The announcement followed concerns aired online after it was announced that the maximum fine for not wearing a mask in public areas was B20,000.
The announcement came during the CCSA press briefing earlier today (Nov 22).
Many foreign visitors were not wearing face masks and gathering in groups, said CCSA spokeswoman Dr Apisamai Srirangson.
Not wearing face masks while in public areas or when joining group activities was a violation of COVID-19 disease control regulations, she said.
Foreigners will be prosecuted if they fail to comply, she added.
Natapanu Nopakun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Information and Deputy Spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, confirmed the same warning in the English-language presentation of the key points from the CCSA meeting yesterday.
“Under the Disease Control Act, you are required to always wear masks while you are in public spaces or while doing activities in groups,” he said.
“There is a maximum B20,000 fine for failing to do so,” he repeated.
However, Dr Apisamai and Mr Natapanu in their presentations made no mention of incrementally increasing fines for repeat offences.
By this afternoon, however, the CCSA posted another notice explaining the incremental fines, as follows:
1st time - not more than B1,000
2nd time - more than B1,000 but not more than B10,000
3rd time onwards - more than B10,000 but not more than B20,000
As The Phuket News noted in a report on Friday (Nov 19), Patong Mayor Chalermsak Maneesri had already expressed concern about foreigners not wearing face masks while in public areas in Patong.
Patong Mayor Chalermsak Maneesri on Friday issued a notice specifically asking foreigners in Patong to wear face masks at all times, not just for Loy Krathong. The notice followed concerns being raised by local residents over tourists arriving under the Test & Go entry requirements not complying with COVID prevention measures.
The Phuket News noted that although it has been months since reports of officials fining people for not wearing face masks while in public, the provincial order remained in effect. The maximum fine in Phuket is B20,000.
The same order is in effect nationwide. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was fined B6,000 in January for not wearing a face mask at a meeting.
PM Prayut later clarified that B20,000 was the maximum fine. Initial fines are to be lower, gradually increasing with repeat offences, he said.