Thailand reopens shopping malls as lockdown eases

Bangkok, May 17 (efe-epa).- Thailand on Sunday began to relax containment measures against the Covid-19 outbreak with the reopening of its popular shopping malls after a month of closure following days of decline in the number of daily cases.

Moreover, in line with the government’s announcement Friday, gyms, beauty salons, museums, pools convention centers reopened with restrictions on the number of people allowed.

Film shoots will be allowed again, as long as the teams do not exceed 50 people.

Nighttime curfew has also been shortened and will now be in effect from 11 pm to 4 am, instead of starting at 10 pm.

The easing of lockdown measures follows a week of drop in the number of Covid-19 cases detected daily.

Three fresh infections were detected on Sunday and none on Saturday. In total, there are 3,028 cases and 56 deaths in the country.

On the other hand, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand announced late Saturday night that it was extending the ban on the landing of passenger aircraft in the country to Jun.30.

Thailand had declared a state of emergency in late March and a month later extended to May 31.

Thailand was the first country to record a Covid-19 case outside China, where the pandemic originated.

The Southeast Asian country has managed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus compared to other countries. However, the Covid-19 crisis has affected its economy – in which tourism plays an important role.

Official figures say there was a 40 perfect drop in tourism during the first quarter of 2020 in Thailand, and the country expects the next quarter to suffer a further setback.

Popular tourist sites such as the Temple of Dawn or the Grand Palace have remained deserted for weeks and the government is looking to create other sources of income during this time.

According to estimates by the country’s central bank, Thailand’s GDP could contract by 5.3 percent this year because of the economic impact of the coronavirus. EFE-EPA


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