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Coronavirus

Video: Bangkok, Hanoi and Yangon are up after coronavirus shutdown

Restaurants and shopping malls reopen, but with a 'new normal' in place

Thailand is one of a number of Southeast Asian countries that will be looking at a "new normal" as the country reopens amid the ebbing coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

BANGKOK/KUALA LUMPUR/HANOI/YANGON -- Thailand, Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia are lifting restrictions on activities imposed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, gradually bringing everyday life back to normal.

Restaurants and other businesses are reopening while schools have resumed classes after temporary closures in some countries.

Traffic congestion, which had been virtually absent for months, is again emerging in big cities.

Commuter motorcycles in Hanoi have returned to main roads while shoppers are beginning to fill Yangon street markets.

But as Singapore and Indonesia remain wary about COVID-19 infections, the situation varies from country to country.

Even in countries that have begun normalizing, how and when borders will reopen is far from clear as the risk of secondary infections looms.

In the meantime, Southeast Asia will be looking at a "new normal" -- one that will be influenced by the lingering effects of the coronavirus.

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