The Thai government has imposed a 60-day state of emergency in the capital, Bangkok, and the surrounding provinces, from Wednesday, to cope with unrest.
The decree gives the government wide-ranging powers to deal with disorder.
Anti-government protesters have been blocking parts of the capital to try to force PM Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.
They accuse the government of being run by exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, the brother of the current prime minister.
Ms Shinawatra has refused to resign and has called an election on 2 February to pacify the protesters.