Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, December 21st to the 27th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in order of date of publication.
1. Tourism Authority of Thailand now offering “Happy Quarantine” Do It Yourself Thai craft kits to foreigners in quarantine
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) wants to ensure that foreigners traveling to Thailand would be provided with utterly enjoyable quarantine activities by proposing “Amazing Thailand Happy Quarantine”. Both Thai national and foreign tourists will be offered a “Happy DIY Set” showcase of Thai handicrafts from local communities while they are staying in Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) accommodation nationwide during the mandatory 14-day period in Thailand. Other online activities are also provided to all visitors to kill boredom and relax themselves during the quarantine.
2. Legal abortion for early-stage pregnancy bill passes, to be implemented by February next year
The passing of the early stage pregnancy bill at the first hearing last week marks the first time for the abortion law mentioned in Section 301 and 305 to be put into account in the parliament since its implementation in 1956. The adapted bill allows pregnant individuals who are at up to 12 weeks of pregnancy to have legal abortions performed by specialized doctors without necessarily notifying any specific reasons. Those who are at more than 12 weeks pregnant are not allowed to have an abortion and considered illegal, or else they would face 6-month imprisonment or 10,000 baht fine, or both. The bill is planned to be implemented by February next year.
3. CCSA categorizes all provinces into four zones for tightening Covid-19 control measures, confirms no National lockdown
Following the second outbreak of Covid-19 from a Samut Sakhon central seafood market, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) therefore identifies all provinces into four zones according to the severity of the epidemic for potentially controlling the pandemic. They are divided into Highly controlled areas, High-control areas, Under high surveillance areas, and Under surveillance areas. The measures and steps for each zone are implemented and announced by individual governors and disease committees in conjunction with the CCSA.
4. Rayong now has total of 36 Covid19 cases, most linked to illegal gambling den, Mueang Rayong becomes highly controlled zone
The second cluster of Covid-19 infections after the Samut Sakhon seafood market was confirmed at what was initially claimed to be an illegal gambling den in the Mueang sub-district of Rayong province, with 36 infected patients in one day. The sub-district was then put in highly controlled measures in which social gatherings and some venues are prohibited. The number of confirmed cases is gradually rising as of today, reportedly reaching 56 cases this morning.
5. Thai Royal Gazette publishes new regulations falling under Emergency Decree, including restrictions on mass gatherings
The Royal Gazette has ordered the ban of mass social gatherings nationwide, following the increasing numbers of cases originally from a large cluster of infections in Samut Sakhon. Similar to the previous announcement of the CCSA, movement restrictions in and out of disease control areas for local residents and for migrant workers in some highly controlled provinces are issued in the Royal Gazette. The order is now implemented under the Thai Emergency Decree until at least January 15th, 2021.
And that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!