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Started by thaiga, April 24, 2020, 07:19:56 PM

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Wet massage parlours, concert halls, pubs to reopen
The government is considering measures that would allow the resumption of 12 types of businesses and activities - including pubs and concerts, parlours offering soapy massage, and sports competitions.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Thursday that CCSA's business resumption committee had invited operators and organisers to discuss measures needed to control the spread of coronavirus disease.

The committee is headed by the secretary-general of the National Security Council.

"The government will be hearing from the operators what they would do to prevent disease transmission and we will see how we can cooperate," Dr Taweesilp said.

Some of the 12 business/activity types were already allowed to resume partial services. Officials would discuss measures for the resumption of more services at these premises, he said.

He made reference to sports fields, where practice is now allowed. He said they were discussing disease control measures for sports competitions, with hundreds of spectators and other non-players.

The coming relaxation of restrictions would also apply to bigger film crews for large settings, the reopening of classrooms, daily visits to elderly care centres, and national parks.

Dr Taweesilp said measures were also being set down for concert and event halls of more than 20,000 square metres, education-oriented scientific centres, and beaches.

Other business categories included amusement parks, water parks, playgrounds and game shops; meeting rooms for more than 200 participants; pubs, bars and karaoke shops; and bath-sauna-massage parlours, he said.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


The Thai govt's COVID19 task force, the CCSA, is now announcing more lifting of restrictions and re-openings of businesses and activities in what they call "phase 4" out of 4. The state of emergency still remains until June 30.

CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin: These location and businesses (that are allowed to reopen in phase 4) are among the "high-risk" category. The more important it is that the research for a COVID19 vaccine continues.

NO CURFEW anymore - still restrictions to entering Thailand - Locations, activities allowed to be re-opened (starting June 15):

Intl. schools and other non-state educational facilities  - conference, concerts, events in hotels and exhibition halls - serving of alcohol in restaurants, eateries, hotels. -  - daycare facilities and nurseries - museums - TV filming productions (no more than 150 crew members, 50 audience members) - sports venues can hold competitions but without spectators - arcades can open in malls - domestic air travel will be allowed to have 100% passenger capacity again - busses still only 70% of seats - The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is still banning international air passenger arrivals until June 30th.

bars, pubs, karaoke remain CLOSED as COVID19 cases remain low and more restrictions to be lifted. 

credit @SaksithCNA
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Alcohol industry pleads for trial reopening of bars
With 10,000 pubs, bars and entertainment venues nationwide struggling to survive after being shut to control Covid-19, the alcohol industry has asked the government to allow a trial reopening of the entertainment sector.

Pubs, bars and entertainment venues are among the businesses hardest hit by the virus outbreak, having remained shut for the past 75 days. However, the fourth phase of relaxed lockdown restrictions, due to start in the next few days, may allow them to reopen and so avoid closing permanently. Yet the government faces a dilemma, since the entertainment sector is a hotspot of potential contagion, given that customers who drink alcohol are likely to be lax in observing disease control measures such as social distancing.

Thanakorn Kuptajit, president of the Alcohol Beverage Business Association, said the government should relax the restrictions to enable the businesses to survive. He proposes running a trial 'reopening of hotel bars and restaurants' alcohol service, to gauge whether the rest of the sector can safely restart operations.

He expects about half of the country's 10,000 entertainment will shut permanently if they remain locked down for much longer, since they are making zero revenue but still paying rent and wages.

The alcohol business, made up mainly of beer, spirits and wine, is worth around Bt370 billion per year. Since the virus outbreak in February, that revenue has contracted by 40 per cent year on year after on-premises sales fell to zero.

Thanakorn also suggest that the government temporarily allow online distribution of alcohol while venues remained closed.

"Online shopping would help reduce traffic at various pubs and bars and could still be traced. However, under the current law, posting pictures and basic product information of [alcoholic products] is considered as promoting alcohol and therefore illegal. So, we want the state to be lenient about the situation," said Thanakorn.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Six zoos to swing back into action with free visit offer

A girl feeds a giraffe at Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri during a press conference on Friday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

From Monday, six zoos will reopen for visitors free of charge, with 127 national parks also set to open their doors again soon.

Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, told a press briefing that Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri, Chiang Mai Zoo, Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, Songkhla Zoo, Khon Kaen Zoo, Ubon Ratchathani Zoo and the Elephant Nature Park in Surin will reopen on Monday but will not charge an entry fee until June 30.

There will, however, be a 2,000-visitor daily limit over the two entry periods, which are 8am-noon and noon-5pm, to shorten visiting times and reduce overcrowding.

He explained that visitors must now book tickets over the phone or online while, on arrival, they will also have their temperature taken and be asked to check in on the Thai Chana website.

He added that social distancing will be enforced in crowded areas such as ticket booths, shuttle buses and food stalls while hand gel bottles will be placed around the grounds.

In addition, the use of air conditioning will also be limited as a precautionary virus control measure.

