Thailand’s beaches win back some normalcy


People returned to some of Thailand’s famed sandy beaches this week, maintaining adequate social distancing.

The authorities have eased coronavirus restrictions for the first time in more than two months, and tourists were only too happy to take advantage.

Local authorities ordered beachgoers to stay at least a metre apart. Not all beaches were closed during the lockdown, and not all re-opened this week. So, it’s like a slow roll out.

Phuket, in the south, is still off-limits, while Hua Hin remained open throughout. Pattaya, the hotspot, is back in action.

Despite recording the first case of the virus outside epicentre China as early as January, official records show the kingdom escaped the worst of the disease relatively lightly, recording just over 3,000 infections and 57 deaths.

Regardless, the exodus of foreigners and a ban on new arrivals hit the economy hard — particularly as the country is so reliant on tourist dollars in resorts such as Pattaya, the Bangkok Post reported.

Bars and clubs remain shuttered, however, and it is not clear when normal activity will resume.