Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

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Dodger
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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

Post by Dodger »

Jun wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 5:48 pm
From what I have seen on my travels, at some of the "farang friendly" restaurants & cafes in the provinces, there were so few customers that social distancing would be easy.
Good point.

The restaurant owner I spoke with this morning said those exact words.

He also said that several other restaurants in the province had decided to hold off on reopening until the inter-provincial travel ban is lifted due to lack of customers.

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

Post by traveller123 »

Dodger wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 5:10 pm
Has Surin reopened as well?
I am not aware that Surin was ever as strict as Buriram in enforcing travel ban from out of Province.
I haven't read anything forbidding travel from Buriram, Sisaket etc to Surin.
The Farang restaurant I visit most, which has been closed in April, has announced it is opening for take out only from today.
I am waiting for my partner to tell me what the Provincial Government is saying will happen from today.

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

In addition to the information contained in the following article, I want to add that I have read several news sources that are letting us know that while travel restrictions are being eased so that people can travel from one province to another, that doesn't mean they won't have problems once they get there. Some provinces are still requiring a 14 day quarantine for anyone entering the province. I don't know how that applies to arrivals on domestic flights, but my guess is the requirements are the same no matter what mode of transportation gets you there.
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Chonburi begins to ease restrictions starting today, starting a slow path to re-opening the economy

By Adam Judd

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Starting today, May 3, 2020 the Thai Government has begun a phased process to cautiously ease restrictions set due to the threat of Covid-19 on some businesses and places across the country in a bid to start to get the economy moving once more and return millions of unemployed to work in Thailand.

The restrictions being eased include dine in at small restaurants, local parks being opened, small shops and non essential areas in department stores (but not malls) being opened among other various items.

Nationally, barber shops and salons will reopen but were only closed for a short period of time in Chonburi by the Governor’s order and have been open for several weeks, similar to mobile phone and electronic shops.

Businesses reopening will require strict guidelines to be followed around hygiene and physical distancing. Each category of venue has slightly different rules and restrictions based on the type of business.

Some general rules include space between customers, mask wearing, temperature checks, sanitizer available, all surfaces and areas constantly sanitized and other similar measures to help prevent the potential spread of Covid-19.

As for local parks, they are to be used for general exercise only and not socializing, picnics or gathering. Fitness equipment is not to be used and should be roped off. Sports are ok but cannot be contact based team sports or competitive. National Parks remain closed, a brief statement was issued that this is due to concern of people traveling cross province to visit them.

Pools and Beaches will remain closed at this time, as will fitness centers and gyms.

As for alcohol sales, which has been a particularly vehement issue for many over the past week with the government reversing their stance on banning sales, the ultimate decision is up to the province. As of press time, Chonburi Public Relations would not confirm or deny that alcohol sales would be allowed at stores and said to wait for further orders. Sales have been banned for several weeks.

Regardless of allowing sales or not, they will be for take away only and cannot be purchased in restaurants with a meal or to drink alone or in groups. Public drinking or drinking in groups in public areas, like a park, is against the law.

Despite the strict rules, with only six cases of Covid-19 recorded nationwide yesterday, in which two were imported from overseas, and less than 200 people remaining in treatment nationwide many people are happy to at least see a path start to form to getting the country back to work.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/05/03/c ... e-economy/

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Notice that Phuket is not on the list.
___________________________________________

28 airports in Thailand reopen for domestic flights

By Pattaya Mail

May 4, 2020

BANGKOK – The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) allows 28 airports to resume their domestic services outside the night curfew.

CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop issued his announcement to allow the airports to serve only domestic flights from 7am to 7pm.

Airports are banned from receiving inbound international flights except state or military aircraft, flights seeking emergency and technical landings without disembarkation, humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights, repatriation flights and cargo flights.

Passengers must undergo health screenings and follow disease control measures at the airports and provinces of their destinations.

The permission goes to airports in Nan, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Mae Sot, Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Buriram, Roi Et, Loei, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Chumphon, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Don Mueang, Samui, Suvarnabhumi, Surat Thani, Hat Yai, Hua Hin and U-Tapao.

https://www.pattayamail.com/coronavirus ... hts-298147

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Last night 2 Thai friends and I went to eat at a Thai restaurant we like on "The Dark Side."

The procedure, and I imagine a similar procedure now applies to most restaurants, is when you enter you must still be wearing a face mask, although once you are in and seated you can remove it. As you enter they take your temperature and have hand cleaning gel available if you wish to use it, but they don't force it on you.

The tables are spread far enough apart, but they allow you to sit as close together as you wish at your own table.

The staff all wear face masks. Some also wear surgical gloves.

