Thailand has recorded more than 3,100 coronavirus cases and 58 deaths – a low toll considering it became the first country outside China to detect an infection, in mid-January.
AFP reports that ahead of Wednesday’s nationwide resumption of classes, authorities recommended that class sizes be restricted to 20-25 students while doorknobs, desks and other areas at risk of spreading infection be sanitised frequently throughout the day.
Student Parichat Klanpumisri said she was not concerned about catching the virus, but reported feeling nervous about meeting up with classmates again after isolating for so long.
“I haven’t met anyone for a long time and the atmosphere of the classroom and internet learning is so different,” the 17-year-old said.
The country’s nightlife will also come back to life Wednesday, with bars, clubs and massage parlours, which are sometimes fronts for brothels, expected to reopen in the evening.
However, authorities have said there should be “no sex trade”, while extremely strict limits on social situations should be observed – such as bar patrons standing a metre apart.
Despite the push for normality in daily life, the kingdom’s cabinet on Tuesday extended its state of emergency for another month.
Authorities insist the emergency laws — which critics say could be used to target political dissent and censor the press – are necessary as they prepare to receive certain travellers such as businesspeople and medical tourists.