Thailand scraps Covid-19 mask requirement

Bangkok, Jun 24 (EFE).- Authorities in Thailand have lifted mandatory mask-wearing Covid-19 rules.

The measure, announced on Thursday night in the official Royal Gazette, is in line with other countries in the region, which has registered a decline in infections in recent weeks.

The reduced severity of Omicron, the dominant strain of coronavirus, has also meant that Thailand can “allow the public to recover normality,” the statement said.

Authorities still recommend wearing face masks in closed and poorly ventilated places, where social distancing is not possible, as well as for the elderly or people with chronic diseases.

Since the early months of the pandemic, wearing a face mask in Thailand was mandatory indoors, while the outdoor requirement was introduced in April 2021.

In the rest of the region, outdoor mask rules have been lifted in countries such as Singapore, Cambodia and Malaysia, although they remain mandatory in the Philippines.

On May 1, Thailand lifted the quarantine requirement for unvaccinated travelers against Covid-19 and on July 1 other restrictions, such as the need to apply online for a special pass to travel to the country, were lifted.

Unvaccinated travelers are still required to present a negative PCR test.

The relaxation of restrictions follows the downward trend of the pandemic in Thailand and aims to boost the economic reopening of the country, whose tourism sector has been hit hard by the health crisis.

One of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, Thailand received some 428,000 foreign tourists last year, down 93.6 % from the nearly seven million who visited in 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The tourism sector accounts for between 12 % and 20 % of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). EFE


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