Vietnam, Thailand easing Covid restrictions

In Vietnam, strict coronavirus measures are being eased. Ho Chi Minh city's months-long lockdown ended on October 1. This comes as infections continue to spread. About 4,300 cases were confirmed on Thursday.

People in Ho Chi Minh can now leave their homes. They will also be allowed to attend social activities if they have been vaccinated. Lockdowns have been imposed since July on southern provinces, including Ho Chi Minh.

The government is easing the restrictions to revive an economy that has been suffering under the lengthy lockdowns.

Meanwhile, some businesses in Thailand resumed operations on Friday. Movie theaters and fitness gyms in Bangkok reopened after being closed since April.
Cinemas will be limited to 50 percent capacity as a precaution.

Authorities are lifting restrictions, including shortening curfew hours and allowing more people to gather.
Thailand has been reporting about 10,000 cases a day. This is seen as downward trend.

Thailand has also shortened the quarantine period to seven days for vaccinated international arrivals. The government aims to reopen more provinces, including Bangkok, to vaccinated overseas tourists as early as November.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday the country's international border will reopen in November. Morrison said vaccinated Australians will be allowed to travel overseas and return home as the country is expected to reach its 80 percent vaccination target by next month.