Thailand News Today | Thailand’s face mask rules to be scrapped soon

Thailand’s face mask rules to be scrapped soon Thailand News Today

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
The 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 infectious 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.
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.

Thai Airways refunds possible, reorganization approved

Thai Airways International’s revised business reorganization plan was approved by
the Central Bankruptcy Court. The plan was submitted last month, and the airline
will now start on a course of financial restructuring. Does this mean everyone
waiting for a refund from the Covid-19 pandemic and before Thailand’s flagship
airline declared bankruptcy will finally get their money back?
It is reported that part of the deal reached on Thursday with the bankruptcy court
was to begin refunding customers who bought tickets before Thai Airways moved
to file for bankruptcy in May of this year. But don’t start your shopping spree yet,
the refunds are expected to be finished by the end of January 2024. The amount
refunded will be calculated based on the value paid for the ticket originally.
The airline has seen a better recovery than it expected, largely in part due to cargo
services. Since Covid restrictions eased and borders reopen, passenger and cargo
traffic has steadily increased, supporting improved financial and operational
performance. Thai Airways now has a cash flow of around 20 billion baht. In
January the airline was carrying just 2,092 passengers per day. But today they’re
averaging 17,554.
The Ministry of Finance and other creditors for the airline have approved the
restructuring plan that the bankruptcy court just gave the green light to. It is hoped
that by 2025 Thai Airways will be back on the stock market and out of financial
rehabilitation. They will hire a financial advisor to nail down a debt-to-equity
conversion recapitalization over the next two years of about 25 billion baht, about
half of the previous goal.
Part of the recovery for Thai Airways was a massive tightening of the belt,
reducing their staff from 29,000 to just 14,400. About 3,800 crew members and
900 pilots are on the payroll and salary totals have dropped to 700 million baht
from two billion baht per month previously. Thailand News Today

Man charged after attacking Thanathorn at the book fair Thailand News Today

A man with a history of mental problems attacked Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit,
leader of the anti-establishment Progressive Movement, on Sunday at a book fair at
the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
He also triggered a commotion after shouting in front of hundreds of people that he
had a bomb.
Police identified the man as Kanespissanuthep Jakkrapobmahadeja, also known as
“K Roi-laan”, who was later charged with causing false public alarm. The suspect
had been involved in a series of similar incidents before, including one in which he
released snakes at the Rajprasong Intersection in February this year.
Thanathorn was doing a book signing event at the annual book fair when
Kanespissanuthep came from behind and threw his arms around his neck while
shouting he was armed with a bomb. The incident sent hundreds of people fleeing
in fright.
Kanespissanuthep, a former real estate businessman, was quickly subdued by
security guards before being taken to Lumpini police station to be charged.
Speaking to reporters later, Thanathorn, leader of the now-dissolved Future
Forward Party, said he suffered some minor bruises on his neck and cheek.
Describing Kanespissanuthep as a “dangerous person”, Thanathorn said he
intended to press charges against him. Thailand News Today

New regulations for CBD in food items

The Public Health Ministry has issued three announcements regulating the use of
cannabidiol (CBD) as an ingredient in food products. The regulation entails the
tightening of CBD use for consumer safety said a deputy government spokeswoman
Traisuree Taisaranakul.
The announcements released under the Food Act were published in the Royal
Gazette on Friday and took effect on Saturday. Ms Traisuree said the government's
policy has been to promote and develop cannabis and hemp as cash crops for
medicinal as well as industrial benefits.
Measures have been devised to control how cannabis and hemp are used.
The first announcement dictates clear labelling of food products containing either
cannabis or hemp, or both. Food products which do not meet the labelling standard
will need to make improvements within two years, Ms Traisuree said.
Specifically, food products sold or offered directly to consumers, such as
condiments must contain no more than 0.0032% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol),
cannabis's chief psychoactive agent, and no more than 0.0028% CBD by food
In other food products, the THC must not exceed 1.6 grammes and CBD is capped
at no more than 1.41 grammes per product item.
Essential details must be printed on product labels, including warnings against
excessive consumption of products mixed with cannabis or hemp.
The second announcement lifts the limit of CBD found in oil extracted from hemp
Under the third announcement, CBD is permissible as a mixture with other health-
safe food ingredients.
The regulations are meant to streamline restrictions governing cannabis and hemp
and add clarity to food labelling and cooking, which will be of benefit to food

Govt set up a complaints hotline about pricey veggies Thailand News Today

Notice an increase in the price of vegetables? So has the government and that is
why a complaints hotline has been set up for consumers to log their gripes.
The Commerce Ministry’s Department of Internal Trade (DIT) yesterday made
known it will monitor increases in the nation’s vegetable prices and promises to
come up with measures to control prices.
DIT Director General Udom Srisomsong said price increases are down to the
recent floods across the kingdom’s many provinces affecting the quality of produce
and transport costs.
“The provincial commercial offices are ordered to keep a closer watch on prices
and aim to provide enough vegetables to consumers at fair prices.
“The DIT plans to distribute more vegetables from provinces unaffected by floods,
such as Songkhla, Phuket, and Saturn, via a central market to provide more
alternatives to consumers.”
Consumers have noticed that home-grown vegetables, such as morning glory,
spring onions, and coriander, have risen to their highest levels in a decade.
A DIT report revealed that coriander is about 140-150 baht per 1 kilogram, an
increase of about 40%, while spring onions have increased from 80 baht to 150-
160 baht per 1 kilogram.
Consumers at Trang’s Ta Klang Market notice that there has been an increase of
10 baht per kilogram on all vegetables, adding some more in-demand
vegetables command even higher prices.
In Nakhon Sawan, the prices of vegetables sold at the Bon Kai Fresh Market have
drastically increased over the past few days.
One market vendor in Nakhon Sawan made known the problem is because of the
floods adding there is less production and transportation costs are higher. It is the
same story in fresh markets in Chaiyaphum’s Muang district and Yala’s Betong.
Thailand saw an increase in the cost of vegetables last month for the Vegetarian
Festival but that is generally expected. Prices generally decrease after the
celebration of all things vegetables.
The DIT revealed customers can complain about vegetable price increases that
they regard as excessive with their provincial commercial offices or call 1569
hotline. Thailand News Today

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