US eases Thailand travel alert

WASHINGTON - The United States has eased its travel alert for Thailand after the ruling junta lifted a nighttime curfew.

In updated advice Friday, the State Department just reminded Americans "to be alert to the current political and security environment".

But it said that despite last week's lifting of the nationwide curfew, Thailand remains under martial law, and individuals have been detained for publicly criticising the May 22 military takeover, the junta and the monarchy.

Tourism is important to the country's economy, which is facing new potential strains after the US put Thailand on a human trafficking blacklist.

Junta chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, in vowing to crack down on labour racketeers, said on Friday that the downgrade could have repercussions for trade and investment.

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