Thailand could drop its mask mandate by mid-June, says Ministry of Public Health

After two years of compulsory mask-wearing in indoor and outdoor spaces, Thailand aims to drop its mask mandate by mid-June, according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Kiattipoom Wongrachit.

At a conference held today at Diamond Plaza hotel in Surat Thani, southern Thailand, Kiattipoom said the ministry is considering dropping the compulsory mandate as soon as mid-June given Thailand’s continually improving Covid-19 situation.

Even once the mandate is dropped, the MOPH recommends – but will not enforce – wearing a mask in three instances…

  • If you are infected with Covid-19 or you are in a high-risk group
  • In a closed and badly ventilated space
  • In crowded places

Ditching masks could be monumental for the restoration of Thailand’s tourism industry, as holidaymakers can often be deterred from travelling if they think there is a risk they could get in trouble for not wearing a mask, especially in outdoor spaces, such as beaches.

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Thailand introduced compulsory mask-wearing in both indoor and outdoor spaces over two years ago on April 29, 2020 and hasn’t looked back since, until now. Previously, refusing to wear a face mask could land you a 20,000 baht fine.

At the conference, the ministry reiterated that Thailand plans to declare Covid-19 as an endemic disease in the coming months as planned.

Thailand is following in Indonesia’s footsteps, who dropped the requirement to wear a mask in outdoor spaces last week. In April, Malaysia also dropped its outdoor mask mandate, but wearing a mask in indoor spaces and public transport is still mandatory.

SOURCE: Matichon

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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