Phuket’s governor Narong Woonciew has re-affirmed the national CCSA (the Thai government’s Covid taskforce) edict to remove the compulsory wearing of face masks for the Thai island province.
Nationally, the changes to mask wearing rules, as prescribed in Thailand’s emergency decree, were announced in the Royal Gazette on June 23.
“A mask or cloth mask is a voluntary practice. However, the Ministry of Public health recommends to wear masks to prevent other respiratory diseases including Covid-19, especially in areas with lots of people a indoor areas. For patients or high-risk people, masks are necessary to wear when staying with other people.”
Whilst the wearing of masks, a hot topic, particularly amongst foreigners, is now ‘voluntary’, Phuket GO notes that most Thais are still wearing masks around Phuket as they go about their daily lives, even riding their motorcycles. In some of the popular entertainment areas, however, there is a more noticeable reduction in mask-wearing habits, but that has been the case for several months now.
Private businesses are still entitled to require the wearing of masks inside their establishments. That has also been noticeable even since the announcement last Thursday.
Public buildings, government offices and public transport (including taxis) are still requiring the wearing of face masks, legislated under the new orders from the CCSA.
In regards to Phuket Airport and domestic flights, masks are currently required and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is still banning the serving of refreshments during all flights. Public and inter-provincial buses also require the compulsory wearing of face masks at this time.
But for exercising in open areas and wandering around outside foreigners should certainly feel comfortable removing their masks at this time.