Markets, parks and some stores to reopen starting Sunday, but alcohol sales have been banned

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Six types of business and activities will be allowed to restart on May 3 (Sunday) when lockdown restrictions are eased, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said on Thursday (April 30). Meanwhile, the state of emergency will remain for another month until May 31. 

Strict hygiene standards must be maintained, including frequent hand washing, masks and social distancing, CCSA said. Governors could tighten the measures if the situation in their province worsens. 

The following six businesses and activities are allowed to restart on Sunday: 

  1. Markets. (Fresh markets, buoyant markets, community markets, walking streets, and street vendor operations.))
  2. Food stores outside malls, including drink shops, ice cream shops, and street food sellers.
  3. Retail businesses including department stores, small restaurants (social distancing must be applied to sit-in customers), carts, vendors and telecom shops.
  4. Sports and recreation areas including parks – except for team and competitive sports, which remain prohibited.
  5. Beauty parlors (but only for cut, wash, and hair drying).
  6. Pet salons and pet nursery school.

Taweesin added that the lockdown was being eased as a result of cooperation from all sectors, but the government will assess the situation every 14 days. If the rate of Covid-19 infections rises, the government will reapply the strict lockdown measures. 

Meanwhile, the ban on the sale of alcohol has been extended for another month, till May 31. 

Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai, permanent secretary for health, warned that lifting state quarantine measures would result in another 10,000 cases of Covid-19. Meanwhile, an extra 20-30 new cases are forecast after restrictions are relaxed on Sunday. 

Kalin Sarasin, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, added that clothes shops would also be allowed to open from Sunday under the same social distancing restrictions.