Meanwhile, 127 national parks which are mostly forest areas will also reopen but 28 marine parks remain closed as they are in monsoon season.

Mr Varawut said 64 national parks will be completely open while another 63 will not open all areas just yet.

"During the three months that the 155 parks were closed, we can see how nature revived itself. In the new way of tourism, I'd like to ask for cooperation from visitors -- please do not litter. Over the past three months, we didn't see any animals die from eating rubbish. If this happens [an animal dying from eating litter], I will close the park right away."

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thais most want to visit the cinema, airport, flea markets now
Thais most want to go to cinemas, airports, markets and beauty clinics with the fourth phase of lockdown easing now in effect, a survey by Bangkok Poll showed.

Conducted by Bangkok University Research Centre on Saturday, the poll surveyed 1,204 people in all regions, asking them which venues they wanted to visit.

The places they mostly want to visit are cinemas (91 per cent), airports (83.8 per cent), beauty clinics (83 per cent), general markets, flea markets and supermarkets (83 per cent), spas and massage parlours (81.5 per cent), department stores (44.8 per cent) and salons (40 per cent).

When asked which measure they would prefer that the government uses to stimulate tourism from July to October, 51.8 per cent said they would like a cash handout, 24 per cent wanted a tax reduction on restaurant or hotel bills, and 21.2 per cent preferred discount vouchers for use in restaurants and hotels.

Meanwhile, 46.6 per cent want the government to compensate the Songkran holidays at the New Year and 33.3 per cent prefer the compensation in September, a month which has no holidays. Some 20 per cent said they would like to get the compensatory holidays any time during this year.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Khao Yai National Park to reopen on July 1

Khao Yai National Park will open on July 1 with strict "new normal" measures for visitors.

National park chief Narin Pinsakul said every visitor must scan the Thai Chana QR code when entering and have their temperature checked. Everyone will need to wear a mask and those who fail to do so will not be allowed to travel through the area, he warned.

The park has also urged visitors to reduce their driving speed to 60 kilometres per hour for the safety of the animals there.

Attractions such as the Lam Takong Campsite and Pha Kluai Mai will limit visitor numbers each day to 800 and 700, respectively.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


That's 674 steps up to the second level :o

Eiffel Tower to re-open - but you will have to take the stairs

The Eiffel Tower is preparing to welcome back visitors after the COVID-19 lockdown, but they will need to be fit: because of lingering concerns about infection, the elevators will initially be off-limits.

Workers at the Parisian landmark, which looms 324 metres (1,062 feet) over the French capital, were on Wednesday making preparations to re-open on June 25, after three months of shutdown. It has been the site's longest period out of action since World War Two.

Managers said they hoped to get operations fully back to normal later in the summer. In the meantime, a series of safety measures will be in place.

Visitors will not be able to go any higher than the second level of the tower, and until the start of July access will be only via the staircases. The elevators, with their confined space, represent a risk of disease transmission.

There will also be a one-way traffic system in force on the staircases, and all visitors over the age of 11 will be required to wear a face covering.

"To attract people, the most important thing is that security measures are taken, and that's why we're promoting safe distances," said Patrick Branco Ruivo, director of the Eiffel Tower's operating company.

He said that with foreign travel yet to recover from restrictions put in place to slow the pandemic, most of the visitors would in the initial stage be domestic.

"For the French public, this is the moment to come to the Eiffel Tower," said Branco Ruivo.


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Hotels ready for cut-throat price war
Travel subsidy better than no guests at all

Hotels are desperate to cut room rates in the scrum to draw domestic tourists following the state's subsidised tourism packages, hoping to gain any occupancy before the country opens up to foreign travellers.

After provincial orders to close hotel operations in many provinces since April, the vast majority of hotels are restarting their businesses, aiming to attract domestic visitors.

Thirayuth Chirathivat, chief executive of Centara Hotels and Resorts, said the group has reopened 10 hotels in Thailand. The government's domestic tourism stimulus plan is vital to drive the economy, said Mr Thirayuth.

This week the government approved in principle a 22.4-billion-baht tourism stimulus package, including a 40% subsidy on 5 million room nights.

He said hotel operators within driving distance of Bangkok, such as Pattaya, Hua Hin and Rayong, should benefit from the scheme.

To spike tourism outlays even more, Mr Thirayuth encouraged the government to introduce tax cuts on tourism expenditures.

He said after the government eased the lockdown, Centara has seen positive demand on weekends.

The occupancy rate for Centara Grand Mirage in Pattaya, which just opened on June 6, was back at 70-80% last weekend. The rate for the upcoming weekend is set to reach 90%, even though weekdays continue to see a soft 20-30%, said Mr Thirayuth.

He said Centara plans to reopen properties that have the potential to break even or even gain income, meaning an average occupancy rate of 30-40%.

Mr Thirayuth said room rates will certainly drop after the outbreak to increase occupancy, but they have to remain competitive.

