Thai Covid-19 Center says major meeting this Friday will discuss legal reopening of bars and nightlife, mask mandates, Test and Go, Songkran, and more

Bangkok –

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is scheduled to discuss the ease of immigration measures, like Thailand Pass and Test and Go, Songkran, mask mandates, and the reopening of entertainment venues in the upcoming general meeting this Friday, March 18th.

According to the reports of the Government House, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha, as the CCSA director, would participate in the meeting on Friday to update the general Covid-19 situation as well as to discuss and consider the easing of additional measures, including immigration relaxation for tourists, as proposed by the Ministry of Public Health.

The Public Health Ministry would also finalize the plan of the Covid-19 pandemic to an endemic transition on Thursday before introducing it to the CCSA at the meeting. The approval was likely possible as the National Communicable Disease Committee had previously voted in favor of the resolution, according to the Ministry.

Regarding the relaxing measures of legally opening entertainment venues, including pubs, bars, nightclubs, and karaoke lounges, such a proposal was in the process of conclusion and would be discussed with a CCSA sub-panel before proposing to the CCSA this Friday, the report stated. Legally, these venues have been closed since April of 2021, although many are now operating in a “grey” area as temporary restaurants.

The CCSA will also discuss and finalize measures for the upcoming Thai New Year in April, Songkran, Thailand’s biggest holiday. They have already announced there will be no travel restrictions and the holiday will be allowed and Thais will be allowed to travel and visit their families during the five-day holiday in mid-April, which is the single biggest yearly migration of Thai people. Up for discussion, however, will be if “fun” events like the famous water fights, parades, parties, concerts, and street festivals will be allowed.

Finally, Dr. Kiatpoom Wongrachit, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, also said that the CCSA would discuss the gradual easing of the current mask mandate which is technically required in all public areas, even outdoors when alone. He stated the CCSA would likely start with lifting it at places like parks and then go from there, although masks would still be encouraged but not “mandated”. TPN media notes that although there is no “law” around masks, they fall under emergency rules in place in each province as part of Covid-19 control measures and are mandated and fines can be levied against violators. Kiatpoom also mentioned that a proposal was in place to possibly lower required insurance amounts further for visitors from 20,000 USD to 10,000 USD minimum coverage.

TPN notes that all of these items above are only proposals and none are guaranteed to happen or “set in stone.” Additionally, provincial governors can choose to strengthen rules such as bar closures if they choose to do so.

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.