Phuket: even “problem foreigners” must mask up or 20k fine

PHOTO: Really... its the law.

Phuket government officials have threatened to strictly enforce the 20,000 baht face mask fine and contact consular officials for foreigners that refuse to mask up. The vice governor of Phuket has issued a stern warning that all people are required to wear face masks in public at all times. As Covid-19’s third wave sweeps the country, and Phuket has begun to require Covid-19 tests on arrival as the local government struggles to try to contain infections.

After an emergency meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at Phuket Provincial Hall, the vice governor reminded the public that the order to wear masks in public was issued in January. He requested that everyone, Thais and foreigners, wear a mask to fully cooperates with the mandate now. The vice governor pointed out that Section 51 of the Communicable Diseases Act stipulates a fine of up to 20,000 baht, and Section 18 of the same act states that mask violators are subject to jail sentences of up to 2 years plus up to 40,000 baht in fines.

He also specifically mentioned the troubling issue of what they labelled “problem foreigners” – those expats and travellers that refuse to wear a mask in public.

“Cooperation between Thais and foreigners is requested to wear a mask because wearing a mask will reduce the transmission of infection from person to person to a great extent. If everyone participates, wearing a mask will help prevent the spread of Covid-19, thus we are asking for special cooperation.”

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The Phuket government made a 2-step plan to deal with “problem foreigners” who protest mask-wearing. The first step is a meeting with all councils in Phuket and province officials to make sure regulations are clear and understood and then have those rules clarified to foreigners in a public campaign to raise awareness. If that gentle approach proves unsuccessful the next step is to begin to prosecute anyone who breaks the mandate and refuses to wear a mask. That includes contacting foreign consulates for foreigners violating the mandate.

Phuket: even "problem foreigners" must mask up or 20k fine | News by Thaiger
DMHTT – The government’s Covid-19 safety campaign

The government has been publicising a campaign of DMHTT (though apparently only in Thai) to stress the safety measures needed to combat the spread of Covid-19. The M stands for Mask-wearing as the vice governor stressed. The 5-point campaign reminds people of the need for:

  • Distancing
  • Mask wearing
  • Hand washing
  • Testing (checking temperature and testing for Covid-19)
  • Thai Chana (the contract tracing app to check in everywhere you go)


SOURCE: The Phuket News

Covid-19 NewsPhuket News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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