The Thai government has invoked special security powers in seven Bangkok districts, including the capital's main shopping districts ahead of protests by rival anti-government groups.
The Cabinet voted to invoke the Internal Security Act and was meeting later to determine which specific regulations would apply.
Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said the Act would be in place from February 9-23 "to provide security and stability in these areas".
Thailand's Yellow Shirt protesters, currently gathered outside the prime minister's office, have called an anti-government rally for Friday to step up calls to oust the government.
A rival Red Shirt rally is planned for the weekend.