Back to business with Thai nightlife

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 30 Jun 2020

Thailand's nightlife restarts - with some restrictions - this week as part of a return to normalcy as the country prepares to greet business travelers and medical tourists after a ban on foreign arrivals.

Thailand has 3,169 cases and 58 deaths from the coronavirus - a low toll considering that in mid-January it was the first country outside China to register a case.

But the tourism-reliant economy has been hit hard by the border closures, while a halt to its infamous nightlife has left informal workers - in bars, massage parlors and karaoke lounges - adrift.

Beginning tomorrow, bars, clubs and karaoke lounges can reopen but must adhere to midnight closing and have distancing measures. Massage parlors and teahouses - sometimes fronts for brothels - must register customers using a government tracking app.

Staff will be tested for Covid-19 from time to time and any sex trade is forbidden.

Business travelers from Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China, including Hong Kong, will also be allowed in - provided they pay for quarantine in hotels. But regular tourists remain barred.

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