Life returns to normal after easing

Life returns to normal after easing

Life is slowly returning back to normal at recreational and transport hubs following the first day of loosened Covid-19 restrictions yesterday.

Vendors arrived early to reopen their stalls and hawker shops along the popular Bang Saen beach in Chon Buri, less than a two-hour drive from Bangkok.

However, the return to business, a far cry from the busy pre-Covid era, is conditional under the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)'s lockdown easing announcement.

Some restrictions, enforced for several weeks, were loosened in light of a steady drop in new daily infections to under 15,000 nationwide from a peak of over 23,000.

The beach must close at 8pm and the usual strict measures to be observed. Vendors and visitors must wear a face mask and practise social distancing while beachside stalls can only put out 50% of their sun deck chairs out for rent.

Vendors working at the stalls are required to be fully vaccinated. No alcohol may be served and visitors are banned from consuming any alcohol they bring with them.

Dokdin Prasongngern, 51, a vendor, said he was delighted the beach had reopened after almost two months.

He was at the end of his financial tether as his stall was the sole generator of his family's income.

"I'm asking everyone to pay a visit to Bang Saen beach. We're safe and open for business," he said.

In Chiang Mai, arrivals have come trickling in. The first day of reopening at Chiang Mai International Airport saw 48 passengers getting off their first flight after two months of lockdown.

Airport users were sparse and most shops in both the arrival and departure halls remained closed.

Incoming passengers are required to have been administered with double doses of the vaccine or one dose of AstraZeneca or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

They must also have tested negative for Covid-19 via a RT-PCR or ATK method within 72 hours of their arrival.

Meanwhile, interprovincial buses have resumed operations on several routes out of Bangkok at the Mor Chit 2 bus depot.

Tickets were sold on buses heading for Mae Sot in Tak, Mae Sai in Chiang Rai, Lom Sak in Phetchabun, Uttaradit, Chiang Mai, Thung Chang in Nan and Klong Lan in Kamphaeng Phet.

State-run Transport Company president Sanyaluck Panyawatthanalikit said services were restored on 30% of the mostly long and medium haul routes yesterday.

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