Mask requirement to be dropped off outdoors, low risk areas

BANGKOK: The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday (June 17) agreed to relax the requirement to wear a face mask, making it purely voluntary outdoors or in low-traffic places.

People wear face masks as they stroll through the popular Chatuchak weekend market. Photo: Apichart Jinakul/Bangkok Post

The CCSA meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, agreed that this and other easing of COVID-19 controls would come into effect when published in the Royal Gazette, the report reported. Bangkok Post.

A spokesperson earlier said the target date for the changes was July 1.

The planned relaxations of COVID-19 controls are:

  • Redesignate the country’s 77 provinces as COVID surveillance green zones. Currently there are 14 green provinces, 46 high security yellow and 17 blue or tourist “sandbox” provinces;
  • Extend the closing hours of nightclubs, pubs, bars, karaoke, bars and similar venues from midnight to 2am; and,
  • Allow people to unmask on a voluntary basis when in low-risk areas, low-traffic areas, or outdoors across the country.

Wearing a face mask will still be compulsory in crowded and poorly ventilated areas such as public transport, markets and concert halls.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the prime minister thanked people for their full cooperation in wearing masks.

However, further cooperation was still needed. General Prayut said most people still wore face masks because they recognized their usefulness, Dr Taweesilp said.

The Director General of the Ministry of Health will provide guidance regarding the relaxation of COVID-19 controls and the effective date of the new measures, the CCSA spokesperson said.

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