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

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

After two years of mandatory mask-wearing indoors and outdoors, Thailand intends to phase out mandatory mask-wearing by mid-summer, Ministry of Health Secretary Dr. Kiattipum Wongrachit said.

 

At a conference held today at the Diamond Plaza Hotel in Surat Thani in southern Thailand, Kiattipum said the ministry is considering lifting the mandatory mask-wearing as early as mid-June given the ever-improving Covid-19 situation in Thailand.

Even after the mandate is lifted, the MoH recommends - but will not force - the wearing of a mask on three occasions...

  • If you are infected with Covid-19 or are at high risk
  • In an enclosed and poorly ventilated area
  • In crowded places
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Removing masks could make a huge difference to the recovery of Thailand's tourism industry, as vacationers are often deterred from traveling if they think they might get in trouble for not wearing a mask, especially outdoors like beaches.

Thailand introduced the mandatory wearing of masks both indoors and outdoors over two years ago on April 29, 2020, and hasn't looked back since. Previously, refusing to wear a face mask could result in a fine of 20,000 baht.

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

Thailand is following in the footsteps of Indonesia, which last week waived the requirement to wear a mask outdoors. In April, Malaysia also waived mandatory outdoor masks, but wearing a mask indoors and on public transport is still mandatory.