Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Thailand to lift nightlife ban from June

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

Thailand’s nightlife is a major draw for tourists, but most entertainment venues have been closed or faced strict curfews since the pandemic began, forcing some bars to convert to restaurants to stay in business .

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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.

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Thailand has set a target of five to 15 million arrivals this year.

“Entertainment venues, pubs and massage parlors and others can open until midnight after June,” Taweesin Wisanyuthin, a spokesman for the government’s COVID-19 taskforce, told a news conference.

“These businesses should adopt a universal prevention approach … employees should receive a booster dose and have an antigen test every seven days,” Tawisin said.

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

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

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