Thailand is going to allow departmental stores, shopping malls, and also other businesses for reopening from Sunday as the new coronavirus or COVID-19 cases fall, the government stated.
Stores selling electronics, furniture and office supplies will be among the businesses allowed to resume operations, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
Thailand easing lockdown restrictions
The global pandemic has forced many countries to impose strict lockdowns. In Thailand, large stores aside from grocery shops and pharmacies have been closed since late March when daily cases surged above 100. "I expect our numbers to remain good so that we can further relax restrictions in the next phases to return to normalcy," Taweesin said.
While easing more restrictions was necessary for domestic economic activity to resume, he said the government remained wary about a potential second wave of cases. "Everyone has to cooperate," he added.
Thailand reported seven new coronavirus cases on Friday, all of which were imported from overseas, while the number of deaths remained unchanged at 56. Other businesses allowed to resume operations on Sunday include nail salons, cosmetics and clothing stores, hotel meeting rooms and convention centres. Libraries, galleries and museums are also set to reopen, Taweesin said.
Taweesin urged Thais to wear masks and practice social distancing
A night-time curfew will also be shortened by one hour, from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. previously. Spas, massage centers and most gyms will remain closed for now, although yoga studios and swimming pools can reopen as long as they practice social distancing. Thailand first relaxed some restrictions on May 3, allowing six types of businesses to reopen, including outdoor markets, barbershops, and pet groomers.
Taweesin urged Thais to wear masks and practice social distancing to prevent a resurgence of the virus that first emerged in China and has killed over 300,000 people globally. Thailand has confirmed a total of 3,025 cases since the coronavirus outbreak started in January and on Wednesday reported zero new daily cases for the first time in two months.
The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times claiming the lives of more than 300,000 people worldwide. The deadly virus outbreak is currently spreading like wildfire and has been described by the WHO as a pandemic.
(With agency inputs)