Thailand closes national parks

BANGKOK, 26 March 2020: Thailand closed all of its national parks on 25 March to all visitors until further notice in a bid to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Tourism Authority of Thailand reported Wednesday.

The temporary closure impacts on 133 national and forest parks across the country.

The Thai government declared an emergency decree on Tuesday evening that gives it extraordinary powers to enforce measures to contain the medical crisis that has accumulated 934 cases and four fatalities since mid-January. It could include a curfew, but that decision will most likely be left to the provinces to make. initially, it states elders 70 years and plus as well as children five years or younger are confined to their homes. There is also an outright ban on all foreigners entering Thailand by air, land and sea.

Infections started to rise rapidly in the first week of March and spiked with around 100 cases daily earlier this week as migrant workers made redundant in the Thai capital returned their provinces or homes in neighbouring Myanmar and Laos. But a failure to social distance and stay away from public gatherings such as boxing matches and Bangkok’s entertainment scene also raised infections dramatically this week.

The government has promised to introduce more stringent controls and is asking all citizens to stay-at-home, to social distance and wherever possible work from home.

But it has to get its own house in order first by enforcing strict social distancing at the Immigration Bureau where there is a blatant disregard for the safety of both visitors and officers. It is putting everyone at risk who needs to visit the immigration bureau.