My guess is this, or a similar procedure, is now the "new normal" at Thailand's restaurants. Whether this is now a permanent procedure or will go away once the virus scare is history remains to be seen.

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

Thailand's communicable disease chief is warning that a second major wave of virus outbreaks may occur.

I can understand that. Among other things, I've read articles stating that already, since the booze ban was lifted, hundreds have been caught violating the curfew, having parties, and some venues including restaurants are not properly complying with the rules or simply ignoring the rules. I can certainly understand that the venues want to start making money again, but I doubt too many would argue with me for saying jeopardizing people's health is the wrong way to do it.

Foreigners intentionally violating the curfew and engaging in other banned activities too could easily end up not only heavily fined and possibly jailed, but losing their visas and getting deported and blacklisted. This is no time to be out there violating the rules, folks.
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Second-stage contagion now a real danger, public health chief warns

May 5, 2020

Although the absence of new Covid-19 cases in 36 provinces for the past 14 days pointed to success in containing the outbreak, new infections would arise next week, the director of the Division of Communicable Diseases warned on Monday (May 4).

Sopon Iamsirithaworn said that after six types of businesses and activities had been allowed to restart on Sunday (May 3), people would start leaving their homes more often and gathering in large numbers. This would lead to a rise in the number of new Covid-19 cases, he predicted.

The director added that many provinces had assigned officials to test asymptomatic members of the public for Covid-19 infection. Tests were conducted last week at crowded places such as prisons and worker’s shelters across the country, but no traces of the virus were found.

Sopon said officials were now monitoring for signs of a second wave of infections, including a spike in the number of patients with respiratory complaints. They were also checking to ensure people maintained tight hygiene measures to prevent transmission of the virus.

Singapore is among several countries around the world that have suffered a second wave of infections that has brought more cases than the first. It was important to contain the virus before the onset of the rainy season, Sopon added, since Covid-19 may stay active for longer in the cool and humid weather than in the heat of summer.

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30387268
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Warning: venues not following rules ‘will be shut down immediately’

May 5, 2020

Interior Ministry permanent secretary Chatchai Promlert has ordered all provincial governors to closely monitor business venues that were allowed to open after the government eased its lockdown measures and make sure they adhere to all rules and regulations, or face immediate shutdown.

“It has been reported that many establishments have ignored the government’s policy of social distancing as well as regulations related to their business operations,” he said in the order on Monday. “For example, some dine-in restaurants are not providing enough space between persons, or some shops are selling liquor outside the allowed times,” he added.

“Governors must therefore monitor these establishments closely and make sure they do not violate any rules, either general laws or the government’s emergency decree. Task forces should be assembled to perform random checks periodically. Any violator will have their establishment shut down until further notice,” Chatchai warned.

He also urged governors and local administration offices to organise public relations campaigns to educate people on how to safely use the services of these establishments without risking spreading Covid-19 in their communities.

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30387284

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

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The path to re-opening Pattaya-the next steps to reopen most local businesses as Thailand slowly eases Covid-19 restrictions

By Adam Judd

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

EDITORIAL OPINION

The Following is an editorial by The Pattaya News staff:

Thailand announced this morning a total of one new case of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in the entire country, an imported case from Malaysia of a Thai man currently in State quarantine in Narathiwat. As of this article, Pattaya has gone roughly three weeks without a single new confirmed case of the Covid-19 Coronavirus and a significant portion of the provinces in the country has either never had a case or none in roughly a month. Chonburi, the province where Pattaya is located, hit eleven days in a row without a new case this morning. The only two cases they have had were both close to Bangkok in the Phan Thong district and close contacts of a previous confirmed case.

The country now has 2,988 total cases with 2,747 people discharged with seven more people released yesterday. Only 187 people remain in hospitals for treatment of the Covid-19 Coronavirus nationwide. There have been 54 deaths since the start of the outbreak but none in about a week now.

Thailand has increased its proactive testing, especially in hot zones such as the Deep South in Songkhla and Yala, Phuket and Pattaya. Pattaya had 2026 proactive tests conducted last month in the area (not including regular testing and testing of people under investigation) according to Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunpluem and only four positive cases were found, which were all connected to each other from a single Thai man who had recently visited Phuket. The last proactive case found was April 19 and were Banglamung cases. This lends credence to the Pattaya City Hall statement that, at least in Pattaya, there is no widespread infection of the Covid-19 Coronavirus and little to no sign of potentially hidden asymptomatic cases.

