Bars and massage parlours closed despite vaccine roll-out in Thailand


Footage shows a one-busy street in Bangkok that is now deserted today (June 12) due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place across the country.

The alleyway on the Sukhumvit Road area of the capital is full of bars and massage parlours but they were forced to close following a third wave of infections that started in April.

Ministers are yet to lift a ban on the majority of businesses in Thailand re-opening, with only shopping malls and restaurants allowed to have members of the public until 9pm each day.

Industry chiefs hope that a vaccine roll-out which started this week will lead to a gradual easing of measures.

Thailand has recorded 193,105 Covid-19 cases and 1,431 deaths as of June 11. Plans to re-open the country to tourists involve ‘sandbox’ quarantine areas where vaccinated visitors can stay while roaming around beaches and bars for 14 days.

However, economists fear that it could be up to five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels. 

Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen. 

Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.