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Lights, camera, no action: Thai films banned from shooting love scenes during Covid-19

Industry told not to film fight sequences and another close contact between actors and crews told to wash hands regularly

Thailand’s film industry has been instructed not to shoot any love scenes, fighting or acts that involve close contact, to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

As officials continued to relax lockdown measures across Thailand, production companies were told to adapt their work to comply with social distancing rules.

Under guidance issued by Yupha Thawiwattanakit Bowon, deputy permanent secretary of culture, filmmakers must work in well-ventilated spaces, with no more than 50 crew members present.

Special effects and camera angles can be used to help depict scenes that would usually require intimacy or contact, and all people off-camera must wear a mask.

Other measures to limit the risk of infection include screening actors and crew members on arrival for symptoms of Covid-19, making sure soap is readily available and that sets are cleaned thoroughly. People must remain at least one to two metres apart, Thai PBS reported, and the details of crew must also be recorded in case an infection emerges and individuals need to be traced.

Thailand has eased quarantine measures over recent weeks as the rate of new infections has fallen. On Sunday, department stores were opened for the first time since March, prompting long queues of customers to form outside malls. Large stores, other than supermarkets and pharmacies, had all be shut for almost two months. Restaurants have been allowed to welcome diners again, provided that social distancing measures are in place, and a night-time curfew has been shortened by one hour, so that it now runs from 11 pm to 4 am.

The lockdown measures have helped to reduce daily case numbers, but they have also hit the country’s economy, which contracted at its sharpest pace in eight years in the first quarter. In total, Thailand has recorded 56 deaths, and a total of 3,033 cases.

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