11 July 2024

Most Thais now prefer to remove their face masks in specific locations, according to a recent survey by the Department of Health Service Support, as Thailand relaxes mask-wearing requirements.

The online survey, which gathered opinions of 7,507 people between June 17th and 30th, revealed that 62.8% prefer to take off their masks in specific places, while 0.9% prefer not to wear them at all. 36.3% still prefer to keep their masks on.

Locations, where they prefer to remove their face masks, include entertainment venues (12.53%), cinemas (10.35%), shopping centres (9.79%), markets (8.95%) and on public transport (8.78%).

The survey results could be of concern, because entertainment venues are at high risk of spreading COVID-19, with large gatherings, close proximity, poor air ventilation and the sharing of drinks.

The department also urged the public to continue to wear face masks when with others, when going to crowded areas or in poorly-ventilated places. Over 60s, those inflicted with non-communicable underlying diseases and pregnant women should wear face masks at all times. Those at risk of infection should test themselves with antigen test kits every 3-5 days, to prevent the possible spread to their friends and family.

From June 23rd, the wearing of face masks outdoors and in public places is no longer mandatory and people are free to choose whether to wear one, according to an announcement published in the Royal Gazette. However, a recent surge in infections has prompted many to continue or resume the practice.

Thailand recorded 2,125 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, 2,501 patients have recovered and 18 patients have died from the disease. 22,341 are being treated in hospitals. Cumulative infections, since January 1st this year, are 2,339,533.