BMA eases curbs on meetings and booze

BMA eases curbs on meetings and booze

Businesses can once again hold conferences, seminars and other events at hotels, exhibition venues and shopping centres starting today, as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has agreed to further ease disease control measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the capital.

In addition to the end of bans on meetings in public spaces, alcoholic drinks can now be served at venues which meet SHA Plus standards until 11pm, starting today, according to the BMA's latest announcement.

Such venues, the announcement said, must comply with preventive measures outlined by the Ministry of Public Health and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).

The BMA also agreed to allow 437 Mathayom 1-6 schools under its jurisdiction resume onsite learning when the first semester of the academic year begins on May 17.

Deputy Bangkok governor Kriangyot Sudlapha said the decision was taken in light of the success of the government's inoculation campaign for teachers, students and other education staff in the capital. To date, he said, over 96% of education personnel and over 80% of Mathayom-level students in Bangkok have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

"The BMA will also provide antigen testing for at-risk students whose family members are infected or those who live in communities facing an outbreak," he said.

He said school staff and students must comply with disease control guidelines which include social distancing, mask wearing and regular testing.

Mr Kriangyot said school administrators are also required to evaluate their schools' preparedness via the Education Ministry's Thai Stop Covid Plus [TSC+] application on a regular basis.

The schools must also put in place measures to keep their premises safe from Covid-19 including preparing isolation facilities, arranging sealed routes for staff and students and maintaining good ventilation and hygiene, he added.

The decision to ease more curbs came after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the rollout of low-cost antigen test kits (ATK) to make testing more accessible to the public.

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