Further reopenings set for June

Further reopenings set for June

Boxing, massage poised to return

The Chatuchak Weekend Market draws shoppers on Sunday after it was allowed to reopen. The government plans to reopen more businesses next month. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
The Chatuchak Weekend Market draws shoppers on Sunday after it was allowed to reopen. The government plans to reopen more businesses next month. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

Boxing stadiums, massage parlours, spas, cinemas, convention venues and tutorial schools are among the moderate-risk category of businesses and activities expected to be allowed to reopen for the third stage of Covid-19 lockdown easing next month.

However, pubs, bars and night entertainment venues will remain closed.

Tanarak Plipat, the deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department, said on Sunday that activities and businesses that are at moderate risk of Covid-19 transmission or the so-called ''yellow'' category are expected to be allowed to reopen in the next stage of relaxation.

''The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is expected to announce the list probably this coming Wednesday or Thursday,'' Dr Tanarak said.

According to sources, they include cinemas, bowling alleys, skating rinks, karaoke outlets, amusement parks, water parks, zoos, tutorial schools, Thai traditional massage parlours, spas, seminars, meeting venues, events in hotels, trade exhibition centres, fitness centres and boxing stadiums.

A cluster of infections during an event at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on March 6 was blamed for a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the following days.

National Security Council secretary-general Somsak Roongsita, who chairs a committee considering steps for easing the lockdown, said the committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss relaxing restrictions to allow more businesses and activities to restart.

He declined to give specific details as to which businesses will be permitted to reopen, though he said they have a higher risk for spreading infection than those which were previously allowed to resume.

However, those businesses should now have put in place health safety measures to protect customers and their staff.

Gen Somsak said the committee will take into account information from the Public Health Ministry, businesses operators, and the plight of people affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.

The committee will try to strike a balance between health and safety for the public and keeping businesses functioning, he added.

Gen Somsak also said the committee will consider whether to retain the curfew period from 11pm-4am or shorten it from midnight to 4am.

The result of the meeting will be forwarded to the CCSA meeting on Friday for a decision on the third stage of lockdown easing which will take effect on June 1, Gen Somsak said.

The CCSA on Sunday reported no new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, maintaining the totals at 3,040 confirmed cases and 56 fatalities since the outbreak began in January.

Sunday was the fourth day this month that there were no new confirmed cases, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, a spokeswoman for the CCSA.

A total of 2,921 patients have recovered since the outbreak started, with 63 still in hospital.

The number of new infections per day during the past two weeks has remained in low single digits with most new cases the result of contact with previously infected ones or through contact with crowds of people.

Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Police (RTP) operation centre reported that police arrested a total of 330 people who defied the curfew restrictions nationwide from 11pm on Saturday to 4am on Sunday. They will face a variety of penalties.

On March 26, the government invoked the emergency decree with the aim of limiting people's movements and forcing them to stay at home in a bid to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the directives under the decree was the imposition of a curfew and a ban on gatherings which cause public disturbances.

Violations result in a jail term of no more than two years and/or a fine of no more than 40,000 baht.


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