More reopening, shorter curfew

More reopening, shorter curfew

A man sits alone in the deserted lobby of the Major Cineplex cinema at Lotus Bang Kapi in Bangkok on Tuesday. Cinemas have been closed since the start of the third Covid-19 outbreak, but will be allowed to reopen on Friday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A man sits alone in the deserted lobby of the Major Cineplex cinema at Lotus Bang Kapi in Bangkok on Tuesday. Cinemas have been closed since the start of the third Covid-19 outbreak, but will be allowed to reopen on Friday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

More businesses will be allowed to reopen from Friday, the night curfew and quarantine periods will be shortened and pilot reopening areas expanded, but the state of emergency will remain in force.

The government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) chaired by the prime minister passed resolutions to this effect at its meeting on Monday.

The eased disease control measures apply to the 29 provinces declared dark-red zones of maximum and strict disease control, and would take effect this coming Friday.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the CCSA extended the state of emergency to cope with Covid-19 until Nov 30 and shortened the night curfew in dark-red zoned areas by one hour, from 10pm to 4am.

The curfew will continue for at least another 15 days and shopping centres and convenience stores will close at 9pm.

The CCSA approved the reopening of beauty salons, beauty clinics, massage and spa parlours and movie theatres and permitted music performances at restaurants.

Also to reopen are nurseries, libraries, museums, learning centres and manicure and tattoo shops. Exhibition and convention centres will remain closed.

Closed stadiums can open until 9pm and competitions can be organised, but without spectators. Open-air stadiums can allow spectators to a maximum 25% of seating capacity.

Quarantine periods will be shortened from 14 days to seven days for fully vaccinated foreign tourists. For visitors who have not been fully vaccinated, the quarantine will be 10 days for arrivals by air and water and 14 days for arrivals by land. Activities are allowed at quarantine facilities.

From this Friday, the government will allow foreign tourists to visit Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in Surat Thani province; Khao Lak and Koh Yao in Phangnga; and Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, Railay, Khlong Muang and Thap Khaek in Krabi.

From Nov 1, the reopening will be extended to all areas of Bangkok, Krabi and Phangnga and parts of Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin and Nong Kae areas), Phetchaburi (Cha-am), Chon Buri (Pattaya, Bang Lamung, Jomtien and Bang Sare), Ranong (Koh Phayam), Chiang Mai (Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, Muang and Doi Tao), Loei (Chiang Khan) and Buri Ram (Muang).

The government spokesman said approval will be given later for hotels to resume tourist-related activities in preparation for the country's reopening.

The changes need formal approval from the cabinet.

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