Nightlife closing times, revised mask requirements and more land border re-openings
Thailand’s Covid taskforce are meeting this week to consider three proposals made from around various Ministries and industry stakeholders. It’s going to be a pivotal week for the CCSA. Announcements are expected by this Friday.
One of them is to remove the requirement to wear face masks in public, although it is widely considered that, even if this concession is made, masks will still be required in some circumstances where crowds gather.
Another proposal is to allow Thailand’s entertainment venues to close at 2am, instead of the official closing time of midnight.
A spokesperson has said that the CCSA will be convening during the week to evaluate the proposals and assess the current Covid situation around Thailand.
On that note there has been a steady trend downwards in regards to Covid cases, despite the public health minister predicting that cases would have zoomed back up to over 10,000 per day at this stage because of the June 1 ‘official’ reopening of Thailand’s nightlife across 30 provinces (the blue and yellow zones). That hasn’t happened.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has been drawing up new guidelines for the wearing of face-masks, especially working out ‘where’ they consider it will be safe to remove them.
Given the trend since April 1 of steadily dropping numbers, whilst at the same time the country has been easing restrictions and removing testing and other restrictions on foreign arrivals, it’s predicted that there will be an easing of some face-mask wearing requirements this week.
Whilst restating the aim of the CCSA is to “help people resume normality as soon as possible” the spokesperson was keen to point out the the situation in Thai night entertainment venues was heading in the right direction.
“We found the situation to be under control after allowing bars, pubs, karaoke joints and massage parlours to reopen since June 1.”
The government is also looking to re-open more of Thailand’s land border checkpoints this week as well.
But the spokesperson also pushed the line that the Thai government is hoping more people will line up for a booster Covid vaccine to maintain the rate of hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 as low as possible.
However there has been less chatter about the Thailand Pass, the digital online gateway for all foreign visitors to enter Thailand at this time. Whilst the government continues to demand foreign travellers have a US$10,000 health insurance package as a condition of entry, it is likely that the Thailand Pass will remain. The Thailand Pass also requires vaccinated travellers to upload their Covid vaccination information at this time.
Decisions about face masks, more border checkpoint re-openings, the future of the Thailand Pass, and any changes to the closing times of Thailand’s venues, will be made on or before Friday this week.
Thailand’s daily PCR-tested and confirmed Covid infections have dropped dramatically since April 1 when the Covid Omicron spike hit its peak at over 28,000 cases. Case number have been below 3,185 for 10 days now. Sunday’s report registered 2,474 new infections and 20 Covid-related deaths.
The steep drop in new infections, and lack of new spikes since restrictions have been eased in recent months, should give the CCSA confidence to make the next raft of concessions this week.
If you want to travel to Thailand, apply for the Thailand Pass with the 24-hour service and obtain Covid Insurance (including free SIM cards).
Note: Unvaccinated travellers require a negative RT-PCR test result 72 hours before travelling.
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