Thailand to consider reopening more businesses as virus appears contained

FILE PHOTO: A barber shaves a customer in a barbershop in front of the Grand Palace, as it reopens after months of being closed, as the Thai government eases isolation measures, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, June 7, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand will consider a plan to reopen more businesses and establishments from as early as June 15, an official said on Wednesday, after the country has reported no local transmissions of the coronavirus in the past 16 days.

The government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration will consider the plan for the next phase of more “high risk” reopenings on Friday, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, the centre’s spokesman.

A draft of the plan currently includes schools, alcohol sales in dine-in restaurants, concerts with seating arrangements, amusement parks and playgrounds, and outdoor sports facilities, he said.

The businesses and activities could resume as early as June 15, or sometime before the end of the month, said Taweesin.

The plan does not yet include nightlife venues or “soapy massage” parlours, he said.

Since early May, Thailand has gradually lifted restrictions on businesses and activities such as shopping malls, public parks, restaurants, gyms and cinemas.

Thailand reported four new coronavirus cases and no new deaths on Wednesday, bringing its total to 3,125 confirmed infections, of which 58 were fatalities.

The new cases were quarantined Thai nationals returning from Madagascar, Pakistan and India, said Taweesin.

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