Thai Public Health Minister and Prime Minister hopeful Anutin Charnvirakul stated to the press yesterday, September 23rd, 2022, that although Thailand is downgrading Covid-19 to a monitored disease and taking other actions that people should still wear masks.
Thailand has announced that nearly all Covid19 emergency measures, such as the emergency decree and requirement of showing proof of vaccination if asked will be dropped effective from October 1st. Additonally, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration or CCSA will be disbanded and all Covid-19 monitoring and support will be handled by the Ministry of Public Health under Anutin.
The CCSA has been in charge of much of the country’s Covid-19 response and indeed overall direction for the past two and a half years since it was created under the emergency decree in March of 2020.
Anutin, however, did state that despite the removal of these measures and what appears to be a full return to normal that the public would still be encouraged to wear masks. He even said that he was proud of Thais for continuing to choose to mask up unlike many other places, which he did not specifically name or identify, and that he felt Thai people were lovely for continuing to protect themselves and each other. He did not give any specific “off date” for encouragement of wearing masks and also stated that masks helped protect against many other respiratory diseases, according to him.
TPN notes, however, that there is no mandate to wear a mask and it is purely a personal choice. However, there have been reports of some businesses and venues requiring masking which of course a private venue has the right to do so.
Although Thai Nationals have largely accepted and worn masks for the entire pandemic and indeed continue to do so in most of the country, even outside and alone, the issue of masking has often been contentious with foreign tourists and visitors.
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