As a result, Pattaya was labeled a White zone as of yesterday, which means it is no longer a “hot” zone or active infection area. Pattaya was previously labeled a red zone due to high numbers of cases in Chonburi and Banglamung, although the majority were imported cases from other parts of the country or foreign tourists from overseas. Restrictions are starting to ease, checkpoints blocking non Pattaya residents from entering the city have been removed and some businesses, like small restaurants, have been given permission to open.

Indeed, many of the restrictions in Pattaya have been looser than the rest of the nation already, with salons and electronic stores legally open for weeks.

So, many are asking, what’s next? Most of the city remains out of work with food charity lines stretching into the thousands in some areas. Pattaya is known worldwide for its tourism and nightlife industry and has one of the largest tourism related economies in the world-with most City Hall statements pointing at the total amount of revenue attributed to tourism in Pattaya as around 80%.

Pattaya’s famous- or infamous, depending on your perspective-nightlife scene draws millions yearly from all around the world to experience the bars, clubs, karaokes, lounges and other nightlife attractions. All of these are currently force closed due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus. Pattaya also has a thriving Thai nightlife scene that many regular tourists don’t know about, with large Thai nightclubs like Differ and Bone attracting hundreds of local Thai residents and domestic Thai tourists every night of the week. Pattaya is often called the city that never sleeps…but it has now been sleeping since March 18, when all entertainment venues were ordered closed by the Chonburi Governor.

The Pattaya News has compiled information from both local and National government sources to begin to give our readers a roadmap of what “likely” to expect over the next few weeks. It is important to note that depending on not just the local situation but also the national situation with Covid-19 that this “roadmap” of what the future looks like could dramatically change, especially if cases increase. However, as of press time, this is what the current situation looks like for Pattaya.

Pattaya City leaders have begun to hold regular meetings with prominent local entertainment and nightlife owners to begin to ask the question “How do we re-open the Nightlife industry, Pattaya’s biggest employer and biggest attraction worldwide, safely?” You can read more about that HERE, as we will not be going into that in depth in this article. These suggestions are being brought to a National Committee who will evaluate them.

The Covid-19 Coronavirus Situation Administration, or CCSA, has stated from their spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin that the current plan is to slowly each restrictions in four separate phases over two week periods and to evaluate the results of easing those restrictions every fourteen days.

Thailand started the first period of easing on Sunday, May 3, which allowed several venues to open, such as salons, small restaurants, golf courses and other areas that are primarily easy to socially distance in. All venues opened under strict new rules to promote physical distancing and hygiene.

Meanwhile, Provincial Governors have been instructed by the Ministry of the Interior to be consistent with the Government Guidelines at this time. They can strengthen the guidelines, but they cannot loosen them. The reasoning for this is to discourage travel or give anyone a reason to want to leave their province to go to another. A good example of this is beaches, which remain closed in Pattaya due to concern from authorities that Bangkok residents, which has still had a number of cases found in recent weeks, may be tempted to drive to Chonburi to come to the beach.

At the current time, despite the low numbers recorded by the CCSA, the Government is taking extreme caution and being conservative, looking at cautious tales from other countries like Singapore and Japan who appear to have eased their restrictions too quickly. However, at the same time, the CCSA has also stated they are looking at South Korea, most of China, Vietnam, Taiwan and other countries who are essentially back to a regular operating environment, with everything open, including nightlife. They are gathering ideas and preparing to implement them, knowing that Phuket, Pattaya and Bangkok are world famous for tourism and the nightlife and Tourist industry is essential in these areas. In almost every case of those countries who have re-opened nightlife one item remains the same-the ability to contract trace easily.

Thailand has made no secret that they want to reach-and sustain-zero locally spread cases of Covid-19, as impractical as that might seem to some observers. This means that the questions of how do you bring tourists back safely without requiring everyone to do a fourteen day quarantine becomes very important. Of course, it is possible that countries that also appear to be Covid-free may be the first places to open their borders for travel with the potential of one of the first countries to return to Thailand being China, who, officially anyways based on their statements only, is largely now Covid-19 free.

Pattaya, as most agree, won’t survive on expats and domestic tourism alone and the answer is not simply to reopen everything. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha admitted as much today when he said the government needs to provide support for people for at least six to nine months, regardless of the number of cases or situation. The Thai Tourism Authority is launching programs to increase domestic tourism and talking about some countries (Likely China) returning as early as in the late summer or early fall. That is possible, but also isn’t the complete answer. Before the Covid-19 Coronavirus, Pattaya was already changing quickly with large amounts of Indian, Chinese and Russian tourists-most who were not interested in the bar industry. Although China appears to have the Covid-19 Coronavirus under control according to their statements anyways, Russia and India do not at this time.

