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Thailand to lift Covid-19 curbs on nightlife from June

BANGKOK — Thailand will allow nightclubs and karaoke bars to resume regular hours starting in June, a senior official said on Friday (May 20), dropping most of its remaining pandemic restrictions as daily infections decline.

A man holds out a menu of a bar as tourists walk along the popular tourist and nightlife strip Khao San Road in Bangkok on Dec 10, 2021.

A man holds out a menu of a bar as tourists walk along the popular tourist and nightlife strip Khao San Road in Bangkok on Dec 10, 2021.

BANGKOK — Thailand will allow nightclubs and karaoke bars to resume regular hours starting in June, a senior official said on Friday (May 20), 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.

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 five to 15 million arrivals this year.

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

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

Starting June 1, Thailand will also drop a requirement for unvaccinated travellers to quarantine. 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 for all of last year. REUTERS  

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Thailand Covid-19 nightlife tourism

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