- Özgür Töre
As Thailand gradually reopened on Sunday, May 17 following the country’s successful control of the COVID-19 outbreak, Bangkok’s flagship malls and department stores, such as Siam Paragon, Emporium and EmQuartier, welcomed their first visitors in almost two months to a shopping experience adapted to the new normal.
Thailand, which back in January recorded the first confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of China, has in the past two weeks seen the daily number of new cases falling to single digits, enabling the country to enter a second phase of relaxation of the lockdown imposed on March 25 th . Thailand, which has received praises from WHO and others for its health system and effective flattening of the curve, registered only 3,028 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 56 fatalities.
“We are most pleased to see Thailand’s success in handling this crisis which enables us to resume operations, but, for us as for our clients, this comes with a strong sense of responsibility and a need to adapt to the new normal,” said Mr. Kriengsak Tantiphipop, CEO of The Emporium and Executive Committee of The Mall Group Co., Ltd.
“ We have implemented measures, including registration, UV sanitisation and touchless payment , which will ensure the safest possible shopping and lifestyle experience to all,” added Ms. Voralak Tulaphorn, Chief Marketing Officer of The Mall Group, which comprises Siam Paragon, Emporium, EmQuartier, and The Mall shopping centers.
The Government has initiated an online platform and mobile application called "Thai Chana" (or “Thailand Wins”) to further strengthen disease control. The system allows shoppers to register to avoid overcrowding and respect social distancing.
The health history of employees was checked before return to work and those in close contact with customers are wearing face masks and face shields, while hand sanitisers are provided to shoppers at all entrances together with temperature checks, Mr Kriengsak said. Guard shields are installed in service areas, and facilities are marked with required social distancing signage and sanitised on a regular basis.