BANGKOK — Business venues like gyms and massage parlors will reopen on June 1, and the curfew hours will be shortened in response to a low number of coronavirus infections, a government official said Friday.
Gen. Somsak Rungsita, sec-gen of the National Security Council, said the new curfew will last from 11pm to 3am due to the improving situation, though Thailand on Friday saw a double-digit increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases for the second consecutive day.
Venues set to reopen on June 1 include exhibition centers, amulet markets, massage parlors, childcare centers, fitness centers, sport complexes, beauty clinics, bowling alleys, dance halls, water sport centers, performance art and movie theaters, and zoos, Somsak said.
Malls will be allowed to extend their business hours to 9pm. Salons can now perm and dye hairs. Group steaming, bathing, and facial massages will remain banned at spas. A ban on sport competitions will also still be enforced.
All public venues reopening must screen their employee and customer for any symptoms resembling the coronavirus. Their visits must also be logged on the government’s Thai Chana tracking system.
Somsak said the curfew has to remain in place to prevent drinking alcohol in groups, which he attributed as one of the main sources of infection.
Although some news reports say international and rural schools are set to reopen, COVID-19 response center spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin said the agency has not made any decision. All schools were ordered closed until July 1.
He said the Ministry of Education will closely monitor the situation and come up with the date for the new semester later.
Taweesin said 11 new cases of infection were reported in Thailand on Friday.
Most of the new patients are Thai returnees from Kuwait, Taweesin added. They were diagnosed with the coronavirus during their stay at a state quarantine facility.
Thailand has reported 3,076 cumulative infection cases and 57 deaths so far. As of Friday, 74 patients are being treated at hospitals, while 2,945 patients have recovered. The center reported no new fatalities today.