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Massage Spas, Gyms Among Venues to Reopen in Bangkok

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha receives a shoulder massage at Government House on Dec. 17, 2019, during an event to promote traditional Thai massage.

BANGKOK — Starting Friday, a number of business venues including spas and fitness centers will be allowed to open in the capital after closing down for three weeks in a bid to curb the pandemic.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang said on Thursday that up to 13 types of businesses will be covered in the first phase of reopening. 

They include beauty clinics, tattoo parlors, fitness centers and gyms, spas, Thai massage parlors, game arcades, internet game shops, elderly care centers, and Buddhist amulet markets. 

Boxing schools and other sport centers, including skating rinks, bowling alleys, and martial arts schools, can also reopen, but tournaments cannot be held.  

While banquet halls can return to operation, they must seek city permission to hold events with more than 300 people in attendance.

“Soapy massage,” a euphemism for commercial sex venues, will remain closed, along with schools, boxing stadiums, horse race tracks, and nightlife entertainment venues. 

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