Nikhom Jensiriratanakorn, director of Horwath HTL, said an analysis last year found the break-even point for Thai hotels at 47% occupancy with an average daily rate of 3,458 baht.

He said hotels should resume services after facing losses over the last three months. For some provinces, slow bookings are better than remaining closed because the revenue can cushion previous losses, even if some hotels do not reach the break-even point until December, said Mr Nikhom.

Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks, a hospitality consultancy, said a limited number of hotels will have better cash flow from the government support, but the stimulus is not enough to solve the overall problem. A company survey done with Delivering Asia Communications found Bangkokians prefer more natural destinations.

"Thailand cannot rely on domestic tourism alone," he said.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Hua Hin water park to reopen on June 20
Vana Nava water park will reopen on June 20, showcasing itself as the first water park to receive the SHA logo from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) with real-time tracking via RFID technology.  nationthailand.com

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Pubs set to reopen in July
Musicians plead to get back to work

Operators of night entertainment hangouts have welcomed a promise by the business lockdown-easing committee that pubs, bars, karaoke parlours and other entertainment venues will be allowed to reopen in the fifth phase of loosening the Covid-19 restrictions expected in July.

The promise was made during talks on Sunday between Gen Natthaphol Nakpanich, deputy army chief and a deputy chairman of the committee, and nightlife venue operators.

However, it still needs endorsement by a full-fledged meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situaton Adminstration (CCSA) meeting on Friday.

It remains unclear whether the reopening will include wet massage parlours.

Musicians and entertainers made an emotional appeal last Thursday to the government to allow them to get back to work as the long closure had put them in dire financial straits.

Gen Natthaphol said he will recommend at Friday's meeting that they be allowed to get back to work, but stressed the need for proper measures to prevent Covid-19 from rebounding.

"The fifth stage of easing restrictions will take place, with or without the extension of the emergency decree for another month," Gen Natthaphol said.

"If the emergency decree is lifted, all closure orders will automatically end."

The emergency decree will stay in place at least until the end of this month and it can be extended by the centre if authorities remain worried about the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khao San Business Association and CEO of Buddy Group, said all participants at yesterday's meeting were satisfied with the outcome and expected to go back to work on July 1.

Mr Sanga said it was also good news for owners of entertainment venues as it meant their businesses will soon reopen and they will gain some liquidity to stay afloat. This would enable them to pay for their premises and support their staff.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has hit us terribly. We are desperate for the government to ease restrictions. We still have to pay for rent, utilities, accommodation and food for staff. We don't want to abandon our employees," he said.

Nightlife operators have prepared plans to prevent virus transmissions based on the guidelines of the Public Health Ministry, he added.

Mr Sanga said he believed the situation in Thailand is now safe enough for nightspots to reopen as there has not been a single locally transmitted case of Covid-19 for 27 days.

"I think the pandemic is now under control in Thailand.

"We're ready to reopen and willing to follow CCSA's guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. Customers' temperatures will be checked before entry, there will be hand sanitiser on tables and so on," he said.

Mr Sanga also urged the CCSA to allow live music performances at entertainment venues as it would help musicians across Thailand to earn a living.

"There are over 100,000 self-employed musicians who are struggling to survive because they can't work," he said.

"They have no income for three months. If they are still not allowed to work in pubs and restaurants, there should be measures from the government to help relieve their financial burden."

Buppha, who owns a pub in the Khao San area, said she was happy to hear about the easing of the restrictions, though she wanted a clear message on when entertainment businesses will be allowed to reopen and what guidelines they have to follow.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


can we have a licence for the dogs bollocks, luv it - pattaya the family resort ;D

Pattaya beer bars stampede to get restaurant licenses so they can sell booze
There's a run on restaurant licenses in Pattaya as beer bars and pubs scramble to sell alcohol again.

Duangdao Mason, owner of the Dog's Bollocks, a beer bar offering drinks only for the past decade, has decided it's actually a restaurant now and she applied at the Banglamung District office for a restaurant license so she can open the taps again.

Once exclusively a bar, the layout has been renovated into a restaurant.

She's changed the name to Number One June, while also renovating the short-time liaison rooms into a proper guesthouse.

Duangdao said she's cooking up Thai and western food and invited everyone to come to eat ... and drink.

