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Thailand Closes Bangkok Cinemas, Postpones Songkran Holiday in Coronavirus Response

Thailand on Tuesday ordered the closure of cinemas and other entertainment facilities as part of a raft of measures intended to control the spread of the lethal coronavirus outbreak. It also said that the country’s biggest public holiday Songkran will not take place in April.

The cabinet of the national government approved the closure of bars, theaters, massage parlours, universities, public and private schools. But the measures are only for 14 days from March 18-31. And they only affect capital city Bangkok and its immediate surrounding districts. The 70-plus provincial governments have the power to make their own rules. Some have already moved to limit entertainment facilities. Others may choose not to.

“We are closing 22 locations in Bangkok and its surrounding 4 provinces, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samutprakarn and Nakorn Pathom,” SF Cinemas chief management officer, Suvannee Chinchiewchan told Variety. Thailand’s second largest cinema chain, SF operates 63 multiplexes around the country, with a total of 379 screens. “We still waiting for each (provincial) governor to instruct the law. Right now, there are two provinces that are announcing cinema closing, but with different criteria.”

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