Thailand ends compulsory mask wearing with immediate effect

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Thailand has ended its mandate for people to wear face masks when out in public.

With immediate effect, the wearing of masks in Thailand will be “on a voluntary basis”, according to a notice published in the Royal Gazette.

However, the notice, which was released on Thursday evening (June 23) recommends people continue to wear masks in “crowded” or “poorly ventilated” areas or in places where social distancing is not possible.

The notice also states that private businesses and public transport operators can insist people continue to wear masks when on their premises.

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Previously, Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) had said the mask mandate would be dropped from July 1.

This is when businesses such as restaurants, malls and supermarkets would no longer need to deploy temperature checks or other signing in procedures for customers.

However, Thursday’s publication in the Royal Gazette means the relaxation of the rules regarding mask wearing is effective immediately.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Health still recommends that the elderly, pregnant women and other people deemed to be at ‘high risk’ continue to wear masks when outdoors.

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