Govt relaxes mask rule in bid to boost tourism in Thailand


THE country has dropped rules requiring people to wear masks as Covid-19 cases fall and the tourism-dependent kingdom seeks to lure back foreign visitors.

Face masks had been compulsory in public since mid-2021, when the country saw a wave of cases driven by the spread of the Delta variant.

But the kingdom is keen to kickstart its stuttering economy and is relaxing Covid-19 restrictions, including discarding most entry requirements from next month.

“Wearing a surgical mask or cloth mask is a voluntary practice,” said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in a royal gazette announcement issued late Thursday.

The health ministry recommends that people continue to wear face masks in crowded or poorly ventilated areas, the statement added, but there was no explicit mention of public transport.

The capital Bangkok’s privately-owned metro service later announced, however, that it would still require travellers using its trains to wear masks. — AFP

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