The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has announced it would extend the service at three COVID-19 testing spots to help the public to access more testing, free of charge. The testing will be processed with the antigen test kits. The three free testing locatons are the following: Dhupateme Royal Thai Air Force Sports Stadium, Pathum Thani; Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok; and the parking space of Building B, 1st floor, the Government Complex, Bangkok. The Dhupateme Royal Thai Air Force Sports Stadium and Rajamangala National Stadium will extend their services to 13 August 2021, from 08.00 to 15.00 hr, except on Saturday and Sunday, while the Government Complex has extended its services for two more days to 3 August 2021, from 8.00 to 16.00 hr. Those who wish to have the test should bring two copies of their ID document with the actual one. (03/08/2021)

The Ministry of Labour has responded to a plea from taxi drivers to provide them with financial aid due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on their occupation. Right now drivers are encouraged to sign up for Social Security coverage, while the authorities are finding appropriate ways to help drivers over 65 years old who are not eligible for new Social Security registration. (03/08/2021)

The Ministry of Public Health is urging the general public to increase compliance with lockdown measures by another five percent, so as to keep the number of new COVID-19 cases and fatalities from rising further, as a recent study shows only 20 percent compliance. The ministry also encourages people to stay home to stem the spread of COVID-19. (03/08/2021)

The CCSA declared 16 new provinces to be dark red zones because of surging new cases, with new clusters in factories hampering industry and exports. The 16 provinces added to the dark red zone under lockdown restrictions are Ang Thong, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Kanchanaburi, Lop Buri, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Prachin Buri, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Sing Buri, Suphan Buri, and Tak. The number of "dark red" provinces has now increased from 13 to 29 and covers 40% of the whole country. (02/08/2021)

CCSA has announced tighter disease control measures to control the spread of the virus, due to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections. The measures will be in effect on Tuesday, 3 August 2021 onward. The Government will evaluate the situation in 14 days, if the situation is not better, these measures may be extended until the end of August. Thailand will recategorize the zoning areas. The dark red zone will have 29 provinces, the red zone will have 37 provinces, and the orange zone will have 11 provinces. These recategorized zones will be deployed on 3 August 2021. In the dark red zone, public transportation services are not allowed across other provinces, and no public gathering of more than five people. (02/08/2021)

CCSA has approved the 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, donated by the United State, for foreign residents in Thailand. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, has launched a new online platform for foreign residents in Thailand to register for the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at https://expatvac.consular.go.th. The vaccine arrangement will prioritize the vulnerable groups, namely the elderly, pregnant women, and those who have underlying chronic diseases. The ministry will notify persons of the date and place to vaccinate later, which will be based on the level of the risk and the location of the residence. (02/08/2021)

Pang-Nga has closed borders for domestic travel, by land, sea, and air, from 3-16 August 2021. Those who have necessary matters and need to travel to the province must be vaccinated and have proof of a negative test for COVID-19 within 72 hours before arrival. (02/08/2021)

The Ministry of Public Health plans to accelerate COVID-19 the vaccine inoculation process, aiming to reach 70 percent of people in 13 dark red zone provinces. This plan will start on 1 August 2021. For other areas, the target is to reach 50 percent of the population. By following "Vaccines as a national agenda," the Government expects to reach overall 70 percent of the population in Thailand. The main target groups are the elderly, those who have one of seven chronic diseases, and pregnant women, including Thais and foreign nationals residing in Thailand. Concerning Pfizer vaccines, the Ministry of Public Health will distribute them to medical personnel in every province and the public in dark red areas. (02/08/2021)

The Royal Thai Government Gazette has published an announcement banning the distribution of fake news or information causing public fear or misunderstanding and affecting national stability across all media platforms, in compliance with Section 9 of the emergency decree. If false content is spread online, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) is required to instruct Internet service providers (ISPs) to check IP addresses and immediately suspend services. (30/07/2021)

Thailands Ministry of Labor has clarified details of the compensation packages being offered during the tightened lockdown measures in 13 COVID-19 dark-red zone provinces, after people complained that they had been unfairly excluded from the scheme. Employers and workers insured under Article 33 of the Social Security Act are eligible for the compensation payments. Workers will get 2,500 baht, transferred into their PromptPay account, and employers will get 3,000 baht per employee, capped at 600,000 baht (200 employees). Meanwhile, those insured under articles 39 and 40 will get 5,000 baht in compensation. The business types under the compensation scheme include construction, accommodation and food services, art and entertainment, logistics and storage, retail, vehicle repair, management, science and education, media and information. (30/07/2021)

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