Nine out of 10 Thais vow to keep masks on after mandate scrapped


An overwhelming majority of Thais say they will continue wearing face masks after mandatory face-covering is scrapped next month.

The government has announced that from July 1, it will no longer be mandatory to wear a face mask in public.

However, 93.3 per cent of Thais said they will continue wearing masks in public places, according to a recent Department of Health survey.

Only 6.7 per cent of those surveyed said they would stop covering their faces.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha thanked members of the public for wearing masks in great numbers, which he credited for Thailand’s success in curbing Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases, according to Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin.

The PM suggested mask-wearing should be voluntary, adding that many should continue wearing them to help reduce the risk of infection, Taweesin said on Saturday. Prayut pointed to elderly people and those with chronic diseases who are unvaccinated, as well as Covid-19 patients and others in high-risk groups.

Nine out of 10 Thais vow to keep masks on after mandate scrapped

The CCSA spokesman said masks could be removed outdoors in uncrowded spaces. Mask-wearing is still recommended indoors with people who are not from the same household.

Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul insisted that the move to scrap mandatory mask-wearing did not come from his ministry.

However, Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the ministry’s Department of Health said easing of Covid-19 restrictions across the country meant people could remove their face masks while outdoors and at a safe distance from others.

The elderly, people with chronic diseases and those infected with Covid-19 are still advised to wear masks in public, he added.