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CCSA Defends Farcical Bar Restrictions List As Thailand Waits for ‘Major’ Phase 5 Easing Decision Monday

Passengers attempt to observe social distancing as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus as they ride in a BTS commuter train during rush hour.
Passengers attempt to observe social distancing as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus as they ride in a BTS Skytrain during rush hour.

Thailand’s appeared in a virtual holding pattern Sunday, reporting no new coronavirus infections, deaths nor recoveries as the public held its breathe over how many onerous restrictions it would place on bars when they’re allowed to reopen July 1.

The country’s Covid-19 scoreboard held steady at 3,162 reported cases, 58 deaths, 58 fatalities and 51 still receiving treatment.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said details regarding Thailand’s fifth phase of lockdown easing will be decided tomorrow by officials he said are still stressing the need for effective disease control measures to prevent a “second wave” of coronavirus infections.

He said the CCSA will be hold a “major” meeting to finalize rules that may allow businesses such as pubs, bars, karaoke clubs, gaming centers, internet cafes, and soapy massage parlors to reopen.

Addressing criticism that 18 proposed restrictions governing the reopening of bars and clubs are too unrealistically strict and generally unenforceable – especially as Thailand has not reported a locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in 34 days – Taweesin said the government still believes there is a possibility of new local cases.

Taweesin pointed to China where no locally transmitted cases were reported for 50 days until “a second wave” eventually hit.

In reality, the Beijing outbreak was hardly a “wave”, resulting in less than 400 cases with spread controlled in less than 10 days.

On Monday, the CCSA will consider measures related to international arrivals; the State of Emergency extension by one month; the reopening of schools in border areas, and the easing of some social-distancing measures on public transport, Taweesin said.

It’s likely passengers will be allowed to sit in any of the seats on the Skytrain and MRT that are now blocked.

The seat blockage was a farce, as trains remained so overcrowded that people were standing only centimeters from each other as seats remained empty.

Taweesin said the goal now is to have passengers stand a minimum 30 centimeters apart and wear face coverings.