BANGKOK, KOMPAS.com - Thailand announced Friday, June 17, it would drop rules requiring people to wear masks outdoors and no longer require foreign visitors to register before travel, as Covid-19 cases fall and the kingdom seeks to lure tourists back.
Facemasks have been compulsory in public in Thailand, including outdoors, since mid-2021 when the Delta variant was running rampant.
But as the pandemic has subsided, the tourism-dependent kingdom has gradually relaxed covid restrictions to boost visitor numbers.
Thailand’s relaxation on facemasks comes after similar moves by regional peers, including Cambodia and Singapore.
Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Thai Covid taskforce, said wearing masks outside would become voluntary but was still recommended in crowded areas, entertainment venues, and on public transport.
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He said the health ministry would announce further details of the mask relaxation, including when it would come into force.
On July 1, the government will also end the “Thailand Pass” system, under which foreign tourists had to register and show proof of vaccination and health insurance before they could fly to the kingdom.
Visitors will have to carry vaccine certificates or take Covid tests on arrival.
The move is seen as an attempt to bolster the sputtering economy, which has seen growth hammered by the pandemic and living costs rising.