More curbs eased in capital

More curbs eased in capital

A disappointed jogger leaves Vachirabenjatas Park, or Suan Rot Fai, on Monday morning after arriving and finding the gates still closed. The city's parks finally reopened at 1pm for limited activities. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
A disappointed jogger leaves Vachirabenjatas Park, or Suan Rot Fai, on Monday morning after arriving and finding the gates still closed. The city's parks finally reopened at 1pm for limited activities. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Five types of businesses and public establishments in Bangkok reopened on Monday under strict disease control regulations following a months-long shutdown due to the third wave of Covid-19.

The reopening was approved by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's (BMA) communicable diseases committee, with immediate effect.

As a result of the decision, museums and historical sanctuaries were allowed to open their doors to the public.

Public parks and botanical gardens were also reopened, although only for jogging and exercise.

Beauty clinics, health spas, massage and tattoo shops also reopened yesterday, although treatments in the facial area are still prohibited.

Where services are performed in close contact with the customers, businesses must conform to strict health and safety measures, for example, face masks should be worn at all times.

According to the committee, the reopening is meant to restart economic activity which has been largely dormant since the outbreak of the third wave of Covid-19 in began in early April.

The committee insisted the risks from allowing these venues to reopen were manageable, as many employees in the affected sectors have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

While the order signed by Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang on Monday authorised the reopening of some venues, it also stipulated that 33 other businesses will remain closed until June 30.

These include cram schools and similar educational establishments; bars, pubs, karaoke outlets and other entertainment venues.

Restrictions on the sizes of public gatherings are to remain in place, with no more than 20 people allowed to take part in conferences, seminars and banquets or attend food or non-food giveaway venues.

Prior permission must be secured from the City Hall's Health Department for any events with more than 20 participants.

Details of the events and public health safeguards must be submitted to the department, according to City Hall.

Bangkok's reopening had been deferred from May 31 when the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) put the brakes on City Hall's plan to allow the five types of businesses to reopen.

The abrupt order raised speculation about the reasons for the delay, but observers said the decision was probably prompted by the worrying Covid-19 situation in the capital.

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