People walk down the Soi Cowboy touristic street after the reopening of bars as restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19 are eased in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday. Photo: AFP
Thailand allowed pubs and bars to reopen on Wednesday and plans to let in some foreign travellers after recording five weeks without any community transmission of the coronavirus, a government official said.
Pubs, bars and karaoke venues will be able to operate until midnight as long as they follow safety guidelines such as ensuring two-meter spaces between tables.
"Alcohol consumption could reduce discipline so there will be close monitoring before customers enter venues," Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesperson for the government's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, told a briefing on Monday.
Foreigners with work permits, residency and families in Thailand will also be able to enter the country, but will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.
Taweesin said foreigners seeking certain types of medical treatment such as some cosmetic surgery or fertility treatment could also be allowed into the country.
Business visitors from Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China could also be exempted from a two-week quarantine period under a fast track entry if they have certificates to show they were free from COVID-19 and were tested upon arrival.
Thailand's aviation regulator said it would allow international flights from July 1 carrying passengers who met the government's conditions.
The ban was first introduced in April.
Thailand has so far reported 3,169 COVID-19 infections, including 58 deaths, while 3,053 patients have recovered.