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Cinemas reopen in Thailand - just don’t expect any popcorn


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File photo: REUTERS


Today (Oct 1) marks the first day of the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the 29 ‘dark red zone’ provinces in Thailand.


The easing of restrictions sees a variety of businesses and services reopen including restaurants and indoor fitness centres.


Restaurants are permitted to open until 9pm, with seating for dine-in customers limited to 50% for air-conditioned restaurants and at 75% for the open-air venues. Restaurants are also permitted to host live music performances, however, the sale of alcohol is still prohibited (except in Phuket).


Cinemas or movie theatres are also allowed to reopen but viewers are required to adhere to a series of restrictions.


These include requiring people to wear a face mask at all times, maintain distancing between seats and no food or drink while watching a movie. Cinemas can also only operate at 50% and must be closed by 9pm.


Other restrictions which are eased from October 1 include:


  • Opening hours for convenience stores, fresh markets, and flea markets for food and consumer goods have also been extended for one hour longer or until 21.00 Hrs. All 24-hour shops must close nightly from 21.00-04.00 Hrs.

  • Public libraries and museums of all types, book houses, art galleries, historical sites, ancient monuments, learning centres, science centres for education, science parks, science and cultural centres, and art galleries can open under strict public health measures and limit the number of visitors at 75% of normal capacity.

  • Cinemas can open until 21.00 Hrs. Seating shall be limited at 50% under the distancing approach. During showtime, visitors must wear a mask at all times, while consumption of food and drinks is not allowed.

  • Opening hours for hair and beauty salons, as well as tattoo shops have also been extended to 21.00 Hrs. Tattoo shops’ customers must show proof that they are fully vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19.

  • Health massage shops and health spa shops are allowed to resume operations for all massage services, from previously foot massage only. The duration of service shall be limited to a two-hour session per customer. The opening hours have also been extended to 21.00 Hrs. However, body wrap, sauna, and herbal steam services are still not allowed.

  • Public parks, sports fields, sports complexes, and outdoor swimming pools can extend the opening hours for one more hour until 21.00 Hrs. Meanwhile, air-conditioned fitness centres are allowed to resume operations up until 21.00 Hrs., except for the sauna and steam section.

  • The use of venues or sports fields for competitions must be approved by the Bangkok or Provincial Communicable Disease Control Committee and must be conducted under strict public health measures and limit the number of visitors at 25% of normal capacity. All visitors must show proof that they are fully vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19.

  • Shopping malls, shopping centres, community malls, or similar establishments can also extend normal operations by one hour or until 21.00 Hrs., with limitations on the following venues and services:

    • Schools and tutorial centres can reopen under the permission of the Bangkok or Provincial Communicable Disease Control Committee.

    • Aesthetic clinics, medical clinics for beauty services, cosmetic clinics, manicure and pedicure shops, are allowed to accept customers with an advance appointment. Hair and beauty salons are allowed to accept customers with an advance appointment for a two-hour service per customer.

    • Health massage shops, health spa shops, tattoo shops, cinemas and fitness centres are allowed to open as per the above-mentioned guidelines.

    • Amusement parks, water parks, gaming centres, and banquet and meeting activities are to remain closed.

  • Theatres and playhouses can open for music performances, cultural shows, folk dances, or similar performance up until 21.00 Hrs., and limit the number of audiences to 50% of the normal capacity.

  • Educational institutions of all types, nurseries, and child development centres can reopen in accordance with the rules and regulations by the respective authorities.


Despite the easing of some restrictions, a night time curfew remains in place between 22.00-04.00 and is expected to remain in place until at least Oct 15.


Bars, pubs and nightclubs are also required to remain closed. 


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54 minutes ago, SooKee said:

They seem to have a knack for opening places up while at the same time keeping the user experience as miserable as possible.

I'm over the moon that I can go to restaurant/bar with some music.

Catch 22....no booze. 


Edited by DrJack54
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So a Thai friend is finally back at work today. Works at a flash Gym.

Guessing most members are Thai.

For members to enter the Gym they need show proof full vaccination (2 shots) and recent negative rapid test.

Not questioning the rules, just wondering how busy that gym would be. 

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59 minutes ago, Thujone said:

Sitting in a cinema watching a movie in a face mask!?!


The ones that were open a few months ago here in Samui had stopped showing English language or English subtitled versions of the movies due to the lack of tourists. Only Thai.


I doubt things will change on that score in the near future. Except maybe in Bangkok.

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6 hours ago, JonnyF said:

The Covid czar believes that pleasure is the road to damnation.


He believes that his children (the people of Thailand) exist to work for the benefit of the elites in Thailand, not to have fun.

Worker ants must be kept busy, no time for pleasure seekers.

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28 minutes ago, Henryford said:

What restaurants have live music?

There is no way that you could live in Thailand or even visit and not be aware of eateries with live music.

No I'm not including bars such as Stumble Inn even though it has full kitchen

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