Whether she gets proper licenses – and whether police respect them – is another question. Pattaya police warned pubs holding restaurant licenses that if their primary business is selling alcohol they will be shut down, regardless of what piece of paper they have on the wall.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


I wonder what no.22 was ::)

Pubs, bars may open on July 1 if they follow 22 iron-clad rules
A meeting between the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)'s special taskforce committee and entertainment venue operators resolved that pubs, bars and entertainment venues could be allowed to open from July 1 provided they strictly observe following 22 practices:

• Controlling the number of patrons to ensure the venue does not get congested;

• Checking every customer and staff member's temperature;

• Providing alcohol-based hand sanitising gel at all entrances and other areas as necessary;

• Ensuring groups are no bigger than five;

• Ensuring customers queuing to be seated maintain social distancing;

• Ensuring all tables are at least 2 metres apart or are partitioned;

• Ensuring seats are at least one metre apart;

• Ensuring all venues are properly ventilated;

• Only eating and drinking is allowed;

• Beverages can only be served individually, and shared jugs or ice buckets are prohibited;

• Serving staff are required to wear a mask or face shield at all times;

• Stage or performance area must be partitioned, and audience must be at least 2 metres away from the stage;

• Event comperes or speakers are required to wear a face shield at all times;

• Patrons are not allowed to be loud or walk around the venue if not necessary;

• If the sharing of food or beverages cannot be avoided, everyone at the table must be provided with an individual serving spoon or glass;

• Toilets must be cleaned every 30 to 60 minutes;

• All tables, chairs and frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned regularly;

• No sports matches or competitions that will attract large groups of people are allowed;

• No video gaming or pub games like pool and darts will be allowed;

• Social distancing measures must be observed in smoking areas;

• No service personnel or public relations representatives are allowed to sit with customers.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Nightspots cry foul at curbs list  full article bangkokpost.com
'Distancing' will ruin us, warn operators

Operators of nightlife entertainment venues have cried foul over a set of proposed regulations to be enforced when they reopen, saying many social-distancing rules will threaten their livelihoods.

A total of 22 articles are listed in the draft, which was unveiled on Monday. The draft will be submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday.

The CCSA is set to consider the fifth phase of the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, which includes nightlife venues.

The novel coronavirus outbreak has brought the curtain down on pubs, karaoke outlets, massage parlours and other types of adult entertainment venues since March.

Operators have been hoping to reopen next month.

Musicians and entertainers last week made an emotional appeal to the government to allow them to return to work. They said the closure has been long and the situation has placed them in dire financial straits.

On Sunday, CCSA promised to allow nightlife venues to resume during the fifth phase in July. However, operators have expressed concern over rules that prohibit dancing, mingling and having more than a certain number of customers.

The operators say limiting customers to five per group may keep them from coming.

Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khao San Business Association and CEO of Buddy Group, said the rules for entertainment venues are stricter than the ones imposed on eateries and filming crews.

Due to the economic impact of Covid-19, people tend to cut unnecessary expenses, and spending on nightlife entertainment is at the top of their list, Mr Sanga said.

"We want them to be more flexible, otherwise people will not go out," he said.

He admitted the operators will have no choice but comply with the rules, but they will urge CCSA to revisit the situation and consider relaxing the rules one week after the implementation.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


National parks preparing to welcome tourists

(NNT) - Starting July 1st this year, 127 national parks in Thailand will reopen to visitors under new normal conditions. Tourists, who plan to visit national parks, have to make a reservation in advance via the QueQ mobile application to help prevent congestion.

The QueQ app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices. Before entering and leaving the national parks, visitors are also required to check in and out, on the government's Thai Chana online platform. On June 25, different systems, including QueQ and Thai Chana, will be tested in Khao Yai National Park. The health screening checkpoint will also be put to the test.

Tourists, who have not made an advance reservation via QueQ, can still visit national parks, but officials will allow people who have made an advance reservation, to enter first. If people miss their check-in time, officials will allow walk-in tourists to enter before them.

The national parks are aware of the importance of observing social distancing protocols to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is using different media channels to provide information about tourism in national parks. People can visit the Facebook page of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and the National Park Office for updates and other information.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


More state buses to ply 22 northern routes from Bangkok
he state-run Transport Company will open more routes and add more buses in the northern region in the fourth phase of the easing of lockdown measures.

"The Ministry of Transport has allowed interprovincial public buses to resume their normal routes but they cannot accommodate more than 70 per cent of bus capacity to maintain social distancing," said Manote Saichuto, vice president of bus route operation on Wednesday (June 24). "Therefore, the company will increase the number of buses running on 22 northern routes to be opened in the fourth phase to make sure that no passengers are left behind, while maintaining the Covid-19 preventive measures."

Routes that will open include those that run from Bangkok to Nan, Lampang, Tak, Mae Sot, Mae Sai, Tha Chang, Ban Tha Don, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Kamphaengphet, Uttaradit, Chiang Rai, Phitsanulok, Lamphun, Sawan Kalok, Phichit, Chiang Khong, Chiang Kham, Jom Thong, and Klong Lan.

Passengers can inquire about bus routes and the timetable at Call Centre 1490. Ticket reservation can be made up to seven days in advance at www.transport.co.th, www.busticket.in.th, www.pns-allthai.com, www.thaiticketmajor.com, and 7-Eleven counter service.

"By the end of June, Transport Co will allow up to 90 days ticket reservation to help passengers plan their travel with more flexibility," added Manote.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Sex massage parlors may reopen but must report patrons to gov't
A duller nightlife awaits Bangkok when nightclubs and other venues are allowed to reopen next month – but sex is back on the menu, public health officials said today.

