Bangkok orders malls, markets closed as 89 new COVID-19 cases reported

Update: Details confirmed by Bangkok governor in early afternoon address and published order.

Starting Sunday, Bangkok’s malls and markets must close except for shops selling necessary consumer goods to slow the spread of the coronavirus, City Hall ordered today, as the number of infections surged in a new single-day high of 89.

“I’d like to ask for everyone’s cooperation in every sector to keep a space of 1-to-2 meters to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading,” Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang said in a live stream address just after 1pm.

Though the governor stated that he was seeking the “cooperation” of venues and business owners, City Hall also issued a written directive framing it as an order.

What’s closed in Bangkok due to the coronavirus outbreak (Updated)

“Department stores and markets can open only for supermarkets and zones that sell consumer goods. The public, please don’t panic and hoard food and goods,” Aswin said. “I ensure that all of you will be able to access all consumer goods during this time of crisis. We’re also asking venues where many people hang out to close … If you see that any venue doesn’t close, you can report directly to me or City Hall, and we’ll consider whether the venue should be closed.”

Restaurants and food courts can only offer take-away with no diners allowed to be seated. Hotel restaurants can only serve food to guests. Supermarkets and drugstores in shopping malls may remain open, while salons and beauty clinics must close as well.

Saturday afternoon live stream address by Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang

A total of 411 infections and one death have been reported in Thailand since January. 

Bars throughout Thonglor, epicenter of infections, skirt shutdown order

On Wednesday, all schools, theaters, massage parlors, sporting arenas and more were ordered closed. Large outbreak clusters have been traced to one event at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium and the Thonglor nightlife district. That order did not keep people from congregating at night markets and shopping malls. Even the massive Chatuchak Weekend Market, which draws tourists from around the world, had remained open this weekend.

Here’s a list of venues now impacted by both orders:

  • Health spas, massage parlors (normal and sex varieties)
  • Movie theaters
  • Bars
  • Brothels
  • Malls
  • Markets
  • Weight-loss centers
  • Gyms, fitness centers
  • Waxing salons
  • Skating rinks
  • Amusement parks, bowling alleys, arcades
  • Internet/gaming cafes
  • Golf courses, driving ranges
  • Public swimming pools
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Day-care centers
  • Buddhist amulet markets
  • Boxing stadiums
  • Cockfighting arenas
  • Meeting and exhibition venues
  • Early childhood development centers
  • All schools including public, post-secondary, universities, colleges, vocational, private international, religious and tutoring schools.
  • Senior centers and retirement homes will be closed to visitors

Correction: Due to a typo, an earlier version of this story misstated the current number of reported infections as 422. It is in fact 411.

Related:

Chatuchak Weekend Market to remain open as Thailand racks up 50 more COVID-19 cases

All schools, bars, theaters, massage parlors and more must close in Bangkok

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