As Thailand further tightens COVID-19 restrictions, a budget of 13,500mn Baht approved to help workers

As Thailand further tightens COVID-19 restrictions, a budget of 13,500mn Baht approved to help workers

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Announcement no.28 sees the nation’s movement restrictions tightened in 13 provinces from 20 July to 2 August 2021. A total of 10 provinces will, therefore, receive economic packages to help workers tide through this period.

On 18 July (Sunday), Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha signed a document that imposed announcement no.28 on Thailand from 20 July to 2 August 2021. This latest announcement further tightens the nation’s movement restrictions after the earlier announcement no.36 as Thailand enters a “maximum and strict COVID-19 control zone (dark red zone).”

According to PM Prayut, as of today, this strict regulation is in place at 13 Thai provinces, an increase from 10 previously. They are:

  1. Bangkok
  2. Nakhon Pathom
  3. Nonthaburi
  4. Pathum Thani
  5. Samut Prakan
  6. Samut Sakhon
  7. Chachoengsao
  8. Chon Buri
  9. Ayutthaya
  10. Narathiwat
  11. Pattani
  12. Yala, and
  13. Songkhla

With announcement no.28, Thailand residents are now “prohibited from leaving their homes” between 9pm to 4am of the following day, unless authorised by officials.

Thus, PM Prayut urged government agencies and private sectors to continue to implement work-from-home (WFH) measures to “reduce the amount of travelling done”. Should working at office be necessary, the Prime Minister suggested “reducing the number of persons at the office.”

Further, group activities with more than five persons are also prohibited.

Other restrictions placed by announcement no.28 are the following:

  • Public transport must limit the number of passengers to 50% of its capacity, with physical distancing measures;
  • Food and beverage shops may open until 8pm; it is prohibited to eat and drink in these places, which are only allowed to provide takeaways;
  • Department stores, shopping centres, and community malls will be closed, except for supermarkets, pharmacies, and venues for vaccination or other state medical and health services, which may stay open until 8pm;
  • Convenience stores and night markets may open until 8pm. For convenience stores, however, they must stop operating until 4am of the following day; and
  • Hotels may open as usual, but are not allowed to hold activities such as meetings, seminars, or banquets.

“As for schools, educational institutions, and training venues, they must follow the usual disease preventive measures and conditions,” PM Prayut reminded.

“Checkpoints will be set up to screen and prevent people living in the maximum and strict control zone from traveling to other areas.”

Related news: Starting 12 July, Thailand restricts business operations and air travel timings under announcement no.36

In relation to the latest movement restrictions, Minister of Labour, Suchart Chomklin, on 21 July (Wednesday), announced that the government has approved a budget of 13,500mn Baht to “heal labour groups and entrepreneurs” in the original 10 provinces (and not the aforementioned 13 provinces) that first had strict regulations imposed.

This economic package is therefore applicable to workers in the following provinces: Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Songkhla.

Minister Suchart said: “Employees and employers can check their eligibility on the Social Security Office website from 20 July 2021.

“Employees and employers in 10 provinces are expected to receive compensation on 6 August 2021."

Minister Suchart said that this boost will focus on helping those in nine business sectors:

  1. Construction business;
  2. Labour accommodation;
  3. Food service;
  4. Arts;
  5. Entertainment and recreation services;
  6. Transportation and storage;
  7. Wholesale and retails;
  8. Automotive repair services; and
  9. Administrative and support services

Highlighted in tandem with the economic package, Minister Suchart reiterated that employees under Section 33 of Thailand’s Social Security Act will continue to be financially supported by the government.

In addition to having wages compensated up to 50%, employees will receive additional 2,500 Baht from the government via PromptPay account with a personal identification number,” the Minister explained.

As for the employers, Minister Suchart shared that they will receive compensation from the government according to the number of employees at “3,000 Baht per head” up to a maximum of 200 employees.

“[They] will receive the funds via PromptPay account with ID number as well,” he added.

Related news: Thai PM aims to reopen country within 4 months

Image / Unsplash

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