Most schools outside Samut Sakhon to reopen nationwide

Most schools outside Samut Sakhon to reopen nationwide

Wat Laharn School in Bang Bua Thong district of Nonthaburi has been closed since the beginning of the year, but will reopen on Monday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Wat Laharn School in Bang Bua Thong district of Nonthaburi has been closed since the beginning of the year, but will reopen on Monday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The government on Wednesday said it would reopen most schools -- including those in Bangkok -- from next week, in response to localised declines in new coronavirus infections.

The education ministry ordered schools closed in 28 provinces at the beginning of January. It will restart classes in all but one of those from Monday, Education Minister Nathapol Teepsuwan told reporters.

The move follows an easing of some curbs last week in Bangkok, including on some sports and leisure activities, but bars and night entertainment venues remain closed. The announcement comes despite the country reporting on Wednesday its second-highest number of new daily coronavirus cases, with 819 infections.

The majority of those came as a result of mass testing in Samut Sakhon province, the epicentre of the most recent outbreak. Its schools will remain closed.

Thailand has reported a total of 15,465 cases, more than two thirds of those since mid-December. The government has recorded 76 coronavirus-related fatalities.

Mr Natapol said all schools must strictly comply with measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Schools in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom and Pathum Thani are required to limit the number of students in a classroom to 25. Schools with insufficient space in classrooms can assign students to attend classes on alternate days, he said.

The order issued on Wednesday applies to both public and private schools under the ministry’s jurisdiction.

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