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Govt bans rallies ahead of kingdom’s reopening

A protester flashes a three finger salute during a memorial for Warit Somnoi, a protester who has died two months after being shot during an anti-government rally, outside Din Daeng police station on Friday. The government issued an order banning rallies and activities from Monday. (AFP photo)

The government has issued a fresh order banning rallies and activities deemed at risk of spreading Covid-19 across the country ahead of the kingdom’s upcoming reopening to international travellers.

The new order was published in the Royal Gazette on Friday ahead of the Nov 1 reopening of areas in 17 provinces to fully vaccinated tourists without quarantine.

Taking effect from Monday onwards, the order was issued under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree and signed by Gen Chalermpol Srisawat, chief of defence forces, in his capacity as the person responsible for solving security emergencies.

According to the order, the restrictions are necessary to keep the Covid-19 situation under control as the country moves ahead with its tourism reopening scheme to rehabilitate the economy and people’s livelihoods.

The new order replaces the Sept 30 announcement on the ban on mass gatherings and activities deemed at risk of spreading the virus.

Under the new order, rallies and risky activities, especially in the 17 provinces designated for tourism reopening, are prohibited unless permitted by the authorities concerned.

If such gatherings are allowed to proceed, organisers and participants must follow guidelines issued on Aug 1 and Oct 21.

However, any gathering deemed at risk of spreading the coronavirus disease or add woes to people’s hardship is prohibited across the country.

According to the new order, someone who violates the ban is subject to a two-year jail sentence and/or a maximum fine of 40,000 baht.

Thailand has been gearing to welcome international travellers to areas in 17 tourist provinces. They are:

  • Bangkok
  • Buri Ram (Muang district)
  • Chiang Mai (Muang, Doi Tao, Mae Rim and Mae Taeng districts)
  • Chon Buri (limited to some districts including Bang Lamung, Muang, Sri Racha, Koh Si Chang and tambon Na Chomthian and tambon Bang Sarea of Sattahip district)
  • Krabi
  • Loei (Chiang Khan district)
  • Nong Khai (Muang, Sangkhom, Sri Chiang Mai and Tha Bo districts)
  • Phangnga
  • Phetchaburi (Cha-am)
  • Phuket
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan (tambon Hua Hin and tambon Nong Kae)
  • Ranong (Koh Phayam)
  • Rayong (Koh Samet)
  • Samut Prakan (Suvarnabhumi airport),
  • Surat Thani (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao)
  • Trat (Koh Chang)
  • Udon Thani (Muang, Ban Dung, Kumphawapi, Na Yoong, Nong Han and Prachak Sinpakhom district)

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