A Thai soldier stands guard in front of the Democracy Monument in Bangkok. Pic: AP.

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s military government has lifted a late-night curfew in 20 more provinces, but it remains in place in more than 50 others, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

The junta announced Tuesday that it took the action to ease the burden on people’s lives and because those areas were peaceful. In three of the provinces, several districts remained under curfew.

The military imposed a curfew in all 77 provinces on May 22 when it seized power from a civilian government, saying that months of protests had made the country ungovernable.

The curfew had already been reduced to four hours from seven hours, and lifted in several provinces and resort areas popular with tourists.

The junta has tightly restricted freedom of expression, and said new elections will take at least a year.