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Malls set to open for longer; curfew to shorten

People rushed back to shopping malls on the first day of business resumption on May 17. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

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A committee evaluating the easing of lockdown measures has proposed extending the opening hours of shopping malls and shortening the curfew period next month, according to a source at Wednesday's National Security Council (NSC) meeting.

The next stage of the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown could happen if the country continues to record low numbers of new cases.

These are among proposals agreed at the meeting and will be forwarded to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) for a decision on Friday.

However, businesses and venues which are at high risk of Covid-19 transmissions, such as boxing stadiums and pubs, will remain closed and will be the last group to be allowed to reopen, the source said.

At the meeting on Wednesday, the committee agreed the current curfew period of 11pm-4am would be shortened by one hour -- from 11pm-3am -- to help market traders who usually work in the early hours, the source said.

The relaxation will also cover hair salons, beauty and massage parlours, the source said, adding that more than 50,000 massage parlours and about 200,000 massage therapists have been affected by the lockdown.

Other businesses and venues that will also be allowed to reopen include cinemas, gyms, zoos, convention and meeting venues, while opening hours of shopping malls will be extended from the current 8pm to 9pm.

The source added the committee could not reach a conclusion on the reopening of schools, and it will raise the matter for discussion at Thursday's meeting.

Entry into the country is still banned, the source added.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the CCSA will meet to consider the proposal on Friday.

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