Bangkok may reopen cinemas, gyms, spas – but no clubs or nightclubs

Sex workers in Patpong in September 2020. Photo: Coconuts Bangkok
Sex workers in Patpong in September 2020. Photo: Coconuts Bangkok

Update: Health authorities Monday afternoon approved the reopening of preschools, museums, massage joints and more in Bangkok and other hard-hit provinces.

A decision is expected today on whether preschools, museums, massage joints and other businesses in Bangkok and other hard-hit provinces may reopen – though nightclubs and bars were not mentioned.

The COVID-19 task force this afternoon will consider 10 types of businesses, including cinemas, spas, tattoo shops, indoor gyms and museums in Bangkok and 28 other so-called dark red provinces may reopen months after they were shut to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Update: It’s official: Bangkok’s cinemas, gyms, spas reopen Friday

The businesses and activities include:

  1. Pre-school children and young children’s development centers
  2. Libraries
  3. Museums and historical sites
  4. Learning centers, science and cultural centers, arts center
  5. Indoor sports arenas, indoor fitness centers
  6. Manicure salons
  7. Tattoo parlors
  8. Massage parlors, spas
  9. Cinemas
  10. Live music inside restaurants 

There were no nightclubs and bars, which were among the first businesses shut and likely the last to be reopened. Without government support, a number of bars and other venues have closed for good.

The number of daily cases has been sliding since its mid-August peak, and Bangkok once again seems to be turning the page, with people out in large numbers at bars where the sale of alcohol in paper cups is barely concealed.

Although the vaccination rollout has been slow and beset with problems, Thailand has fully vaccinated about 24% of the population. In Bangkok, that is 46.9%.

Health officials today confirmed another 10,288 new COVID-19 infections and 101 deaths. 

Apart from the reopenings, the COVID-19 task force will also mull pushing the start of curfew back to 10pm. It currently runs 9pm to 4am.


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