24 May 2020


Shifting to the New Post-COVID Norm

Life has been dramatically changed thus far in the coronavirus pandemic. From individual health and daily routines to redefined health standards, the world as we first knew it is long gone. Companies are adopting new policies and protocols as they begin to reopen in countries like Thailand to avoid a resurgence of the virus. Some changes are permanent while others are relatively short-lived, yet one thing is true of both: They will both play pivotal roles in defining the new “normal” for Thais’ everyday life. Here are some key things to keep in mind as you transition out of quarantine in Thailand.


Changes to Expect as Thailand Recovers from COVID-19


As the number of coronavirus cases in Thailand continues to fall, the country is working toward a full reopening and gradually lifts restrictions on public activity. On May 17, it was announced by Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin of Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration that Thailand was officially approved to progress into the second phase of reopening. Particularly, businesses that are designated as “green” (meaning they pose a moderate risk to the spread of the virus) are seeing coronavirus-related government mandates relaxed.


Despite these restrictions slowly being lifted, authorities are still encouraging people to remain vigilant. While only 3 cases have been reported between May 22nd and 23rd, it is clear that there are still asymptomatic people walking about freely. Continue social distancing and wearing a mask, even if you believe you are not infected.


Workplaces will be introducing significant changes to their past practices to ensure that both employees and staff alike are protected. Remain aware of the safety standards being introduced to retailers, restaurants, and other places that welcome public gatherings:


  • Shoppers are required to scan a QR code to enter malls and other retail outlets for the government to monitor contact tracing. Individuals will scan upon entrance and exit to reflect the amount of time spent in the mall.
  • Along with these temperature checks, individuals are required to have their temperatures screened before entering public, enclosed locations.
  • All people will be required to wear masks in public spaces.
  • Social distancing measures will remain in effect.
  • Vending machines holding cloth masks are set to be installed at train stations (expected to be 25 baht each)


It may seem contradictory, that restrictions are being lifted while these regulations remain in place. However, the reality is, the way we managed life before was unsustainable. Authorities have eliminated the blind spots in our way of life to keep Thais safe, namely to prevent a second wave of viral infections.


Coping with the New Norm


Social and personal lives have been interrupted, as well. Chulalongkorn and Chiang Mai university researchers discovered that, since the beginning of the lockdown in March, at least 38 suicide attempts were directly related to the lockdown and its consequences (job loss, business closures, etc.). Additionally, more than 20 million people were put out of work and sought government assistance.


It is difficult to say just how people will continue to cope with life following the coronavirus pandemic. The best way to keep yourself safe during this time is to comply with the health and safety measures in place. Stay updated on measures like those listed above and remain encouraged that Thailand is nearing the end of the devastation.



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