COVID-19: Thailand to lift curbs on nightlife from June this year

Reuters
Bangkok, Thailand Updated: May 20, 2022, 07:18 PM(IST)

Starting June 1, Thailand will also drop a requirement for unvaccinated travellers to quarantine. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Thailand's nightlife is a major attraction for tourists, but most entertainment venues have been shuttered or faced a strict curfew since the pandemic began, with some bars forced to convert to restaurants to stay in business

Thailand will allow night clubs and karaoke bars to resume regular hours starting in June, a senior official said on Friday, dropping most of its remaining pandemic restrictions as daily infections decline.

Thailand's nightlife is a major attraction for tourists, but most entertainment venues have been shuttered or faced a strict curfew since the pandemic began, with some bars forced to convert to restaurants to stay in business.

Also read | Thailand drops pre-arrival COVID-19 test for foreign visitors

The government hopes the latest easing of restrictions will help revive the Southeast Asian country's battered tourism sector, a key growth engine that accounted for about 12 per cent of the economy before the pandemic. Thailand is targeting 5 to 15 million arrivals this year.

"Entertainment venues, pubs, and massage parlours and others may open until midnight after June," said Taweesin Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the government's COVID-19 taskforce, told a news conference.

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"These businesses should take a universal prevention approach ... staff must have received booster doses and take antigen tests every seven days," Taweesin added.

Starting June 1, Thailand will also drop a requirement for unvaccinated travellers to quarantine. They will either have to take an test on arrival or show a negative COVID-19 test before departure, he said.

Also read | Thailand bids to avert 'population crisis' as birth rate crashes

From January to mid-May, Thailand received 1.01 million arrivals. There were 427,000 tourists for all of last year.

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