Thailand lifts curfew after no new Covid-19 cases

Thailand has found no new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in more than two weeks, prompting authorities to experiment with lifting a night curfew, while Phuket reopened its beaches and hotels were preparing to host domestic guests.

Virtually all the new cases of coronavirus infections have been among Thais returning from overseas. Infected returnees are receiving medical treatment, and all those arriving are spending 14 days in quarantine. With many more Thais still preparing to come back to the Kingdom, the government has been working to secure 9,000 rooms at hotels and other facilities for quarantining those returnees.

Meanwhile, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said it expects to initiate the fourth phase of reopening the country next Monday. International schools can resume holding classes providing they incorporate social distancing measures.

Restaurants, hotels, and eateries will be allowed to serve alcohol in the fourth phase. Still, bars, pubs, and karaoke venues will remain closed because public health professionals believe they are too high-risk to reopen at this time.

The authorities are most concerned about preventing a possible second wave of the coronavirus.

CCSA officials said the government would lift the 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. curfew for 15 days on a trial basis, but the Prime Minister could reimpose it if infections start to rise.

In Phuket, the governor opened all the resort island’s beaches last week. However, as international arrivals, except for returnees, won’t restart until July, only local Thais and expats living in the Kingdom have been enjoying the white sands and clear waters.

The CCSA also said the emergency decree issued by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the end of March would remain in effect in case the government needs to take quick actions to respond to a second wave or a renewed rise in infections.

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