12 July 2024

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, has decided to ease lockdown restrictions on several businesses and recreational activities in “dark red” provinces, including those in malls, eateries, beauty salons, public parks and sports stadia, effective from September 1st.

CCSA Assistant Spokesperson Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan said today (Friday) that the resumption of businesses will depend on their readiness or necessity, adding that the move is to allow people to pursue their lives in a way which is as close to normal as possible. All the premises must close at 8pm.

Although COVID-19 infections have not reduced markedly, she said the CCSA found it necessary to adjust its strategy to contain the pandemic in a balanced way, corresponding with safe measures for economic rehabilitation.

The night-time curfew from 9 pm – 4 am will remain in place for at least two more weeks.

Effective September 1st, shopping malls, community malls and department stores can fully resume operations. Beauty salons can open for hair cutting and only for an hour per customer. Foot massage services can reopen and beauty clinics can resume business for the sale of beauty products only.

Eateries can provide dine-in services with seating capacity limited to 75% outdoors and 50% in restaurants which are air-conditioned. All eateries are required to comply strictly with the safety measures.

Dr. Apisamai said that staff at eateries, barber shops or foot massage parlours must be fully inoculated and screened for COVID-19 every week using antigen test kits (ATK), while dine-in customers must also be fully inoculated and show a certificate that they have tested negative within the past seven days.

Sports stadia and public parks, which are not air-conditioned and have good air circulation, can open for exercise, training and competitions for a limited number of participants with the approval of the provincial communicable disease committees. All sports stadia can open for the training of Thai athletes without spectators and their managers must strictly comply with disease prevention measures.

Movie theatres, spas, amusement and water parks, fitness clubs, public swimming pools, conference rooms and tuition schools must remain shut. On-site learning continues to be banned.

Dr. Apisamai said that the CCSA decided to retain the “dark red” status in 29 provinces. Travel restrictions in these provinces remain, but with the implementation of universal preventive measures, such as leaving home only if necessary, and people who are over 60, or who are afflicted with chronic diseases, should avoid leaving home, except when necessary and, even then, it must be for the shortest time possible.

Working from home for office employees is extended for another 14 days, while seating capacity on public transport is limited at 75%, with no eating on board. Every passenger must wear a face mask all the time. For long haul routes, the bus must stop every 2-3 hours, to allow better air circulation.