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Thailand’s military government have lifted the night-time curfew imposed after their military coup three weeks ago, to the relief of World Cup fans and the struggling tourism industry.
“As the situation has improved and there have been no incidents that can lead to violence … and in order to improve tourism, the curfew will be lifted in all remaining provinces,” the ruling military council said in a televised announcement.
The ending of the midnight-4am curfew enforced by the ruling generals’ National Council for Peace and Order will allow Thais to watch football’s showpiece tournament in bars and restaurants without fear of arrest.
The junta has curtailed civil liberties by banning public protests, arresting demonstrators, censoring media and temporarily detaining hundreds of critics for questioning.
But it has also embarked on an extensive public relations campaign emphasising the need to “return happiness” to the people.
On Thursday authorities announced that Thais would be able to watch the whole World Cup on television at home for free, thanks to an intervention by the generals.