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Thailand to end COVID-19 emergency in bid to jump-start economy

Order had been seen as tool for PM Prayuth to control protesters

A beach in Maya Bay, Thailand. The country hopes to restore tourism revenue for 2023 to around 80% of the 2019 level.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand will lift a COVID-19 state of emergency that has been in place for two and a half years on Sept. 30, as the Southeast Asian nation downgrades the severity of coronavirus to the same category as the flu.

The move comes as the country -- known as a travel hot spot before the pandemic -- attempts to restart a tourism-reliant economy battered by lockdowns and a halt in global travel.

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