IS THERE A LIGHT APPEARING AT THE END OF THE COVID-TUNNEL?

The Public Health Ministry is seeking approval from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to allow restaurants to reopen to fully vaccinated diners as new infections have declined in the past few days.

“The Covid-19 situation appears to be improving. Certain restrictions should therefore be lifted,” said Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, on Tuesday.

He made the remarks after Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul met with representatives from nine clusters of businesses that were ordered to close as infections across 29 provinces started to climb.

The ministry will ask the CCSA to consider allowing restaurants to offer dine-in service, with certain restrictions, Dr Kiattiphum said.  For instance, a restaurant would only be allowed fill half of its maximum capacity to enable social distancing, he said.

Other outdoor businesses, as well as fitness and sports clubs, will be next to reopen, he said.  Once reopened, restaurants, shopping malls and other businesses will be required to adopt a “Covid-free” approach in their trade. They will be required to set aside enough space on their premises to allow social distancing and ensure adequate ventilation.  hey must assist their staff to get vaccinated and regularly test them for Covid-19, he said.

The Department of Disease Control is now mapping out the details of the latest Covid-19 restriction easing plan, he said.

Meanwhile, Supanavit Eiamsakulrat, a committee member of the Thai Shopping Centre Association, said the nine business clusters had asked the ministry to consider letting them reopen progressively starting from September 1st.

Dr Chawetsan Namwat, director of the Emergency Health Hazard and Disease Control Division has stated that the pandemic appears to have passed its peak, which means the country can begin moving towards lifting Covid-19 restrictions while still monitoring the situation closely, he said.