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Visitors must still wear masks after COVID becomes endemic: Anutin

Visitors must still wear masks after COVID becomes endemic: Anutin

NONTHABURI: The National Communicable Diseases Committee has started to discuss post-pandemic plans, including requirements for visitors to keep wearing face masks, according to the public health minister.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 12 May 2022, 08:04AM

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Photo: Bangkok Post

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Photo: Bangkok Post

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said after chairing the committee’s meeting at the Public Health Ministry yesterday (May 11) that the panel was considering measures to control COVID-19 after it becomes endemic, reports the Bangkok Post.

New COVID-19 cases were declining in the country and many other countries also planned to make COVID-19 endemic including India, Spain and the United States (California), he said.

New cases and fatalities had dropped faster than expected because of public cooperation and increasing vaccinations, Anutin added.

According to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), there were 17,386 new cases yesterday including 9,736 positive results from antigen tests while fatalities dropped below 100 for the first time since May 1. There were 56 COVID-19 deaths.

“This is the result of the efforts by those who strictly comply with COVID-19 prevention measures and the high ratio of people who have received COVID-19 vaccination,” said Anutin.

Steps were taken during yesterday’s meeting to prepare the redefinition of COVID-19 as endemic and they included the Public Health Ministry lowering its COVID-19 alert from Level 4 to Level 3 and provincial authorities asked to prepare their own action plans.

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The plans would be based on universal protection, universal vaccination and the adequacy of hospital beds, doctors, medical supplies and vaccines. The measures would also cover the operations of entertainment venues, he said.

The Thailand Pass entry registration for arrivals could be lifted because new infections were being found in fewer than 10 visitors a day, he said.

The Department of Disease Control (DDC) would plan measures to urge visitors to wear face masks to help control COVID-19, Anutin said.

The DDC has also been asked to seek effective COVID-19 measures if nightclubs, bars and other night entertainment venues are allowed to reopen.

To proceed to the next step, the ministry consulted with the DDC to seek measures to help such venues resume operations and try to find measures to encourage foreign tourists to wear face masks at all times.

“Right now controlling the disease is not a problem but controlling people’s behaviour is. We still need to encourage people to put on face masks,” Anutin said.

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Ash Ward | 13 May 2022 - 10:08:38

Kurt, thanks for you kind wishes regarding my health. The airlines you mention don't fly out of Australia. I am flying with Singapore Airlines,  masks are required.

maverick | 12 May 2022 - 13:26:18

Can only speak for Emirates and Qatar, both of which require face masks to be worn - I am currently in UK and hard to spot a face mask in London life seems to have moved on and tube is packed again 

Kurt | 12 May 2022 - 13:07:21

Ash Ward, Firstly congratulations with your health recovering! Airlines leaving mask wearing up to you are: Delta, United, Alaska, JetBlue, American, Southwest, Frontier, + a number of EU Airlines. Also a number of International airports skipped the mask wearing obligation. I can imaging you feel for mask wearing.

Kurt | 12 May 2022 - 11:41:58

@Thorfinger, In Thailand is useles law making a job. They talk with wife in weekend about making new one, and start next Monday . Considering why so many previous 'invented laws' are not enforced don't cross their mind. Is not in their job description. It's a dream job, without responsebilities! Like flying land titles, call many Thai laws also flying. Thai shrug their shoulders

Ash Ward | 12 May 2022 - 11:23:23

Sorry Kurt, most international airlines still require masks to be worn on board.  I have just booked my flight back to Phuket, all the airlines i called require masks to be worn. 
Vistors or tourists no wearing masks in Thailand should be fined!

Kurt | 12 May 2022 - 11:07:11

Most international airlines have lifted the face mask obligation on board. Imagine what a 'tourist' thinks after a 12 hour journey in planes without mask, arriving Phuket airport and than must start to wear a mask. No wonder that these foreigners see it as useless, just as a exerting power control. They love to see all these masks on speed violating motorbikes without helmet.

ThorFinger | 12 May 2022 - 10:46:04

JohnC.... it is all about making rules. That's what they think their job is. 

Fascinated | 12 May 2022 - 09:49:55

What exactly is a 'visitor? Dr Xenophobe seems to be at it again. Large scale gatherings of local people (dare I say Thais?) are what spreads it, not one 'dirty foreigner'. I have not been out of the country for 5 years- would I be classed as a 'visitor'? 2-tier rules  create animosity and mis-trust.

JohnC | 12 May 2022 - 09:02:31

What a joke. Most "visitors" since reopening have ignored the mask wearing rules and Thailand has never policed it, choosing instead to quote how much fines will be for offenders without actually arresting anyone. Why make laws when you never do anything about them!


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