Bangkok’s governor says officials will discuss easing outdoor mask requirement

After the confusing mask policy flip-flop in Phuket, Bangkok’s new governor Chadchart Sittipunt has announced plans to discuss easing mask requirements in Thailand’s capital. Chadchart stated late this week that Bangok Metropolitan Administration will meet with public health and medical departments to discuss the outdoor mask-wearing regulation.

Chadchart did not, however, specify when the meeting will happen. The governor also plans on looking into legally extending closing times for night venues past midnight, the current closing time. He said that having an early closing time seemed to only make things more crowded, and disappointed foreign tourists.

Provincial governors, in the past, have been guided by the decisions of the CCSA and told they can make restrictions greater, but not lower, than the restrictions and guidelines currently in play by the CCSA. As such, provincial governors aren’t permitted to make unilateral decisions to lessen the CCSA’s Covid 19 guidelines, including the requirement to wear face masks in public, a provision under the emergency decree in Thailand that will last until at least the end of July this year.

Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, still says he’s against easing the mask requirement. Anutin claimed earlier this week that Thailand’s Covid infections could soar to 10,000 a day, now that Thailand’s nightlife has ‘officially’ reopened.

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Speaking to AP, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Public Health said venues were at a high risk as “they were loud and people needed to speak louder”.

“Some may remove their masks and get close to one another to speak which could cause an increase in infections.”

Meanwhile, Phuket saw a disappointing change of heart this week as Governor Narong yesterday reversed the island province’s mask-easing order.

Just a day earlier, the governor had relaxed all measures saying healthy people could to take off their face masks while in open-air places, beaches, public parks and stadiums, as part of further easing Covid-19 restrictions. But the next day, Narong insisted people must wear a mask in all public places even if they are practicing social distancing measures.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Bangkok NewsCovid-19 News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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