No dancing outside of table areas and no tightly-clad girls pimping beer will greet patrons when pubs, bars and nightclubs reopen in July, the COVID-19 task force announced today, adding that they were relenting and would allow sex massage parlors to reopen after all.

COVID-19 task force spokesman Taweesilp Wisanuyothin said today that no forms of advertising will be allowed inside nightlife venues, including beer brand girls, ostensibly to reduce crowding. Among the raft of restrictive measures, he said employees won't be allowed to sit, sing, or dance with customers, with only five allowed per table.

He added that selling alcohol in shared containers such as jugs, towers and buckets should be avoided and each table must be at least two meters apart or be separated by barriers of at least 1.5 meters. Even more, he said all venues must have CCTV cameras covering all areas of the venue.

In news likely to turn off prospective clients, the spokesman said that sex massage parlors would need to log all visitors with the government's Thailand Wins tracking system. Other rules include frequent cleaning, temperature screening, mask wearing, and social distancing. The last two could only be dropped when, ahem, "bathing."

Given how few venues appear to be zealously enforcing the rules of late, what vigilance to expect for these rules is questionable. Many bars have fully reopened without restrictions in place, and the nightclub rules are unlikely to be enforced outside of high-profile venues.

Taweesilp said all these rules were still in proposal form, with the details to be confirmed after the task force meets Monday. Its Friday meeting was postponed due to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha's commitment to an ASEAN conference.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


'New normal' rules apply at national park
Visitor numbers capped at 5,000

The Khao Yai National Park on Thursday conducted a test run of its reopening under "new normal" measures to ensure its readiness to welcome a limited number of visitors when it resumes operations on July 1.

Several members of the public participated in the trial run.

Forestry officials gathered in front of the park's entrance, rehearsing how they will check visitors' bookings and body temperature to prevent Covid-19 infections.

When operation resumes, visitors are required to first make a reservation via the QueQ mobile app. When they arrive at the park, visitors are expected to check-in using the government's Thai Chana app.

Jongklai Worapongsathorn, deputy chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said the test run went smoothly because those who participated knew how to use Thai Chana's QR code scan function.

Mr Jongklai said if every visitor knew how to use the app, letting them in would take less time.

The app allows government officials to keep track of the number of visitors at specific times.

Wanchai Jaisin, a resident who joined the test run, said the check-in system is easy to use after following information disseminated by forestry officials.

Mr Wanchai added the system will help department officials manage national parks across the kingdom.

Only 5,000 visitors will be allowed in the park during specific periods when it reopens.

According to the department, 400 people have registered to visit Khao Yai National Park from July 4 to 7, part of a long weekend.

"Our long-time dream [before Covid-19] was to limit the number of tourists, which was hard because of our culture," Mr Jongklai said.

"But Covid-19 has brought significant changes, paving the way for us to make it happen."

He said the government's check-in system will help forestry officials reduce the amount of waste produced by park visitors.

Approximately 90% of the World Heritage-inscribed Khao Yai National Park will be open to the 5,000 visitors. The Diew Dai cliff will still be closed until September due to its seasonal recovery period.

Tent services will be limited to 1,500 at the Pha Kluai Mai and Lam Takong areas so visitors adhere to social distancing rules.

Previously, 4,000 tents were allowed in the areas during peak season.

Narin Pinsakul, head of Khao Yai National Park, said the department will work with local traffic police during the long weekend next week. Mr Narin expects a large number of visitors that weekend.

The department previously ordered the closure of all parks across the kingdom for three months due to Covid-19.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has allowed parks to reopen under "new normal" rules such as the need for social distancing.

The move is in line with the department's efforts to limit the number of visitors.

Before the outbreak, approximately 10,000 visitors descended upon national parks during long weekends, congesting traffic and producing tourist waste. Some animals died after ingesting plastic waste discarded by tourists.

Damrus Phoprasit, director of the National Park Office, said the department will consider the possibility of increasing entrance fees at national parks.

He said the department wants to focus on quality over quantity.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Dream World reopens, measures in place to prevent Covid-19  full article nationthailand.com

Dream World theme park has announced it is reopening to the public from Saturday (June 27) after being closed for almost four months under Covid-19 lockdown measures. The park said it would employ measures suggested by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and would comply with the government's order in easing lockdown measures in the fifth phase.

Park visitors must wear face masks at all times and maintain social distancing within the park areas. Entrances will be equipped with thermo-scanners as well as QR code for check-in and check-out using the ThaiChana application, a platform to help trace the spread of Covid-19.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Chiang Mai Night Safari offers free entry from July 1-15  full article  nationthailand.com

Chiang Mai Night Safari is offering free entry to visitors from July 1 to 15 and 50 per cent discount from July 16 to 30 as it reopens after the months-long lockdown. Tewan Liptapanlop, PM's Office Minister, visited the night safari on Friday (June 26) to check whether the zoo was ready to reopen on July 1.

