Fines of up to 20,000 baht now in place for not wearing a face mask

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Fines for not wearing surgical or cloth masks in public have been made official.

Thai language news site 77kaoded reported that they had been announced in the Government Gazette on Monday.

There are fines for a first offence and for persistent offenders. The webpage of the gazette said this was in the public interest and mask wearing was important in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and its effects.

But it is the leeway that will concern some especially given the propensity of the Thai police to interpret the law and come up with their own level of fines based on what some see as socio-economic or racial factors.

The fines are as follows:

  • 1st offence: 1,000 baht
  • 2nd offence: Anywhere between 1,000 baht and 10,000 baht
  • 3rd offence: Anywhere between 10,000 baht and 20,000 baht.

The media reported that the fines were in line with a decree issued in 2015, Article 34 (6) related to following the instructions of state officials.

In addition to the varying fine structure there is also considerable leeway in where the ban is being enforced and where it is either being ignored or where officials themselves don’t know the rules.

Already the Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was fined 6,000 baht for a first offence for not wearing a mask at a meeting.

While others in Ayutthaya in the early days of a ban there were fined 500 baht

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