By The Nation
Speaking after meeting with the committee, Gen Somsak said members had agreed to extend the state of emergency for another month to prevent a second wave of contagion after schools reopen next week.
"In the fifth phase of lockdown easing, the government will allow venues that have high risk of infection to reopen, so we believe the state of emergency is needed to contain the spread of Covid-19," he said.
"We will propose this issue to the CCSA on Monday (June 29) and to the Cabinet on Tuesday (June 30)."
He said the move was not related to politics, adding that the state of emergency can be ended at any time if the situation returns to normal. Critics have accused the government of using the emergency decree – which bans large gatherings and gives officials legal immunity over human rights violations – to suppress free speech.
"So far, the government has prioritised protecting children and the elderly, so this move is aimed to ensure the safety of children and parents after the new semester opens," he said.
"The important thing is to contain the spread of the virus effectively and conduct as many Covid-19 tests as possible."
Somsak said the government needs to see the results of fifth-phase easing before making a decision on whether to allow spectators at sports stadiums.
Meanwhile, he said “travel bubbles” would likely take another couple of months to organise before being launched. The “bubbles” will allow travel between Thailand and countries at low risk for Covid-19 without the need for quarantine.