On Monday, just days after the requirement to wear face masks outdoors was re-imposed in Phuket province, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dramatically ripped off his face mask mid-speech at a tourism event in Phuket, asking the crowd, “Are you ready?”
On June 1, Thailand’s Ministry of Health announced that it was no longer a requirement to wear a mask outdoors in Phuket. People in Phuket could go to the beach, public parks and stadiums mask-free for the first time in years.
Two days later, Phuket governor Narong Woonciew reversed the decision and ordered everyone in Phuket to put their masks back on. Confusing or what?
Just as we had almost forgotten what the bottom half of PM Prayut’s face looked like, he peeled off his face mask mid-speech in Phuket on Monday.
“Are you ready?” asked the unmasked Prime Minister, igniting cheers and applause from the crowd at the Thailand Tourism Congress 2022 held at Beyond Resort Kata Hotel.
PM Prayut went on to describe his national plan for the sustainable development of Thailand’s tourism industry known as “SMILE” – Sustainability, Manpower, Inclusive economy, Localisation and Ecosystems.
Then, PM Prayut put his mask back on and said he couldn’t wait to go swimming in the sea.
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