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First Covid restriction easing, alcohol ban extended

Medical workers of BMA General hospital have their hair cut by volunteer hairdressers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in Bangkok on Thursday. (Reuters photo)

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The government has allowed the reopening on Sunday of six types of businesses, such as markets and small eateries but not malls, in the first stage of relaxation of disease-control restrictions.

The relaxation applies nationwide and provincial governors may not ease restrictions in their provinces beyond what was announced, said Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.     

He also said the government had maintained the 10pm-4am curfew, restrictions on international travel and recommendations on working from home and minimising inter-provincial travel.

Dr Taweesilp said on Thursday that the first stage of the relaxation, starting on Sunday, covered six categories of activities:

  • Fresh, floating and community markets, as well as walking streets and vendors' stalls;
  • Food, beverage, dessert and ice cream shops outside department stores, as well as food stalls, food trucks and hawkers;
  • Retail and wholesale businesses (supermarkets, convenience stores, community shops and IT or telecom product shops, or grocery trucks);
  • Recreational and sports businesses (park activities such as walking, tai chi, non-team and non-competitive sports such as tennis, shooting, archery, cycling and golfing at courses and driving ranges)
  • Barbers and hair salons but only for hair washing, cutting and styling;
  • Pet grooming shops and pet hotels

Dr Taweesilp said while the activities were allowed, operators had to implement disease-control measures such as cleaning, use of face masks for everyone, distancing and hand sanitisation.

If the daily new cases of coronavirus infection do not exceed 30 in 14 days after the reopening, more relaxation would come.

The government planned four stages of the relaxation, which will take two months for the full reopening of activities, provided the number of new cases is manageable.

But if new cases soar, the relaxation will be revoked, Dr Taweesilp said.

The alcohol ban is extended. No end date has been given.

Vocabulary:

convenience store : a shop/store that sells food, newspapers, etc. and often stays open 24 hours a day - ร้านสะดวกซื้อ

ease : to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious - บรรเทา

exceed : to be more than something; to go beyond a limit - เกินกว่าที่กำหนด

extend : to add more time - ยืดออกไป

float : an object that floats in the water - สิ่งที่ลอยได้ เช่น แพ

governor : a person who is chosen to be in charge of the government of a state or province or a government agency - ผู้ว่าการรัฐ, ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัด

groom : clean or brush an animal - ทำให้สัตว์สะอาดและเรียบร้อย

hawker : someone who sells goods informally in public places - คนหาบเร่,คนเร่ขายของ

maintain : to keep -

minimise : to reduce something harmful or unpleasant to the smallest amount or degree - ลดจำนวนลง

recreational : involving enjoyment - เกี่ยวการสันทนาการ

relaxation : making rules, controls, conditions etc less strict -

restriction : a rule, action or situation that limits or controls someone or something - การจำกัด, การควบคุม

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