Covid-19 restrictions eased at airport, entertainment venues
Officials in Bangkok on Tuesday began to loosen Covid-19 prevention measures, allowing transit passengers at Suvarnabhumi airport and alcohol to be served in the capital's restaurants and pubs until 11pm.
Transit passengers at Suvarnabhumi had to show fit-to-fly and Covid-free certificates, as well as health insurance documents.
"Their stay at the airport is limited to 12 hours. They will be confined to a specific area in the terminal, and not be allowed to visit shops there," said Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin.
Those passengers would not have to go through Covid-19 screening but would be required to wear face masks, sanitise their hands and observe social distancing while waiting for connecting flights, he said.
Dr Taweesilp also said that visiting yacht owners had asked to be allowed to quarantine aboard their boats for 14 days, instead of having to stay on the boat for 14 days, then face another 14-day quarantine on land after disembarking.
They said the proposal, if accepted, would stimulate interest in visiting Thailand.
"Yacht crews and their passengers might even be allowed to swim in the sea during their quarantine period," said Dr Taweesilp.
"The disease can't be transmitted in sea water."
Dr Taweesilp said the CCSA would decide soon on whether to change the quarantine rules for yacht owners and passengers.
A spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Pongsakorn Kwanmuang on Tuesday said that City Hall had agreed that entertainment venues, pubs, bars, karaoke shops and soapy massage parlours should be allowed to resume normal opening hours.
The BMA's relaxed measures came into effect on Tuesday.
Those establishments must observe two-metre social distancing and provide entry registration offline or online via the Thai Chana or Mor Chana apps, Pol Capt Pongsakorn said.
Entertainment venues, meanwhile, must prohibit standing customers.
Gymnasiums and fitness centres are allowed to operate as normal, he added, with group exercise classes led by instructors.
Stadiums are allowed to stage events, albeit with limited spectators.
Convention centres and wedding venues are allowed to reopen but with a limit of 300 people each.
If the number of participants exceeds 300, the facilities must ask for permission in advance from a Bangkok district office.