[Update-1] Bars to reopen amid falling Covid-19 numbers

Entertainment venues will be allowed to reopen and restaurants to serve alcoholic drinks in all provinces except for Samut Sakhon, the government said on Monday, after the number of new Covid-19 cases showed a sustained drop.

Businesses can resume serving alcohol under the new restrictions from March 1, according to the government. The state of emergency has also been extended by another month to help to limit the spread of Covid.

The announcement by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) came after the country reported fewer than 100 confirmed coronavirus cases per day since February 19.

A new zoning for applying Covid-prevention and restriction measures is now in place.  

As of Monday, the number of provinces within the “under surveillance” areas, where restriction measures are minimal, has been increased to 54 provinces. This leave 14 provinces in the “under high surveillance” areas, eight provinces in the “controlled” areas and only one province, Samut Sakhon, in the “highly controlled and restricted” area.

The eight controlled provinces are Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Samut Songkhram, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathumthani, Tak and Ratchaburi.

Previously, 35 provinces were considered as “under surveillance” areas in the green zone, 17 provinces were “under high surveillance” areas in the yellow zone, 20 provinces were in the “controlled” areas in orange zone, and four provinces were in the “highly controlled” areas in red.

Restriction measures will remain unchanged in Samut Sakhon where most high-risk venues are closed and department stores can only stay open until 9 pm.

For the eight “controlled areas”, entertainment venues such as pubs, bars and karaoke can now reopen and restaurants can now serve alcoholic drinks with live music again but no dancing. However, they only can stay open until 11 pm.

Department stores, schools and finesses centres may now open normally. Sport competitions and races can have spectators but with limits on numbers.

Entertainment venues can reopen and restaurants can serve alcoholic drinks with live music again but no dancing. They can only stay open until midnight.

For the remaining 54 provinces, everything can open as normal but there is still a limitation on the number of audiences at various venues to avoid large crowd.

To maintain Covid-prevention and restriction measures overall, the government has extended the state of emergency for another month until the end of March.

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