The minister was greeted by the Pinkanakorn Development Agency's acting director, together with safari executives. The minister informed that the restart will be operated with 'new normal' measures, under the campaign called "Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration" to assure visitors of their health safety.

To visit the zoo next month onwards, visitors can book in advance via the website from Saturday (June 27).

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Nightlife makes return
Bars, soapy massages kick off from tomorrow

All night entertainment venues, including soapy massage parlours, will open their doors again on Wednesday as restrictions imposed to curb Covid-19 are further eased in the final phase.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Monday gave the green light for all remaining entertainment facilities to reopen from tomorrow. They include pubs and bars, karaoke bars, and bath-sauna-massage establishments. Health and physical distancing measures and monitoring will be required.

"It was extensively debated," CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said after the full members' meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

All premises that reopen will be required to use the "Thai Chana" platform, created to alert businesses and customers to any Covid-19 outbreak.

From tomorrow, shopping malls, department stores and community malls will be allowed to open until 10pm from the current 9pm.

Other premises allowed to reopen will include schools and educational institutes, while night entertainment venues, pubs, bars, karaoke joints, beer halls and beer gardens will be allowed to open until midnight, with the enforcement of social distancing rules. Customers must use the Thai Chana app to check in and out.

Gaming and internet cafes can reopen 24 hours for customers aged 18 and older. Younger patrons will be allowed in only at specified hours, he said.

Soapy massage parlours customers must use the Thai Chana app when checking in and out. Customers and staff must wear face masks all the time except when taking a bath, he said.

Dr Taweesilp said that the CCSA meeting stressed the need for massage parlours to strictly follow health measures while the meeting issued a stern warning against allowing the sex trade to take place in their premises.

If there are Covid-19 infections at their premises, the owners will face punishment, Dr Taweesilp said.

The decision to open up more businesses, and some travel, was made after more than a month without any new local infections being recorded in Thailand.

Restrictions were earlier lifted on restaurants, schools, malls and many sports activities -- with enforcement of social distancing and body temperature checks.

The meeting on Monday also agreed to extend the use of the emergency decree until the end of July after it was due to expire today. The proposed extension will be submitted for cabinet approval today, Dr Taweesilp said.

The extension was necessary because the country will open up more businesses and permit more travel, and all schools will be reopened tomorrow, he said.

The CCSA also approved provincial governors' requests to reopen nine more border checkpoints, the spokesman said.

Speaking after the meeting, Gen Prayut said that the emergency decree is being kept in force because it has played a key role in bringing the pandemic in the country under control.

The decree combines the power of more than 40 laws so it can deliver quick and efficient responses to the pandemic, the prime minister said while insisting that it was not a measure to silence critics.

According to the prime minister, the reason for allowing the remaining businesses which are in the highest-risk category to reopen is because the government wants to ease the plight of low-income earners who are struggling to make ends meet.

"It's important for Thailand to battle the pandemic and solve economic problems. I have to admit these cannot be fixed quickly. In considering any matters, I always pay heed to public health officials first.

"Some say I exercise my power alone, but I use the power for the sake of integration. I only lay down guidelines and principles and set goals for agencies to take the best course of action," Gen Prayut said.

The CCSA reported seven new coronavirus cases and no new deaths on Monday, taking the total number of infections in Thailand to 3,169 with 58 deaths since January.

All the new cases were Thai nationals in quarantine after recently returning from India and the US. There have been no local transmissions in the kingdom for 35 days.

Sukhum Kanchanapimai, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, said that the latest easing of restrictions may pose a risk of new surges in infections.

The Department of Medical Services found that hospitals in Bangkok have about 200 intensive care beds in both state and private hospitals, though there are more than 1,000 ICU beds nationwide.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Khao Yai Park fully booked
Khao Yai National Park, in Thailand's northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, is fully booked until July 5th as it prepares to reopen on July 1st after three months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chongklai Worapongsakorn, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, told Thai PBS that, since the department launched the online advance booking "QueQ" app on June 25th, about 30,000 people have made advance bookings, with Khao Yai being the most popular destination.

A limit has been set at 5,000 visitors per day for Khao Yai, but advanced bookings are capped at 3,500, with the rest for on-site visitors, he said, adding that loud big bikes and cars will be forbidden from entering the park.

Meanwhile, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said on his Facebook page today that he has sought public opinions about the idea of closing all national parks for about three months a year, to allow the natural environment to regenerate.

He said that he had received many responses in support of the idea.

