Mask mandate likely to end 'soon'

Mask mandate likely to end 'soon'

Nightlife may also get 2am closure nod

The government is likely to lift the mask mandate in certain public places and allow night entertainment venues to operate until 2am soon, though a decision will only be taken after a careful consideration of the nation's Covid-19 situation, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration's (CCSA) operations centre.

The centre's chief, Supoj Malaniyom, said any extension to night entertainment venues' operating hours will depend on the evaluation of infection figures after the rules were eased last week, adding an evaluation will take place every 10 days.

As the rules were first eased on June 1, any more changes to them will only happen after authorities meet on Friday to discuss further extensions to night entertainment venues' operating hours, Gen Supoj said.

Public compliance with the remaining Covid-19 restrictions and the number of new infections reported in an area will be taken into consideration, he said.

"Given the current situation of Covid-19 and good public compliance [to previously approved easing of Covid-19 restrictions], there is a strong possibility more restrictions will be removed," Gen Supoj said.

Before the mask mandate can be lifted in Bangkok, the centre will first have to suggest to the CCSA to amend the executive decree which requires the wearing of face masks, according to Gen Supoj.

In response to Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt's call for the CCSA to consider ending the mask mandate in Bangkok, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday said the CCSA is now working to ease more Covid-19 restrictions.

At a meeting of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) executives on Monday, Mr Chadchart asked whether it is time to allow people to stop wearing masks in open public spaces.

A response to the question came from an unnamed official from the BMA's medical department, who pointed out the need to wait until Bangkok has less than 500 new infections of Covid-19 per day.

Currently, the city records between 1,400 and 1,500 new Covid-19 cases a day, said the official.

The unnamed official added that he believes the CCSA and Ministry of Public Health will only approve the BMA's request to lift the mask mandate when the number of cases reaches that threshold.



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