FRIDAY, March 01, 2024

Schools, spas, pubs, may be allowed to reopen in 5th phase of easing

Schools, spas, pubs, may be allowed to reopen in 5th phase of easing

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has come up with a draft for the fifth phase of measure relaxation, CCSA spokesperson Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said on Wednesday (June 24).

He said under this phase, all high-risk businesses and educational institutions will be allowed to reopen, provided they strictly follow the Public Health Ministry’s guidelines to prevent infections.

The new draft will be announced on Monday (June 29), he said, adding that more police officers will also be sent out on patrols to see that the ThaiChana platform is widely used to check in and out of venues.
Once the fifth phase is launched, shopping malls, schools and education institutes will be able to operate as normal, though bars and entertainment venues will only be allowed to reopen if the operators hold a valid licence. Also, pubs or bars can only serve alcoholic beverages during two periods: 11am-2pm and 5pm to midnight. All bars, pubs and entertainment venues are required to close before midnight.

All night venues are required to ensure seating is kept a metre apart, each table is at least two metres away or separated by a 1.5m-high partition, patrons are not allowed to share tables with strangers, servers must wear a mask at all times, frequently touched areas, including toilets, are frequently cleaned, smoking areas are clearly marked and the venues are properly ventilated. It is also necessary for each business to register with ThaiChana before opening.

Entertainment venues are not allowed to launch any promotions that may trigger crowds, and required to screen each customer, provide hand-sanitising gel, limit customers to five per table, not serve alcoholic beverages in shared containers as well as install CCTV and not delete recordings for a month so verified officers can check. No singing and dancing is allowed either.

For internet cafes and gaming centres, the operator and CCSA have agreed on some terms, namely dividing customers into three groups:

• Those younger than 15 can use the service from 2pm to 8pm from Monday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
• Those aged between 15 and 18 can use the service from 2pm to 10pm on weekdays and 10am to 10pm on weekends.
• Those aged above 18 can use the service at any time.

Users and operators of internet cafes and gaming centres are required to provide a 4-square-metre area for each customer and ensure they check in via the ThaiChana platform. Users will be allowed to stay for no more than two hours, which will include 15 minutes for cleaning. Operators are also required to install CCTVs and must save a month’s recording.

Lastly, massage parlours and spas holding valid licences will be allowed to reopen, though all customers have to check in using the ThaiChana platform and are required to wear a mask at all times, except in a bath.

Spas and massage parlours are required to limit the number of customers and get masseurs and other employees frequently checked.

Dr Taweesin added that the draft may be adjusted in line with the global virus situation before it is announced on Monday.