Regardless, those are all questions for a further date as the most immediate question most business owners are asking in Pattaya, from malls to theme parks to bars is-when can I at least have the choice to open my business, if I choose?

Like restaurants, many may choose to wait to open and domestic travel is still strongly discouraged and will be for at least several weeks but most business owners The Pattaya News heard speak at the recent meeting at Hollywood Disco mentioned above simply wanted the option to open. Some, like Thai bars geared for middle and upper class Thai’s, are not dependent on tourists and would probably be steady as soon as they opened. Some local bar owners, especially ones in the Soi Buakhao area, have told The Pattaya News the majority of their business is expats normally during this time of year and the lack of International tourists also wouldn’t affect them, they simply want the opportunity to open their bars. However, a business purely dependent on tourists, like many of the foreign nightclubs and gogos, would likely need to adjust or would struggle open or closed.

At this point, the next phase in the four phase period mentioned above would be around May 16/17. If cases of the Covid-19 Coronavirus remain low, further easing of restrictions would take place according to the CCSA. They have not officially revealed what businesses would be in each phase, despite much speculation and color coded charts on other media, and have stated several times they would not do so as things could change quickly. There is, however, one exception-the final Phase, which is estimated to be in mid June, if the situation is still positive, would be items like events, concerts, large sports matches, etc. Bars had originally been named in this category but in recent discussions on easing restrictions were not named, which has some to lead they could be earlier.

Pattaya City Hall and Chonburi Officials made it clear that they have to work with National guidelines and one of the most important things to the CCSA is to discourage domestic travel at this time, thus attractions like beaches, the nightlife industry, theme parks, national parks and other items that attract domestic tourism would not open until the CCSA was certain domestic spread was under control, especially in Bangkok. Therefore, any sort of attractions such as this would likely not open until, at the earliest, early June-or roughly three weeks away still, regardless of number of cases in the Pattaya area.

It is futile to speculate what may be in each Phase at this point, however the fact that both local and National officials are now genuinely brainstorming and involving local business owners is a positive sign. The fact that other countries in Asia have re-opened portions of their nightlife and entertainment industry is also a positive, including nearby countries like Cambodia and Vietnam.

It’s going to be a long, and difficult, path ahead for many. Nobody disputes that. However, the path has begun and hopefully if people work together to physically distance and help stomp out the potential of the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus for several weeks more, we may…”just may“…see Thailand open internally and domestically, as a start, nearly completely by the end of June. It is clear with the current economic situation in Thailand that the closures and lockdowns, with millions and millions out of work, are not sustainable for much longer for much of the country. Indeed, many of the local charity foundations who have been feeding thousands are running low on funds themselves as the lines get only longer, as some media calls out increasing suicide and domestic violence rates.

The Pattaya News will provide further updates on all measures being taken by the CCSA in terms of easing restrictions as they are released.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/05/05/t ... trictions/

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

Post by Gaybutton »

While this story applies specifically to Pattaya, I would imagine similar confusion and problems are occurring all over Thailand.
__________________________________________________________________________________

Confusion, complaints over dine-in restaurant regulations in Pattaya from customers and owners

By Adam Judd

6 May 2020

Over the past several days, dine in restaurants in Chonburi, like all over the country, have begun careful and cautious steps towards normality with many re-opening for dine in across the Province and in Pattaya City.

Many restaurants, from a quick drive around town, remain closed for various reasons ranging from concern of meeting the new strict requirements, to staff not being in Pattaya currently and having returned to other provinces with limited ways of currently returning due to domestic travel being discouraged and many cross province transportation methods closed, to some owners making the decision to leave their venue closed until the overall situation in Pattaya improves further.

However, from Sunday, May 3, when restaurants could legally reopen, more venues are either announcing opening or unlocking their doors daily-despite allegedly confusing and mixed messages on regulations and rules to be followed both from the National and local government.

Some of the confusion comes from not just hygiene rules like having sanitizer, customers and staff wearing masks and proper physical distancing but also questions around air conditioning and fans, if customers are allowed to sit inside, how many people can sit together if any at all, to having the televisions running, to being able to let customers touch menus, to if the venue can have music playing. The rule around alcohol sales being forbidden at restaurants seems to be universal, although some claimed that this too was being broken at certain venues.

A primary reason for the confusion, according to business owners who have sent letters and spoke with The Pattaya News, is that the regulations released by the national Government are being referred to as “guidelines” by certain law enforcement and local government officials and that certain regulations appear to be stricter locally. We have stated several times that we suggest to call the City Hall Contact Center at 1337 and discuss with them directly the requirements for business owners that are confused. Complaints have also arisen over allegedly some businesses not being inspected or held to the same standard as others since the re-opening.

