Clubs and bars to remain closed as schools take precedence

As infection rates continue to stabilise and Thailand begins easing its lockdown measures, Phase 4 will likely see schools reopening again, the Ministry of Public Health said on Monday.

Clubs, bars and entertainment venues will, however, remain closed as concerns over dense gatherings and group activities still stand.

Concerns within education grounds

Smaller-scale schools and young students who are in at-risk areas can see the course easing up even before 1 July, but the ministry stressed the importance of disease control.

There will always be the likelihood of infections spreading inside school grounds and especially at boarding schools which will need more of an intensive consideration. 

However, the biggest concern is currently inside university grounds.

As university students are independent young adults with active social lives, there are concerns about gatherings and parties within the faculty and dormitories, Dr Thanarak explained. 

Young children and kids in schools have fewer opportunities to get infected as they are less concerned with outside activities beyond the school and return home with their parents, he said. 

Bangkok prepares four different learning styles for COVID-19

After a meeting led by Bangkok governor Asawin Kwanmuang on Monday, the Office of Education will prepare four different learning styles for when schools in Bangkok reopen:

  1. Alternating class days for different school grades
  2. Placing students in different grades into odd/even days of the week
  3. Rotating between students’ time periods and classes during each day
  4. The switching of student groups and dividing students into two groups from each class

Each of these styles will be contextual and suitable depending on the size of the school and the different areas. 

The Office of Education will also collect further information and suggestions concerning reopening measures that both parents and authorities can agree on. This will be presented at another meeting on June 8. 

The meeting noted additional considerations for students with special needs, assigning the Bureau of Education in preparing and proposing guidelines for teaching and learning that are suitable for these children.

Entertainment venues and social gatherings still taking a backseat

Many businesses in the industry who were hit hard by the pandemic have been asking the state reopen the sector in mid-June but they will have to wait until schools have successfully reopened, Dr Thanarak, deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department confirmed on Monday.

Dr Thanarak stressed that reopening schools is the bigger priority and will have to come first. 

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