(Bloomberg) -- Thailand is clearing the way for the reopening of bars and pubs as it lures more vaccinated tourists with quarantine-free entry ahead of the peak holiday season.

Operators should “start gearing up for the opening soon” by vaccinating workers and meeting the Covid safety standards, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the nation’s main virus task force, said after a meeting in Bangkok on Friday. While no date has yet been set for the reopening, the government rescinded an earlier order keeping the bars closed until Jan. 16.

Thailand has held back on easing curbs on nightlife entertainment venues like bars and karaoke parlors after they were found to be the main Covid clusters during the nation’s worst wave of outbreak that began in early April. Patrons will need to show vaccine certificates once bars are open and alcohol may be served only until 11 p.m., Taweesilp said.  

The virus panel, led by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, also approved the use of rapid antigen tests for travelers upon arrival to expedite the entry process and boost the tourism sector, which contributed to a fifth of the Thai economy pre-pandemic. It recommended lifting of nighttime curfew, and extended a nationwide state of emergency through January. 

Thailand is among the more aggressive tourism-reliant nations in Asia to relax entry barriers for inoculated visitors ahead of the year-end and New Year travel period. A decline in infections and an increase in vaccination rates have allowed the government to lift most of the virus containment measures and step up efforts to restore normal economic activities.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.