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Tourist number limitations mulled for tourist spots after reopening



PHOTO: Culture Trip

As the government considers allowing the resumption of more businesses and activities, the Department of Health, under the Ministry of Public Health, is pushing for measures to curb the number of visitors to tourist spots, to prevent a surge in Covid-19 transmission.  The DOH director-general says that even though some restrictions on domestic travel have been relaxed, travellers should adopt “new normal” practices and maintain social distancing and safety precautions, including as wearing masks and regular handwashing wherever they go.

She says that, during the Phase 4 of lockdown easing, it may be necessary to issue measures to curb the number of visitors to tourist attractions, similar to the limits placed on the number of people going into stores at shopping malls.

She stressed that local authorities should come up with measures to control the number of visitors to beaches in their respective provinces to prevent overcrowding, and says tourists and workers in the service industry should also be required to wear masks while on the beaches.

On Wednesday Chon Buri’s Bang Saen Beach was re-opened and was ‘invaded’ by pent-up demand with traffic jams up to 2 hours leading to the main beaches. Authorities promptly closed down the beach and then re-opened them again yesterday.

“Adequate hand sanitisers should also be provided for beachgoers, while toilets and bathrooms at public beaches should be cleaned every 2 hours, and visitors must check in and out at beaches so they can be traced, among other measures.”

The director-general says the department has monitored every phase of relaxation and found that while people continue to wash their hands regularly, they are tending to wear face masks in public less. She also said moviegoers aren’t actually prohibited from eating popcorn and in cinemas, but they are urged to take precautions and wear masks all the time.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said yesterday that some businesses and activities will be allowed to reopen ahead of schedule in the final phase of the relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown, provided they can give proof that they have plans to prevent virus transmission.

Taweesilp says the CCSA has regularly discussed the fourth and final phase of relaxation for businesses and activities that are in the “red” or high-risk category, like pubs and bars.

He quoted PM Prayut Chan-o-cha as saying that any businesses and activities that come up with satisfactory plans to prevent transmission may be permitted to reopen ahead of Phase 4 of relaxation, which will effectively lead to a complete reopening of the country.

The government plans to completely lift the lockdown on all businesses and activities on July 1 nationwide. This includes lifting interprovincial travel restrictions and ending the Emergency Decree and curfew.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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