Allowing for 'new-normal' business and leisure operations, including the reopening of entertainment venues in the 'blue' and 'green' zones.
Royal Thai Government's latest announcement is to further ease the nationwide COVID-19 controls by expanding the color-coded zones to three: Pilot Tourist Areas (blue zone), Surveillance Areas (green zone), and Areas Under Stringent Surveillance (yellow zone).
The announcement, which was published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on May 30, 2022, expanded the designation of "Blue Zone" provinces from 12 to 17 and maintained "Blue Zone" districts in 12 other provinces, while Areas under Stringent Surveillance or "yellow zone" were reduced from 65 to 46 provinces, and Surveillance Areas or "green zone" were reintroduced with 14 provinces.
The COVID-19 controls in each of the three zones will continue to be in accordance with Announcement No. 37, dated October 30, 2021, according to the announcement. However, according to communicable disease control guidelines, peaceful mass gatherings or large-scale events are permitted in the green and blue zones, while the number of attendees in the yellow zone must not exceed 1,000 or be at 75 percent of the capacity for sports events. Unless the activities are for public health and safety, group gatherings in crowded places require advance permission; regular gatherings of individuals at residences, offices, or meeting venues; sports events, or those organized by public agencies.
The Royal Thai Government also continues to delegate authority over COVID-19 prevention and control measures to the Bangkok Governor and all 76 provincial governors. Except for entertainment venues in the yellow zone, venues and businesses are permitted to resume normal operations under the Ministry of Public Health's COVID-Free Setting guidelines.
Only entertainment venues such as pubs, bars, and karaoke lounges that have been certified by the Ministry of Public Health with the Thai Stop COVID 2 Plus will be allowed to resume operations under the COVID-Free Setting guidelines in the blue and green zones. Staff must be fully vaccinated, including a booster dose; wear a mask at all times; have a weekly SARS-CoV-2 test performed by an ATK; and assess their risk of contracting the disease using the Thai Save Thai application. Customers must also be fully vaccinated, including a booster dose, and follow communicable disease prevention guidelines. Until 24.00 hrs, alcoholic beverages can be sold and consumed on the premises.
17 “Blue Zone” Provinces + 12 Provinces with ‘Blue Zone” Districts
Central Region: Bangkok, and Ayutthaya (Mueang, Bang Pa-in, Phachi, and Uthai districts only), Kanchanaburi, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Samut Prakan (Suvarnabhumi Airport only).
Eastern Region: Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Rayong, and Trat (Ko Chang and Ko Kut districts only).
Northeastern Region: Buri Ram (Mueang district only), Khon Kaen (Mueang, Khao Suan Kwang, Poei Noi, Phon, Phu Wiang, Wiang Kao, and Ubolratana districts only), Loei (Chiang Khan district only), Nakhon Ratchasima, Nong Khai (Mueang, Sangkhom, Si Chiang Mai, and Tha Bo districts only), Surin (Mueang and Tha Tum districts only), and Udon Thani (Mueang, Ban Dung, Kumphawapi, Na Yung, Prachaksilpakhom, and Nong Han districts only).
Northern Region: Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
Southern Region: Krabi, Narathiwat, Phang-nga, Phuket, Ranong (Ko Phayam only), Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao only), Songkhla, and Yala (Betong district only).
14 “Green Zone” provinces or Surveillance Areas
Central Region: Ang Thong and Chai Nat; Eastern Region: Trat*; Northeastern Region: Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram*, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Phanom, Surin*, Udon Thani*, and Yasothon;
Northern Region: Lampang, Nan, and Phichit; and Southern Region: Surat Thani*.
46 “Yellow Zone” provinces or Areas under Stringent Surveillance
Central Region: Ayutthaya*, Lop Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Prachuap Khiri Khan*, Ratchaburi, Samut Prakan*, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Sing Buri, and Suphan Buri.
Eastern Region: Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi*, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, and Trat*.
Northeastern Region: Bueng Kan, Chaiyaphum, Loei*, Mukdahan, Nakhon Ratchasima*, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai*, Kalasin, Khon Kaen*, Roi Et, Sakhon Nakhon, Si Sa Ket, and Ubon Ratchathani.
Northern Region: Chiang Rai*, Kamphaeng Phet, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon Sawan, Phayao, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, Uthai Thani, and Uttaradit.
Southern Region: Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pattani, Phatthalung, Ranong*, Satun, Trang, and Yala*.
*Except for areas designated as “Blue Zone” pilot tourist destinations.
Source: TAT Newsroom