A train is about to depart Siam Station. City inspectors were roped in to help keep order and assist commuters at the BTS station. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Shopping malls and large retail outlets selling construction materials will be allowed to reopen as lockdown measures are eased further on May 17 if there is no surge in new infections.
China and South Korea will also be the first countries to be removed from a list of the government's dangerous communicable disease zones.
The issues were discussed at a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday.
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the CCSA spokesman, said the centre will gather opinions about the next round of disease control relaxation from today until next Tuesday and draft the relaxation measures next Thursday. "The next stage of relaxation will begin on May 17 unless the number of new Covid-19 cases soars," he said.
"If the situation is brought under control, shopping malls will be allowed to reopen. If each business can maintain [strict social distancing] measures, malls and other businesses can also resume operations. However, this also depends on cooperation from the people," Dr Taweesilp said.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will meet the Public Health Ministry today to determine which businesses will be allowed to reopen in the second stage of easing.
Moreover, the CCSA agreed with a proposal by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul that countries where the Covid-19 crisis has eased can be removed from the government's list of dangerous communicable disease zones. Mr Anutin told the meeting the proposed de-listing will help normalise Thailand's relations with them.
However, it was also agreed that the de-listing process must be gradual and that people from those de-listed countries will not be allowed to enter Thailand straight away.
The CCSA will need to discuss necessary measures to handle them and prevent the spread of imported infections, Dr Taweesilp said.
The first group of Thais allowed to return home will be those who are ill, stranded at airports or have expired visas, as well as those who are tourists stranded in other countries. The next group will be monks, students and laid-off workers, he said.
Learn from listening
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chair : to be the person in charge of a meeting, committee, or company - ดำรงตำแหน่งประธาน, ทำหน้าที่ในฐานะประธาน
communicable disease : a disease that can spread from one person or animal to another - โรคที่สามารถติดต่อได้
cooperation : a situation in which people or organisations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them - การร่วมมือกัน
draft : to write a document, plan, etc. that may be changed before it is finally accepted - ร่าง
ease : to make or become less severe, difficult, unpleasant, painful, etc - ทำให้ง่าย
expire : to come to an end or stop being in use - หมดอายุ
gradual (adjective): slowly and in small stages or amounts - อย่างทีละน้อย
lay off : to cause someone to lose their job - ปลดคนงาน
opinion : your feelings or thoughts about somebody/something, rather than a fact - ความเห็น, ความคิดเห็น, ทัศนคติ
proposal : a plan or suggestion for a group to consider - ข้อเสนอ
relations : official dealings between countries - ความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างประเทศ
relaxation : making rules, controls, conditions etc less strict -
resume : to begin again after stopping for a period of time - เริ่มอีกครั้ง, กลับมาอีกครั้ง
soar : to rise very quickly to a high level - มีความหวังสูง,พุ่งพรวดขึ้น
social distancing : avoiding groups of people in order to slow the spread of a disease -
stranded : left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else - ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้
zone : an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed - พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต