The government’s Covid-19 task force is set to meet on Sunday to discuss the easing of restrictions in Bangkok, a move which may include allowing alcohol in restaurants and re-opening boxing stadiums. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration will review current restrictions and if any are lifted, that is expected to take effect immediately or early next week.
According to a Coconuts report, the CCSA is considering the move based on the decline in new infections over the last week. However, they have not specifically mentioned if the easing of restrictions will apply to bars or other nightlife. Breweries and bar owners have expressed frustration with the ongoing closure, protesting outside the Health Ministry earlier this month. Since January, bars have been closed in the capital, and there is a ban on the sale of alcohol in restaurants, following the resurgence of Covid-19 in December.
The CCSA is also expected to discuss additional quarantine options for foreign arrivals, with an eye on international events such as the Jet Ski World Cup and Jet Ski Pro Tour, which Thailand hopes to host this year. One of the options being considered is “Villa Quarantine”, which would require international visitors to self-isolate in their room for just 5 days, before being allowed out and about around the hotel grounds. Following the 5 days’ self-isolation, they would also be allowed to use spa and sports facilities.
Several people have criticised the proposal, claiming it is an example of government corruption and cronyism. They point to a “Villa Quarantine” pilot project taking place in Phuket, where 70 wealthy foreign arrivals are expected to land on the southern island from Bali on Sunday and be accommodated in the Sri Panwa resort. The resort is owned by loyal government supporter, Vorasit Issara, and part-owned by a government social security agency.
Vorasit, no stranger to controversy himself, claims the wealthy visitors are safe as they travel a lot and therefore undergo frequent testing. To read more about the Sri Panwa Phuket resort and its owner, click HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
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