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Bangkok to Ease Shutdown Friday; Limits on Bars, Restaurants to Remain

A bar complex on Sukhumvit Soi 4 is shut down amid the coronavirus crisis. Operators hope to reopen in February (Photo: Bangkok Herald)
A bar complex on Sukhumvit Soi 4 is shut down amid the coronavirus crisis. Operators hope to reopen in February (Photo: Bangkok Herald)

Bangkok on Friday will lift coronavirus restrictions on 13 business sectors, but bars will remain closed and restaurants still forced to close early and banned from selling alcohol.

City Hall said certain businesses closed by a public-health order to control the latest Covid-19 outbreak can reopen from Jan. 22, albeit with strict disease-control protocols in place.

The list includes:

  • Game Arcades; but all points of contact must be regularly disinfected, facemask worn at all times.
  • Internet shops
  • Senior nursing homes, with limited activities
  • Sports venues, except for boxing rings and race track, but no audiences allowed.
  •  Banquet venues need authorization from BMA for events with over 300 participants.
  • Amulet shops and markets
  • Beauty salons, tattoo and piercing shops
  • Fitness centers, but without a personal trainer, and no communal steam rooms.
  • Spas, Thai massage shops, excluding massage parlors
  • Gymnasia and boxing venues for training only.
  • Bowling alleys and ice skating rinks, but no competitions or audience
  • Dance academies
  • Martial art schools, but no tournaments or audience allowed

Bars, pubs and other nightlife venues will remain closed indefinitely, although the order shutting them last month is due to expire Feb. 1 at 6 a.m.

Also remaining closed are playgrounds, theme parks, snooker clubs, cockfighting, fish fighting and bullfighting venues, massage parlors, child-care centers, nurseries and tutoring schools.

Pressure has been growing on local and provincial governments around the country to lift economically catastrophic virus restrictions as the coronavirus second wave subsides.

A group of entertainment venues on Monday called on the government to ease shutdown measures and provide assistance to affected businesses.