Thailand, announced earlier this month, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be the 19th extension it will prolong the Emergency Decree that was set to expire on July 31, going into effect on August 1 and continuing until September 30.2022

                The decree, which was first invoked by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha 0n March 26, 2020, gives the government sweeping powers. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration was formed under the emergency orders and has been responsible for setting measures, including health regulations, travel restrictions and entry schemes, to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Thailand.

                It also allowed the Immigration Department to issue the so-called ‘Covid extensions’ for people stuck in Thailand because of their home country’s re-entry policies or lack of return flights. Prolonging the decree may be welcomed by people who have been staying in Thailand by getting a Covid visa waiver stamp on their passports every month or 2, but also brings worry to people fearful that it could bring more pandemic restrictions or even lockdown.

                Despite the extension of the Emergency Decree, the CCSA spokesperson said that the government has no intentions of limiting people’s freedoms and rights (hinting at fears of future lockdowns), but is solely aimed at protecting people from Covid-19 spreading and outbreaks becoming overwhelming in the country. Infection rates are rising and, though many cases are mild, more severe cases with serious illness and the need for ventilators have also increased in the past week as well.

                Those opposed to the Emergency Decree have been pushing for it to be finally ended. Right organizations and opposition parties claim that the government is using the unnecessary decree to quash pro-democracy groups and limit free expression. Under the Emergency Decree, it is easy for the government to declare protesting in the street as a Covid-19 risk and prosecute people on those grounds.

                The Cabinet agreed with the government’s assessment though that the rapidly increasing number of new Covid-19 infections, especially with the rise of the new Omicron sub-variants that have now hit Thailand, warrants the extension of the State of Emergency.

                “COVID-19 cases declined in 54 provinces and increased in 23 provinces including Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Phuket, and Samut Prakan. Cases soared especially in Phuket. We would like to ask people to join forces to reduce the number.”


                • #9
                  CCSA to dissolve with end of Emergency Decree October 01.2022

                  After over two and a half years, it’s finally time to say goodbye to our old friend, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations which has been in effect since March 24, 2020, which created the CCSA to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, will not be extended a twentieth time when it is set to expire on September 30.2022
                  Thailand will enter the post-State of Emergency world on October 1, when the Emergency Decree will end, and with it the dissolution of the CCSA. From that point on, all laws governing Covid and any other health threat will fall under the jurisdiction of the Communicable Diseases Act of 2015.

                  Coinciding with the end of the decree, Covid will be classified as a “disease under surveillance” and the downgrade in status will come with guidance from the CCSA one last time. The committee will convene before ceasing to exist in order to create safety guidelines for people to lower the risk of Covid or severe infection, as well as lay out a plan on how those infected can best seek treatment and be cared for.

                  Moving forward, those with Covid can be treated at hospitals or can receive care at home using the National Health Security Office telemedicine system. Two apps, Good Doctor Technology and MorDee, will be available to help those who are asymptomatic or inflicted with mild infections. Another app, Clicknic, will be used for high-risk patients that suffer from eight chronic illnesses or who are considered at risk for being over 60 years old.

                  CCSA advisor Dr Udom Kachintorn says that they are currently 70,000 people in home isolation or hospitals who have Coronavirus though most have mild symptoms or none at all. That number is expected to remain steady for about a month and then start to decline. By the end of the year, it is hoped that Covid will bring about 10 death per day and 1,000 hospitalised people or fewer, but Udom reminds people that the virus is not gone.

                  “From October 1, Covid-19 will become a disease under surveillance but not endemic, which means wearing a facemask in crowded public places will remain necessary. Before its dissolution, the CCSA will propose guidelines for people to follow to stay safe from Covid-19, as well as instructions on how to seek treatment now that the disease has been downgraded.”