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.
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.