6 June 2024

More than 65% of the respondents to an opinion poll, conducted by Thailand’s National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), said they agree with the proposals to ease the outdoor mask wearing mandate and extend the closing time for nightlife venues to 2 am, instead of midnight.

The poll results released today (Thursday) comes ahead of a sub-committee of the Centre of COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)’s deliberation on the outdoor face mask mandate relaxation later this month, before a recommendation is forwarded to the full CCSA for a decision.

NIDA Poll conducted the survey using random sampling by phone interview of 1,310 people aged 15 and over nationwide in various occupations and of various educational backgrounds and income levels on June 6th, 7th and 8th.

On the subject of face masks outdoors, 65.19% of the respondents said they agree or fully agree with easing the mandate, while 34.81% said they disagree or completely disagree.

On extending the operating hours of pubs and bars from midnight to 2am, 51.3% said they either agree or fully agree, while 48.7% are either against or completely against the idea.

An avid jogger, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt, has proposed the easing of the outdoor face mask mandate in the capital.

NIDA Poll also gauged the level of concern among respondents over the prospect of getting infected with COVID-19.

  • 32.9% said they are not concerned at all because they have been fully inoculated and they are not living in high risk areas.
  • 29% said they are concerned because they have to travel, meet a lot of people and live in high risk areas of infection.
  • 25.27% said they are not concerned because they have taken good care of themselves and do not travel to high risk areas.
  • 12.82% say they are very concerned because of the easy transmissibility of the Omicron variant and because they are only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Thailand has further relaxed COVID-19 restrictions from June 1 by scrapping quarantine for international arrivals, the “Thailand Pass” requirement for Thai citizens, and allowing pubs, bars and other entertainment venues to reopen in a number of provinces.