Officials began cleaning up booths at the two border checkpoints in Tak province on Sunday as the country prepares to fully reopen now that the Covid-19 situation is improving.
The two checkpoints are expected to reopen by Thursday, officials say.
The booths being cleaned on Sunday were at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy checkpoint at the foot of the first Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Rim Moei village and at the foot of the second Friendship Bridge in Ban Wang Takian Tai village. Both villages are in tambon Thai Sai Luad in Tak’s Mae Sot district.
Border officials said they were coordinating with their peers in Myanmar and were waiting for a response from officials across the Myawaddy border.
The two checkpoints have been closed since March 23, 2020, as a measure to prevent the influx of Covid-19 infections.
Workers said cleaning the booth near the first Thailand-Myanmar Friendship bridge took time because it was littered with bird droppings, tree branches and leaves.
Meanwhile, shop owners nearby were excited at the sight of the cleaning activity and told reporters that they hoped the border reopening would boost their business. They said they have been suffering financial difficulties since the border was shuttered.
“I’m so excited to hear the checkpoint will finally reopen. It’s been very tough for us,” said Phakakrong Arjimrai, who owns a variety shop selling items at 20 baht a piece. “I’m glad the government is reopening the border. I’ve had to shoulder the high rent with no sales at all for two years.”
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK