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Curfew Could Be Next Covid-19 Restriction to Be Eased, Embattled PM Offers

Deserted Thailand Streets During Coronavirus Lockdown
Dark streets after curfew and closed businesses could become a thing of the past soon.

Under intense fire at Parliament for his mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha threw his critics a bone by saying the immensely unpopular night-time may be relaxed soon.

As the first easings of Covid-19 controls took effect Wednesday, Prayut said that if the daily number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continues to fall, his government would review the 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew.

After several days of significant drops, daily cases hovered for the third consecutive day Thursday in the high-14,000s. The Public Health Ministry reported 14,956 cases and 262 deaths. Cases increased in Chonburi to 881 and in Phuket to 204.

Any relaxation, however, will depend also on how well the public complies with social distancing and contract-tracing app rules, Prayut said.

“At night, people mainly go to tourist attractions and entertainment venues. Problems still exist in these sectors,” Prayut said during his presentation at Parliament’s no-confidence vote debate. “Health authorities will consider relevant information from the operators of pubs and bars.

“The prime minister cannot make a decision without listening to health authorities. If there is a mistake, the prime minister must take responsibility,” the premier added.