11 July 2024

The Ministry of Public Health will consider relaxing the mandatory wearing of face masks in public in some areas, tentatively by the middle of next month, as Thailand moves towards reclassifying COVID-19 as an endemic disease, according to Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Kiattibhoom Vongrachit.

He said, however, that people over 60, those who have underlying diseases and pregnant women will still be strongly advised to wear face masks in public. Wearing masks will also be strongly advised in closed venues which are not adequately ventilated and in venues where many people are gathering, he added.

Dr. Kiattibhoom was in the southern province of Surat Thani yesterday (Tuesday) for a meeting with provincial public health officials to discuss preparations for the reclassification of COVID-19 as an endemic disease in Thailand.

He said that the COVID-19 situation in the country is improving at faster pace than earlier projected, adding that he is confident that the transition timeframe, set for July, is achievable.

As such, he said that provincial health officials must be prepared to cope with the changing situation, as well as convey the message to the people about how to live with COVID-19 safely and build confidence.

Thailand’s COVID-19 cases and deaths have been on a decline over the past month, with 5,013 infections and 33 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.