PM hints at restriction relaxation as some Bangkok businesses reopen

Lockdown restrictions will be eased in four stages, separated by 14 days, and this will be applied nationwide, according to Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after today’s cabinet meeting.

He insisted that public safety and health management are the key elements in determining what will be allowed to reopen.  He warned, however, that those that do resume operations could be closed again if there is a new wave of COVID-19 infections.

The cabinet today approved the CCSA’s proposal to extend the state of emergency, including the night curfew, until the end of May, but did not decide upon which businesses will be allowed to reopen.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has worked out a list of businesses and places that will be allowed to resume operations at the end of this month.

Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang, said that, although lockdown restrictions for selected places and businesses are to be eased, certain measures will have to be observed by their operators, as well as those who use their services.

In the capital, restrictions are expected to be eased for:

  • Restaurants and food shops: Though customers may dine in, the seating must be separated by at least 1.5 metres. No alcoholic beverages are permitted.
  • Flea and wet markets: All usual products can be sold.
  • Sports and exercise venues, including sports and youth centres: No contact sports will be permitted, only sports such as badminton, tennis and table tennis. Football, futsal, basketball, volleyball or softball are not allowed.
  • Barber’s shops, beauty salons: Only for hair cutting, washing and drying services. The shop must be disinfected every two hours and customers cannot wait their turn in the shop. Barbers and hair dressers must wear face masks and face shields.
  • Veterinarian clinics and shops providing hair cutting for pet dogs: Only one dog is permitted per customer and the venue must be disinfected every two hours.
  • Hospitals and clinics.
  • Golf courses and driving ranges.

Operators of these venues must deploy strict anti-viral precautions for their customers, such as temperature checks and soap or sanitizer for hand washing.  All customers and visitors must wear face masks and strictly observe social distancing, or face closure.

The Disease Control Committee of Bangkok will consider the BMA’s proposed list of places to be reopened, and related measures, at its meeting tomorrow and Governor Aswin said he will report to the CCSA once there is a decision from the committee.


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