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Contact sports wait for virus all clear

Contact sports wait for virus all clear

THAILAND: Attention is now focusing on when the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will allow contact sports like boxing and football to resume after night entertainment venues opened their doors in the fifth phase of lockdown easing.

FootballBoxing
By Bangkok Post

Friday 3 July 2020, 10:45AM


People in the sporting sector are hoping that contact sports like boxing and football will be allowed to resume at least behind closed doors. Photo: Bangkok Post

People in the sporting sector are hoping that contact sports like boxing and football will be allowed to resume at least behind closed doors. Photo: Bangkok Post

Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday (July 2) the CCSA is looking closely at the situation, adding it hopes the next phase in loosening COVID-19 restrictions will come soon.

With the country continuing to record zero new local transmission cases, all eyes are now on sporting activities which were suspended in March when the COVID-19 situation worsened.

A cluster of infections during an event at a boxing stadium in Bangkok on March 6 was blamed for a surge in coronavirus cases.

People in the sporting sector are hoping that contact sports like boxing and football will be allowed to resume at least behind closed doors.

Mr Anutin, also the public health minister, said the travel bubble scheme will also have to wait, even though measures have been drafted.

Authorities have to assess the COVID-19 situation because schools and entertainment venues have just reopened.

He also warned entertainment outlets to strictly comply with COVID-19 disease control measures following reports that some nightspots did not implement social distancing on the first day of lockdown easing on July 1.

He said operators who fail to adopt health safety regulations and expose the public to COVID-19 infection risks will face stiff action as recommended by the CCSA which includes temporary closure of the outlets.

QSI International School Phuket

Defence forces chief, Pornpipat Benyasri, urged nightspots and customers to adhere to social distancing measures as he led a team of officials on an inspection tour of entertainment venues in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area.

He said the businesses allowed to resume in the fifth phase were “high risk” but if they comply with public health guidelines they can help prevent a second wave of infections and recover their businesses.

Khao San Road, normally a busy night entertainment district, remained quiet on the first day of lockdown relaxation.

Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khao San Business Association and CEO of Buddy Group, said only 30% of businesses reopened on July 1 and the rest were adopting a wait-and-see approach.

“Several are not sure if they can cover costs because foreign tourists aren’t coming back. Some are still concerned about the COVID-19 situation,” he said.

Mr Sanga said business operators on Khao San Road are considering turning the thoroughfare into a walking street to attract more local tourists as they wait for the return of foreign visitors.

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang said yesterday he was satisfied with the implementation of disease control measures in 437 Bangkok Metropolitan Administration-run schools.

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