The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) held a large general meeting this afternoon, January 25th, regarding the relaxation of some Covid-19 control measures, including operating hours of dine-in restaurants and opening educational institutions in many provinces in Thailand.
CCSA spokesperson Apisamai Srirangsanas revealed at the daily press briefing this morning that consideration for an easing of measures will be made as new Covid-19 cases have dropped in several provinces, particularly in Bangkok and the Eastern province such as Chonburi and Trat.
Some major measures to be considered are to ease the dining hours at restaurants from 9:00 PM. to 11:00 PM. as well as to reopen schools, universities, and other educational institutions. All of the measures will be approved by the CCSA meeting today before being officially agreed and announced at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, January 26th.
Kalin Sarasin, the Chairman of the Board of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, told reporters that the Thai Chamber of Commerce also expected that there will be some progress in helping financial liquidity and soft loans for small entrepreneurs as well as the approval of the extending dining-in hours until 11:00 P.M. to resolve business problems.
Additionally, Thanakorn Kuptajit, the Secretary-General of the Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association (TABBA), also urged the government to allow selling alcoholic beverages again if the extension of hours is approved.
The alcohol business nationwide will lose more than 9 billion baht if drinking at restaurants is prohibited until April, the Secretary-General stated. This does not even bring into account if bars and entertainment venues that serve alcohol, like nightclubs, are still closed. TABBA is also pushing for the reopening of these venues in provinces without major cases of the Covid-19 virus.
He added: “Announcing the closure of entertainment venues and prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants in areas, such as Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Chonburi, and Nonthaburi, which have many consumers has directly affected the income of alcohol business and indirectly affected a loss of income towards restaurants.”
Regarding the reopening of educational institutions, the CCSA spokesperson revealed that the CCSA is considering the issue from public and private comments and information being given to the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Education. They are working to find appropriate measures to be implemented in different areas.
“We are monitoring the number of infections in each area closely in order to announce the reopening of educational institutions. If the situation is considered to be under control, the schools will open soon, but this will not be a national order. For example, the green-colored areas may have their schools opened first while schools in the red-zoned provinces may still have to be closed,” she concluded.
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