Wearing face masks is now voluntary in Thailand
From Thursday June 23, 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 yesterday.
The relaxation is in line with the improvement in the COVID-19 situation, which has seen the number of new infections, severe cases and fatalities steadily decline in recent weeks, enabling people to resume a life close to normal.
Although mask wearing is voluntary, the Ministry of Public Health recommends that people consider the benefits of wearing them, which can reduce the risks of contracting COVID-19 or other respiratory diseases when they are in a crowded venue, where air circulation is poor or where social distancing is not possible.
For people over 60, pregnant women and people with underlying diseases, the Ministry of Public Health has recommended that they wear a face mask when they are with other people, to reduce the risk of infection or of infecting other people, if they are infected.
Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry has been instructed to launch a campaign to educate people about how they should behave to stay safe, as the country is transitioning to the post-pandemic era.
Although the wearing of face masks outdoors was introduced in 2020, it was mandated in April 2021, when the country was hit by a new surge in COVID-19 cases.
Thailand’s COVID-19 cases and fatalities have been on the decline in the past few months, prompting relaxation in restrictions such as the recent reopening of pubs and bars and the revocation of the “Thailand Pass” requirement for international arrivals effective July 1.