Suvarnabhumi U-turns on face mask limit

Suvarnabhumi U-turns on face mask limit

Airport official says 'misunderstanding' led to posting of two-year-old notice

Passengers, some in full protective gear, prepare to check in  for their flights at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Passengers, some in full protective gear, prepare to check in for their flights at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Suvarnabhumi airport blames a “misunderstanding” for a now-deleted announcement about a cap on the number of face masks people are allowed to take out of the country.

Airports of Thailand (AoT) had posted the restriction on Suvarnabhumi airport’s official Facebook account but it was subsequently deleted after a wave of criticism from the public.

The original notice said that people leaving the country could carry up to 30 face masks or as many as 50 if they have medical certificates to support their needs.

Exports of face masks were also banned under the restriction. 

The announcement created panic among some members of the public. However, some alert netizens noted that the restriction was issued in 2020 and criticised the authorities responsible for failing to update the information.

“It was a misunderstanding,” Suvarnabhumi airport general manager Kittipong Kittikachorn said on Friday.

The information had been sent to AoT by the Commerce Ministry back when face masks were in short supply in 2020, but the note only reached the company last month, he said.

He conceded that the belated announcement posted online had caused confusion, adding that he had instructed officials to remove it.

Mr Kittipong said there was no need to enforce any such restriction now as Thailand has no shortage of face masks.


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