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Mask up! PM Prayut says Thailand’s mask mandate is still in effect

Caitlin Ashworth

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Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok (2021)

Mask up! Although Thailand is on track to declare Covid-19 as endemic in the next few months, for the time being, the nationwide mask mandate is still in effect. In a press briefing today, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said the mask mandate is not being lifted and there has been no meeting on the subject yet.

There have been reports on discussions by the Public Health Ministry on lifting the mask mandate, starting with public parks. A proposal from the ministry would need to be approved by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration before it is in effect. Prayut says Thai media had their own narrative, and officials are not lifting the mask mandate.

As Thailand prepares to transition into an endemic stage, Prayut says relevant departments have been ordered to closely monitor the Omicron sub-variant BA.2.2, which was recently detected in Thailand. The government is also working on controlling the spread of the virus, especially as the Thai New Year, Songkran, approaches.

Face masks are required in public places in Thailand, and those who do not wear a mask can face fines, which can go up to 20,000 baht for repeated offences.

 

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    Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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