Meanwhile, customers have been posting on social media and sending letters to the Pattaya News complaining that they are not allowed to sit with their wife or child at some restaurants, that the staff at one restaurant claimed they could not turn on the fans because it was against the law despite it being hot and no air con, being forbidden from moving chairs to their table to provide seating for people they live with, having disruptive plastic partitions placed across the tables, being given time limits to eat, being forbidden from waiting inside a restaurant for a table and being forced into the hot sun and other various complaints.

City Hall officials have stressed to the media that the current period is a “teething” style situation and may be difficult as both customers and owners adjust to the regulations and guidelines. As time passes, the current measures will likely be eased and relaxed as well, officials have said, depending on the overall situation with the Covid-19 Coronavirus. Large restaurants, especially those with Mookata (Thai BBQ) or Buffet style items mostly remain closed, also out of concern of socializing and gathering. Officials have also said that the main purpose of restaurants being open now for dine in is not for an “experience”, to relax or socializing but to purely eat, thus rules like no entertainment, live music, alcohol sales, games like Pool or Snooker, showing television events, etc.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/05/06/c ... nd-owners/

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

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Malls to reopen Sunday, curfew shortened

Cinemas still closed, some fitness activities allowed, but get home by 11pm

15 May 2020

Shopping malls and restaurants in shopping centres are among the businesses that will be allowed to reopen on Sunday, and curfew hours will be shortened by one hour to 11pm.

The decision by the government was confirmed by an announcement published on Friday evening in the Royal Gazette.

Convention centres, wholesale markets and swimming pools will also be allowed to reopen, said Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Shopping centres will have to close at 8pm, to give people sufficient time to return home in time for the night curfew.

The state of emergency is still in effect until May 31 but the curfew will start at 11pm, instead of 10pm, and will run until 4am starting on Sunday.

Dr Taweesilp said cinemas, amusement parks, boxing stadiums and gymnasiums would remain closed, while fitness centres would be allowed to resume some activities.

The easing of restrictions comes after regular reports of fewer new coronavirus cases and deaths. There were seven new cases reported on Friday, all people returning from visits to Pakistan, with no new deaths. On Wednesday, there were no new infections at all.

The CCSA spokesman said airports remain closed to commercial flights from overseas, and no alcoholic beverages are allowed to be consumed in restaurants.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/19 ... -shortened
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Second phase of lockdown relaxation to start from May 17

May 15, 2020

The government has approved the second phase of the easing of lockdown measures from May 17 to help lift the economy, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Friday (May 15).

The Cabinet has approved the proposal by the National Security Council to ease the strict measures in the second phase for businesses in the green group (moderate risk of the virus spreading).

Businesses that could reopen are:

1. Stores in department stores or communities malls, such as consumption, computers, electrical appliances, bedding, building materials, furniture, office supplies, flowers, clothes, cosmetics and sport equipment.

▪︎ commodities, gold and jewellery

▪︎service provider; internet cafe, laundromat, repair workshop, car shops for changing tyres, repairing and cleaning

▪︎ credit business

▪︎insurance companies

▪︎drug stores

▪︎dentist clinics

▪︎nail salons

▪︎restaurants, food courts and food centres

2. Large retail shops

▪︎building materials stores

▪︎furniture houses

▪︎large wholesale markets such as Simummuang market and Talaad Thai

3. Beauty clinics for body and skin (no surgeries on face)

4. Gym and fitness centres

▪︎Only allow non-physical-contact sport with only three people in one team and no viewers, such as badminton, table tennis, yoga, fencing, squash, etc.

▪︎partially open fitness centres for free weight training (no workouts in groups or use of exercise machines)

▪︎ public pools, allowing number of people in pool equal to lanes (at least 7-feet long) and only allowing one hour of use per person.

5. Hotel meeting rooms and convention halls for meetings of limited number of people

6. Library

7. Gallery and museum

8. Film crew to start production with 50 people from all sections in the filming studio and must have space for people to eat individually.

There are no changes in the measures on transportation -- no regular international transport, and strict screening of inter-provincial transport.

Curfew timings will be relaxed by one hour, from 11pm to 4am compared to 10pm to 4am at present.

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30387911

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Re: Restrictions to be lifted? Maybe not yet

Post by Jun »

I wonder how they make those decisions.

e.g.
1 Opening nail salons, which are entirely an optional service and have the customer directly facing the employee.
2 Allowing the use of free weights in gyms, but not machines. I would have thought touching free weights is the same as touching machines. At least there's a health benefit with gyms, unlike nail salons.
3 I'm surprised to hear drug stores are currently closed. Surely these are essential services ?

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