Businesses Must Assess Their ‘COVID-Free’ Measures

Prime Minister Speaking

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed state agencies to closely monitor the outbreak situation and give a fresh evaluation every two weeks after the 1st November reopening.

This is to maintain a balance between economic stimulation through tourism and ensuring public health safety while having to live with COVID-19, he said.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said state agencies will have to monitor the COVID-19 situation under guidelines developed by the Department of Health.

Every business is required to self-assess its so-called “COVID-free” setting in a COVID-control system called Thai Stop Covid Plus and display an e-certificate in an area easily seen by customers, he said.

Customers, meanwhile, can give feedback by scanning the QR code on the e-certificate or via the website of the Thai Stop COVID Plus programme or through the Facebook page called COVID Watch, run by the department, he said.

A number of central committees will also be set up to inspect the COVID-free Area/Zone policy every two weeks, he said.

The committees will be granted this authority under the powers of Public Health, Communicable Disease and Healthcare Institution Acts and the emergency decree, he said. Healthcare units including field hospitals must respond quickly to any public health emergencies that erupt.

As for progress in the COVID-19 vaccination drive, about 74.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been given as of Thursday, a day on which more than a million doses of the vaccine were given.

So far, 58.2% of the population has received their first shot, while 42.2% have been injected with both shots of the vaccine and some 3.3% of them have received a booster shot already, said the CCSA.

The government is confident of achieving its goal of getting at least 70% of the population, or about 50 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this year, said the CCSA.

Meanwhile, Gen Chan-o-cha has backed state and private agencies organising the Loy Krathong festival under COVID-19 prevention and public safety measures said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek.

She said the festival, which falls on 19th November must proceed under the COVID-free setting and universal prevention scheme, and public safety protocols strictly observed.

Fireworks and flying lanterns, as well as the sale of alcoholic beverages, will be banned, she said.

Each venue must be inspected for its readiness to ensure a COVID-19-safe environment one week before the festival and if it fails the inspection the event will be scrapped, said Ms Dhnadirek.