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Thailand nightlife makes return as more restrictions eased

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BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – All night entertainment venues, including soapy massage parlours, in Thailand will open their doors again on Wednesday as restrictions imposed to curb COVID-19 are further eased in the final phase.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Monday gave the green light for all remaining entertainment facilities to reopen from Wednesday. They include pubs and bars, karaoke bars, and bath-sauna-massage establishments. Health and physical distancing measures and monitoring will be required.

“It was extensively debated,” CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said after the full members’ meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

All premises that reopen will be required to use the “Thai Chana” platform, created to alert businesses and customers to any virus outbreak.

From Wednesday, shopping malls, department stores and community malls will be allowed to open until 10pm from the current 9pm.

Source: CCSA – Bangkok Post Graphics

Other premises allowed to reopen will include schools and educational institutes, while night entertainment venues, pubs, bars, karaoke joints, beer halls and beer gardens will be allowed to open until midnight, with the enforcement of social distancing rules. Customers must use the Thai Chana app to check in and out.

Gaming and internet cafes can reopen 24 hours for customers aged 18 and older. Younger patrons will be allowed in only at specified hours, he said.

Soapy massage parlours customers must use the Thai Chana app when checking in and out. Customers and staff must wear face masks all the time.

Meanwhile, two additional cases of COVID-19 were found in Thailand over the past 24 hours, the government said on Tuesday, taking the total number of infections in Thailand to 3,171. No additional deaths were reported, leaving the toll at 58.

The country has now gone 36 days without any local transmissions.

Dr Panprapa Yongtrakul, assistant spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said the two new cases were Thai masseurs aged 27 and 28 who returned from Qatar on June 16. They were quarantined in Chon Buri province.

The two tested negative for the disease on June 21, but positive on Saturday. Both were asymptomatic. Three other returnees on the same flight also contracted Covid-19. Dr Panprapa said the country was still free of local Covid infections.

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