The Thai government imposed a curfew and other strict measures in Bangkok and nine provinces for two weeks starting Monday.
The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)’s decision responds to the growing number of Covid-19 cases.
The strictest restrictions extend into Greater Bangkok, which comprises the capital and its five neighboring provinces: Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon.
Some measures include closing department stores and shopping centers, except supermarkets, authorized to operate until 08:00 p.m.
Banks, chemists, vaccination centers, and communication devices stores within shopping centers can also open until 8:00 p.m.
Restaurants were also authorized to operate until 8:00 p.m., and public parks must close an hour later.
Convenience stores and night markets can open from 4:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m.
However, public transportation services would be suspended from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., and salons, spas, and traditional massage parlors must close completely.
Besides, gatherings of more than five people were prohibited, except for religious events.
Authorities also stated that a curfew would be imposed from 09:00 p.m. to 04:00 a.m. in four southern provinces. Those are Yala, Songkhla, Narathiwat, and Pattani.
They also said that people living in Bangkok, its surrounding provinces and the southern provinces should not travel to other areas.
Health officials urged the public to comply with social distancing measures.
They also encouraged remote working for all companies, except those professionals whose work requires them to leave home, including health personnel.
CCSA assistant spokeswoman Apisamai Srirungson said the stricter closure measures primarily affect Greater Bangkok.
However, the CCSA has ordered to set up checkpoints in all provinces to discourage people’s movements.
Greater Bangkok became the center of the third wave of the pandemic that began in early April after the most contagious Delta variant in the country.
Additionally, the four southern Thai provinces have seen an increase in infections related to the Beta strain.
Last week, health officials warned that the Delta variant could dominate Thailand soon, accounting for most Covid transmissions detected daily.
At the same time, the number of deaths continues rising, and hospitals have reported a shortage of beds to care for Covid-19 patients.
In response to the worrying situation, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed to forgo three months of his 125,590 baht salary to save state budget funds to fight the health crisis.