Thailand implements new COVID restrictions in popular tourism provinces

 Tuesday, May 4, 2021 


Thailand has implemented new restrictions starting May 1, 2021 in an effort to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus as the recent COVID-19 wave in the country has peaked after setting record numbers of new cases and deaths. The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration has approved a major change that people arriving from abroad must spend 14 days in quarantine regardless of where they are coming from or whether they have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Quarantine periods had recently been shortened to 7-10 days from 14 days to help revive the country’s massive tourist industry. Other new restrictions inside Thailand will be applied depending on how provinces rank on a three-tier system of zones according to their number of new COVID-19 cases. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakarn, the worst affected tiers, restaurants are only allowed to provide takeout service and have been asked close by 9 PM.

All gyms, fitness centers and other indoor sports venues have been closed. No spectators are allowed at sporting competitions and residents are strongly discouraged, though not banned, from traveling outside the zone. Earlier this week, Bangkok city authorities already ordered the closing of more than 30 types of businesses and services including cinemas, parks, zoos, bars, pools and massage parlors. Gatherings of more than 20 people were banned. Shopping malls and department stores are allowed to open but with shorter hours.

In middle-tier provinces, restaurants can stay open until 11 PM but dining is only allowed until 9 PM. In the small number of provinces qualifying for the best tier, restaurants can serve customers inside until 11 PM but in all three zones, serving alcohol is not allowed. Provinces are also allowed to implement further restrictions on their own.  According to spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the new rules will be reviewed after two weeks.

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