Good news if you go to Thailand: wearing a mask is no longer compulsory

Mandated since mid-2021, wearing a mask will now be “on a voluntary basis”, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said in the Royal Gazette, Thailand’s Official Gazette.

Authorities recommend continuing to put one in crowded or poorly ventilated areas.

The private operator, which runs the Bangkok Metro, said it remained mandatory on the network.

This decision is on the whole well accepted by the population.

I think that’s a good measure. There are fewer people infected and the death rate is quite low“, reports Nataporn Boonthawatchai, a 38-year-old teacher, to AFP.

The population will finally “be able to resume a normal life”, adds Supanya Pajaree, a 30-year-old who also lives in Bangkok.

The “Thai pass”, health and travel documents required for foreign visitors wishing to visit the country, will end from July 1.

Travelers will still have to show their vaccination certificate on arrival or take a Covid test.

The tourism sector, essential to Thailand’s economy and ravaged during the kingdom’s months of lockdown, is slowly restarting.

Some 1.6 million foreign tourist arrivals were recorded in the first six months of 2022.

In 2019, Thailand welcomed nearly 40 million visitors, including 11 million Chinese, a record. This market is still almost at zero, due to restrictions on leaving China.

Some 2,500 cases and less than 50 deaths are recorded daily in the kingdom.

More than three quarters of the population received two doses of vaccine, more than 40% having made a third booster.

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