BANGKOK, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said on Monday that the Grand Palace and several iconic temples including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha reopened for business after two months of closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Both premises, which adjoined one another in the same compound, only saw a few visitors since they reopened on Sunday.
With inbound flights still banned, it is unlikely that the two historical sites will see influx of tourists in the coming weeks.
Thermal scanners have been installed at all entrances to the iconic sites to check visitors' body temperatures.
Only a minimal number of visitors are allowed in at an interval of every 30 minutes.
Other sacred religious sites in Bangkok including the City Pillar Shrine and Chetuphon Temple also reopened to the public.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic will not be the same like before.
"From now on tourism will not be the same. New normal tourism will see social distancing, limited numbers of visitors and reservations before trips to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said the TAT governor. "I would like all tourists to accept this new reality and adapt to the new norms."
However the governor expressed optimism that Thais will adapt to post-COVID-19 tourism practices because they had experiences with past crises like SARS and the tsunami.
Since tourism is the main engine in driving the Thai economy, the government will roll out new measures to stimulate tourism in the low season from July to October, Yuthasak said. Enditem