Thailand’s face mask rules to be scrapped soon

In two or three weeks, those in Thailand will no longer have to worry about wearing a face mask in most places. According to The Bangkok Post, the Ministry of Public Health will soon cancel such mask-wearing regulations and accompanying fines for breaking such rules. The National Communicable Disease Committee has reportedly already completed a draft announcement that reflects the falling coronavirus risks in the country.

The public health minister must endorse the announcement. Once endorsed, it will be published in the Royal Gazette. Face mask-wearing has been mandatory for the past two years as part of the measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. Under the order, offenders would be fined 6,000 baht with repeat offenders being fined up to 20,000 baht for not wearing masks.

The government also recently cancelled the Emergency Decree on October 1, which has been in effect since the pandemic started. The controversial decree was criticised by many who say it gave the prime minister sweeping powers.

The ministry is also reportedly working on three laws that would provide financial compensation to deal with future outbreaks of communicable diseases. Such laws, however, won’t have retroactive effects. The first law involves compensating residents affected by prevention and control measures. Such compensation would cover medical expenses, damage to assets and income loss, and physical therapy.

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A second law would deem that those who fail to comply with disease control measures would be required to pay compensation to the Department of Disease Control. The last law would see the Budget Bureau allocating 11.5 billion baht to cover risk allowance and hazard pay for health and medical personnel working during the pandemic and allocation of 384 million baht for vaccination campaigns.

Such agencies who seek disbursement are required to do so by the end of this year, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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