*

upload_article_image

AP PHOTOS: Thailand's reopening is 'same-same but different'

As Thailand’s daily tally of new COVID-19 cases has fallen to single digits most days over the past two weeks, authorities continue to ease restrictions put in place to combat the pandemic.

Previous routines are both familiar and new as Thais return to daily life.

Buddhist monks are in streets at dawn collecting alms, having added face masks to their garb. Businesses such as shopping malls have reopened, checking customers for fevers and dispensing sanitizing gel for their convenient use. Food courts and restaurants serve up their usual spicy delights, but diners must keep their distance from one another.

A police officer measures body temperatures of visitors entering a market area in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. People with body temperature exceeding 37.5 degree Celsius, (99.5 Fahrenheit) or potential symptoms of COVID-19 are typically barred from entering communal areas. (AP PhotoGemunu Amarasinghe)

It’s a case of “same-same but different,” as a saying popular with locals and tourists goes.

Shoppers walk through a disinfectant mist as they enter the Siam Paragon, an upmarket shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Shopping malls in Thailand have introduced new sanitation and safety measures to ensure shoppers' confidence with extra screening, social distancing, location tracking, temperature scanning robots, and disinfecting drones since reopening. (AP Photo Gemunu Amarasinghe)

A mobile robot designed to measure body temperatures and provide live thermal images moves through a corridor of the Siam Paragon, an upmarket shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Shopping malls in Thailand have introduced new sanitation and safety measures to ensure shoppers' confidence with extra screening, social distancing, location tracking, temperature scanning robots, and disinfecting drones since recently reopening. (AP Photo Gemunu Amarasinghe)

A health worker in protective clothing, right, demonstrates how to extract a saliva sample during a sample collection drive at a post office rooftop in Bangkok, Thailand. Thai health workers continue testing on targeted groups for the coronavirus as the daily tally of new cases has fallen to single digits for the past week. (AP PhotoGemunu Amarasinghe)

Passengers wearing face masks stand in close proximity as they ride a canal boat during the evening rush hour in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. When space allows, commuters on public transport typically follow guidelines on physical distancing set to combat the spread of COVID-19. (AP PhotoGemunu Amarasinghe)

Barbers divided by a plastic partitions cut hair in a small shop in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, May 23, 2020. The Thai government continues to ease restrictions on businesses and services in Bangkok that were imposed weeks ago to combat the spread of the coronavirus. (AP PhotoGemunu Amarasinghe)

Police officers on e-scooters ask a man on a park bench to wear his face mask at the Lumpini Park in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, May 18, 2020. Thai parks have reopened with strict implementation of physical distancing and the compulsory use of face masks. Group exercising remains banned. (AP Photo Gemunu Amarasinghe)

People jog past park seats cordoned off to prevent people gathering in groups at Lumpini Park Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, May 18, 2020. Thai parks have reopened with strict implementation of physical distancing and compulsory use of masks. Group exercising remain banned. (AP Photo Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Customers eat in a food court at communal tables divided by plastic partitions in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Bangkok's beloved food hubs come alive as restrictions ease on food vendors. (AP Photo Gemunu Amarasinghe)

A Siberian husky named Maximus swims at the Trail and Tail, a dog wellness center in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 26, 2020. During the current protective measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, training continues but owners are not allowed to congregate or swim with their pets. (AP PhotoGemunu Amarasinghe)

Wearing face shield, mask and gloves, an employee cleans a face mask vending machine at the Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. As part of the country's COVID-19 response, the Thai government requires use of face masks in public. Patrons without face masks are denied entry to shops, restaurants and other venues. (AP PhotoGemunu Amarasinghe)

Ponsawan Thongsawai, 12-years-old, participates in an online class from her bedroom, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Bangkok, Thailand. Some schools in Thailand have started online courses as schools remain closed to combat the spread of COVID-19. (AP PhotoGemunu Amarasinghe)

Resident Buddhist monks of a monastic school, some with protective masks and face shields, are seated staggered as they practice distancing during a Pali language class at the Molilokayaram Educational Institute in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. After weeks of mandatory online learning, in-person instruction recently resumed in residential schools like this one. (AP PhotoGemunu Amarasinghe)