Shopping malls will reduce operating hours in 18 high-risk provinces.
After a year of relatively minor outbreaks, Thailand is recording its biggest and fastest spread of COVID-19. The number of cases has increased to 61,699, doubling the number since the start of April. There are 178 fatalities. The Thai government has yet to start mass vaccinations.
New hours will take effect from 2 May
Shopping malls must close by 8pm, supermarkets and foodcourts by 9pm, and convenience stores by 10pm. The changes apply in 18 red zone provinces, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Udon Thani. Entertainment places like bars, pubs, bathing houses, amusement parks are required to stay closed for 14 days. Mask wearing in both indoor and outdoor public places are now compulsory in 42 provinces.
Impact to businesses
Vaccinations are key to Thailand’s reopening to holiday travel. The government has planned for Phuket to open as a test, after 70% its residents has received vaccinations. This will help restart the tourism industry, which contributes to one-fifth of the economy before pandemic. With the new wave of infection and shortened business hours, Thailand’s economic conditions are expected to deteriorate further.
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