Government to lift curfew as Thailand enters "Phase 4"

BANGKOK — Most venues in Thailand can reopen starting Monday when the curfew will also be lifted, the government announced Friday.

The 11pm to 3am curfew in Thailand will be repealed because of the decline in the coronavirus pandemic, though when grabbing a beer in a bar will still remain prohibited, Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government’s COVID-19 response center said. 

Exceptions for the Phase 4 reopening are pubs, bars, erotic massage parlours or “soapy massage” – a euphemism for commercial sex venues, ball pits, and inflatable castles.

Domestic flights can carry passengers at full capacity, but everyone must wear masks. Transportation centers and operation of buses, vans, and trains can also fully reopen – but passengers in vehicles must be capped at 70 percent.

International schools, tutoring schools, and schools with fewer than 120 people can reopen. Schools under the jurisdiction of the state’s education ministry will open later. 

Seminars, meetings, exhibition halls, day care centers, elderly care centers, science centers, film sets with no morr than than 150 people on set, and game arcades can fully open. 

Alcohol can be served in restaurants, food courts, hotels, and so on, but not in pubs, bars, karaoke bars, and beer halls.

Spas, onsens, herbal steam services can fully open, and group exercises with fewer than 50 people are also allowed. Water parks and amusement parks can reopen, but ball pits and inflatable castles are not allowed since they have a lot of contact surfaces and can lead to infections. 

Sports venues can fully open and even hold competitions, but cannot have any audience members. 

Four more Thai returnees, all from India, were found to have COVID-19, bringing the total infected to 3,129, Taweesin said. No new deaths were reported. Friday marks the 18th day of zero domestic infections. 

Citing the almost month-long trend of imported cases, Taweesin said Thailand would still regulate travel in and out of the kingdom. 

Credit: Khao Sod English

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