Many wildlife species, which were rarely seen in the past, have been sighted in several national and marine parks during the three-month lockdown.  At the famous Maya Bay in Krabi province for instance, dozens of black-tipped coral sharks have been seen foraging for food close to the beach, while increasing numbers of sea turtles are reported to have come ashore on Phuket, and several other islands in the Andaman Sea, to lay eggs.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Pattaya fun reopening a damp squib

Hopes that Covid-19 hasn't temporarily crucified Pattaya's entertainment industry were dashed on the evening of July 1 when the stormy heavens opened and created a deathly silence below.  The date had been eagerly awaited after the Thai government allowed bars and clubs to throw off their padlocks, subject to a mere 22 health and safety regulations.  And a 12 midnight closing time for all.

Of course, it's a premature burial.  But, even without the heavy rain, it was obvious that around 80 percent of nitery joints had decided to wait until the tourists returned or until the 22 rules became a manageable handful.  The celebrated and heterosexually-inclined Walking Street was virtually deserted apart from occasional journalists in plastic macs taking photos of the gloom and doom.  Nobody had even turned on the huge street sign over the entrance archway. 

full article  pattayamail.com

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Masks and bikinis as red-light districts reopen with new rules

Women wearing face masks are reflected in a mirror as they dance inside the XXX lounge at in Bangkok's Patpong district after bars and nightclubs were reopened nationwide, on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)

With performers wearing facemasks as well as bikinis, Bangkok's red-light districts reopened on Wednesday after more than three months of shutdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Bars, karaoke venues and massage parlours were in the latest category of businesses allowed to reopen - with conditions - now that Thailand has gone 37 days since recording any local transmission of the virus.

It meant a return to work for some of the hundreds of thousands of people in the nightlife industry who have been struggling to survive.

"I lost all my income," said Bee, a 27-year-old dancer who goes by her stage name at the XXX Lounge in the Patpong district.

"I'm glad that I can come back to work in a job that I'm good at. I'm OK with the mask because it's one of the precautions."

All customers have their temperature taken. They must give a name and telephone number. Inside, everybody must sit at least one metre (yard) apart and two metres from the stage.

British expatriate Michael Theo was among those who questioned the need.

"You can take a BTS (train) in the morning with 200 people on a packed train but then you can come into a bar and still have to sit 2 metres apart," he said.

The government has staggered the reopening of public places over several weeks. Schools also resumed on Wednesday.

Cockfighting and fishfighting venues remain closed.

The coronavirus has killed 58 people out of 3,173 infections, a relatively low number even within the region.

But Thailand's economy is forecast to sink further than any other in Southeast Asia with the number of foreign tourists expected to drop 80% this year.

At the Dream Boy club on Patpong's Soi 1, bare-chested men with faceshields tried to encourage the few passers-by off the street. But many businesses remained shut and there were few customers.

"There are bars all over Bangkok that have been open for 10 to 15 years and now they are closed and they are not coming back," said Christian Henrich, who manages the XXX Lounge.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Competitions in 14 sport disciplines allowed without spectators
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has given the green light to organise 14 sport disciplines behind closed doors and with strict measures to prevent Covid-19.

The decision came after the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) had examined and approved the manuscript on the safety measures for sport competitions proposed by the Sports Authority of Thailand.

"After studying the manuscript thoroughly, the CCSA has allowed sports competitions to be organised without spectators," said Gongsak Yodmani, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand.

The 14 sports are: football, volleyball, basketball, sepak takraw, golf, tennis, cycling, motor racing, badminton, snooker, jet ski, cycling, bowling and boxing.

However, the CCSA insisted that safety measures must be followed strictly by athletes, officials and concerned personnel before, during or after competition. In addition, the CCSA will conduct follow-up assessments continually and will prohibit any sport competition that does not follow the rules.

Several sport events including the LPGA Thailand, MotoGP or the Thailand League football have been either cancelled or suspended due to the outbreak since March.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Boxing is back in Bangkok

The Rajdamnern Boxing Stadium in Bangkok on Wednesday (July 15) reopened for a boxing match for the first time after being shut down in March.

The stadium was in the news after becoming a hot bed of several Covid-19 cluster cases.

Under the new-normal regulations, only 50 spectators were allowed to see each match to prevent overcrowding, and every spectator must pass the thermal scanning checkpoint and wear a face mask. Stadium staff, referee, and seconds must wear both face mask and face shield at all times while boxers are only allowed to take off their masks during the bout.

The match was broadcast via facebook: rajadamnern stadium for fans who could not make it to the stadium.

Photos by Tanachai Pramarnpanich @ nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Doi Inthanon to reopen on August 1    full article  nationthailand.com

The beauty of Chiang Mai's Doi Inthanon National Park will be available to travellers again from August 1 after being closed since Covid-19 hit Thailand early this year.

Kitsiam Khongsatri, who oversees the national park, said on Monday (July 27) that preparations had been made in line with Covid-19 guidelines.

Visitors will first need to register via the QueQ smart phone application, which will help limit the number of arrivals at just 1,250, and everybody will be screened for fever before they enter.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Chiang Mai Night Safari opens in new normal style  thainews.prd.go.th
(NNT) - Chiang Mai Night Safari has adopted a new normal style. All visitors are required to comply strictly with COVID-19 prevention measures.

