Thailand announced on Friday, June 12, that the nationwide curfew and additional restrictions will be lifted as of Monday, June 15, as the country gradually eases measures introduced due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Schools with up to 200 students will be allowed to reopen, alongside playgrounds, amusement parks, and exhibition halls. Sports events without spectators, film productions, and concerts will also be allowed to resume. The country is also planning to create a travel 'bubble' with other countries that have been relatively successful in containing the virus; however, no specific dates were announced for the implementation of such measures.
Cinemas and theatres have been allowed to reopen from Monday, June 1, although a maximum capacity of 200 people and strict social distancing measures remain in place. The reopening of zoos, beauty clinics, spas, and traditional Thai massage parlours has also been permitted, with social distancing measures in place. Sporting facilities were also allowed to reopen. However, fitness clubs must operate at a limited capacity.
Thailand's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Awareness (CCSA) announced on May 22 that the state of emergency has been extended until June 30. This followed the start of the phased lifting of lockdown measures on May 3. The measures may differ between provinces and may also change or be re-imposed at short notice due to changes in the COVID-19 outbreak.
A ban on all international commercial flights into the country is in effect until June 30. Special-status flights are still exempt from the ban; this includes state and military aircraft, emergency landings and technical landings without disembarkation, humanitarian and relief flights, repatriation flights of Thai nationals, and cargo flights. Phuket International Airport (HKT) has been operating repatriation flights and Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) opened for additional flights starting on May 1, as Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion Air resumed some domestic flights. Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) also reopened for domestic flights starting May 1. Passengers arriving will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period and wear face masks while aboard aircraft. No drinks or food will be served during flights.
As of June 12, authorities have confirmed 3129 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 58 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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