The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) this afternoon, August 27th, has approved some easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures in 29 maximum control (dark red) provinces, including Bangkok and Chonburi, effective from September 1st.
Despite the fact that the color-coded zones in all provinces nationwide remain the same, there are a few lifted restrictions approved by the CCSA as well as the partial reopening in some businesses, according to assistant spokesperson Apisamai Srirangsan. These come with strict new rules, however, as explained below. TPN media notes that all the information so far comes from a review of slides and presentations given at today’s press conference by the CCSA. However, this is a developing story and some of this information could be subject to change before September 1st.
Additionally, all measures discussed will need approval from the respective provincial governors and communicable disease control committees. Governors are able to strengthen restrictions if they choose, but cannot loosen them.
Curfew from 9:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. and limited travel restrictions will continue to take place in the dark-red zone provinces. Public transportation will now be allowed to operate again at 75 percent of its capacity. However, the public is still highly encouraged to avoid unnecessary traveling.
Restaurants in outdoor areas with proper ventilation will be able to resume their business at 75 percent of their capacity while indoor restaurants in department stores, shopping malls, or other air-conditioned places will be allowed to resume at 50 percent of their capacity until 8:00 PM. Drinking and selling alcoholic beverages are still strongly prohibited.
Some other businesses and shops in department stores and malls can be opened. Beauty salons are allowed for a haircut with one hour of operation per customer. Massage parlors are allowed for foot massages only. Beauty clinics and institutions are only allowed for selling products.
However, customers at “high-risk venues” in maximum control zones must be fully vaccinated or test negative for Covid-19 via an Antigen Test Kit (ATK) for no more than 7 days. (Or show proof of having been recovered from Covid-19 within 90 days) They must oblige to the so-called “Universal Prevention”, including wearing 2-layer facial masks and socially distancing, to individually elevate safety measures in their daily lives at all times. Staff must also be vaccinated at high-risk venues and test regularly for Covid-19 with rapid antigen test kits. High-risk venues can provide antigen test kits for customers at their venue who can conduct the test on-premise if they choose.
Restaurants were specifically named as “high-risk” for the requirement of vaccination, although other venues like massage shops and mall stores still need further clarification as mixed information has been released. The requirement that customers be vaccinated or pass a negative test is only for “maximum control zones.”
Educational institutions, theaters, bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues, cinemas, theme parks, water parks, fitness centers, swimming pools, spas, bowling, pool, snooker, and convention halls in and out of shopping malls will remain closed until further notice, according to the CCSA.
Gathering limits are raised from 5 people to 25 people, however, gathering around “parties” or drinking is still prohibited in maximum control provinces.
Outdoor and indoor public parks and sports parks with proper ventilation will return to business in September until 8:00 PM., similar to department stores and restaurants. Practicing sports in such places can be conducted without audiences. As for beaches, this is a provincial-level governor decision and residents of provinces with beaches will need to wait for the governor’s orders, expected at a later time, to answer if these places will be able to reopen. Golf should also be clarified when the orders are released.
These restrictions are set to begin easing on September 1st, although the CCSA cautioned that if a business was not able to meet all the standards for reopening yet they would need to partner with their local provincial officials.
TPN media notes that many potential questions remain unanswered by the CCSA and it is hoped that once final orders are released, both at a national and provincial level, it will provide answers to these inquiries. We also suggest touching base with 1337 in Pattaya locally, the city call center, for specific information about your business and if it is able to operate. We will continue to provide accurate information as we get it.
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