Mr Anucha Nakasai, Minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office, has inspected Chiang Mai Night Safari, a popular Chiang Mai attraction, after it introduced the new normal style at the beginning of July on reopening. Chiang Mai Night Safari complies with measures to prevent COVID-19 according to the Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration which is aimed at raising standards in the tourism industry, along with sanitary safety assurances.

There is only one entrance and exit. All visitors and staff members are screened. A registration point has been set up for people to scan a QR code using the Thai Chana platform. There is also a waiting area where visitors are required to keep a distance of 1-2 meters from one another. Hand-washing alcohol gel is available all over the area. Everyone is required to adhere to the measures.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Phu Kradueng park finally opens its gates to visitors from Oct 1  nationthailand.com
After being closed to visitors for over six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Phu Kradueng National Park in Loei province will reopen on October 1. The park was out of bounds to visitors from March 25 when a nationwide lockdown was imposed.

The government has been encouraging Thai people to travel to famous tourist attractions during holidays and has even offered incentives. Phu Kradueng is one of the most famous national parks, spread over 217,576 rai (34,800 hectares), with an abundance of flora and fauna attractions.

The geographical diversity of the park includes cliffs, waterfall, field and forest, which draw domestic and international visitors throughout the year.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


(NNT) - The Zoological Park Organization will open its affiliated zoos nationwide on October 1, under the sanitary safety standards for tourists

The Zoological Park Organization has called on visitors to follow the "Zoo New Normal" guidelines and has limited the number of visitors, due to the COVID-19 situation, since June 15. However, due to the country's success in containing COVID-19 and the high tourist demand, six zoos nationwide, operated by the Zoological Park Organization, will fully reopen from October 1 under the sanitary safety standard for tourists. There is a cleaning system, to prevent the spread of the disease among staff members and tourists. There is only one gate and an area for registration is provided. The number of visitors to the zoo is limited each day

On a daily basis, Khao Kheow Open Zoo will allow 3,000 visitors, Chiang Mai Zoo will allow 2,500 visitors, Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo 3,000 visitors, Khon Kaen Zoo 3,000 visitors, Songkhla Zoo 2,000 visitors, and Ubon Ratchathani Zoo will allow 2,000 visitors. Tickets can be booked online on eventpop.me or directly with the zoos.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Luxury Thai Hotels Opening in Pandemic Bet on 5-Star Quarantine
A slew of luxury hotels opening in Thailand amid the Covid-19 pandemic are pinning their hopes on a government plan to lure high-spending tourists, betting those seeking five-star quarantine will help cushion the devastation wrought on the travel industry.

About half-a-dozen luxury hotels that opened in Bangkok during the pandemic, or will open soon, from Four Seasons, Kempinski and Capella are likely to benefit from a new visa aimed at attracting long-stay visitors, high-spenders and medical travelers to put the economy back on a growth track.

While Thailand has weathered the virus outbreak better than most other Southeast Asia nations, it is faced with one of its worst recessions on record because of the loss of tourists, who in 2019 pumped $62 billion into the economy.

Targeting luxury travelers who stay longer and spend more could staunch some of those losses, said Deepak Ohri, chief executive officer of Lebua Hotels & Resorts. "The pandemic has given Thailand the opportunity to hit reset on how the tourism industry will look after Covid-19," he said in an interview.

Starting this month, tourists with the new visa will be allowed into Thailand for the first time since borders closed in late March. They will be required to stay at least 90 days, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine, which can be served in a luxury hotel. After that, they will be free to travel anywhere they want.

"These groups of travelers have the highest potential of increasing money spent on lodging and dining, which can help boost the economy, especially during these difficult pandemic times," said Yuthasak Supasorn, the head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. "We have about 800 to 1,000 Chinese tourists who are ready to travel here on private jets in the first phase of reopening."

Even so, the government, which used to worry about the effects of over-tourism, expects about 1,200 visitors a month to use the new visa, generating about 1.2 billion baht ($38 million) in revenue -- a fraction of the amount spent by mass-market holidaymakers. A majority of Thais don't agree with the plan to open the borders, a survey showed Wednesday.

Read more: The Global Tourism Industry's Losses May Exceed $1.2 Trillion

"It's a good starting initiative to focus on quality instead of quantity, but it won't be enough to make up for the lost revenue," said Somprawin Manprasert, chief economist at Bank of Ayudhya Pcl. "Tax measures aimed at middle- to high-income Thais to promote spending would help inject more money into the economy."

The Capella opened on Oct. 1, making it the latest of several luxury hotels that have entered the market since the pandemic began. Before Covid-19, the hotel was expecting up to 90% of revenue to come from foreign travelers. Next door, The Four Seasons is set to open by year-end. This follows other top-end hotels such as the Rosewood and the Siam Kempinski Sindhorn.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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