While Thailand has earned a rap for its enthusiasm over face masks, one politician in Bangkok is celebrating the country’s removal of mask requirements in open spaces. Bangkok’s new Governor Chadchart Sittipunt has posted a video of himself on a daily jog through the city- with his face uncovered.
In the video, Chadchart and a bunch of friends or colleagues wear matching T-shirts. The group starts at Lumpini Park, and is later seen running through Bangkok’s Asoke neighbourhood, and then on to other areas. The caption translates to “Running to work”. Chadchart told the press he will still wear masks when attending meetings. He said…
“It should be fine in open spaces, but you can keep a mask with you for when you enter buildings and closed spaces, or even when boarding commuter boats.”
Any face mask confusion was clarified by the publishing of the latest edict in the Royal Gazette.
“The wearing of a mask is a voluntary practice from now onwards so that people can now live closer to normal conditions. The Ministry of Public Health only recommends that the general public wear a mask when living with other people in a crowded place, in areas where there is a large gathering of people where they can’t maintain social distancing, or in a poorly ventilated place, to reduce the risk of transmission of infection.”
Reading between the lines of the latest announcement on masks, you can walk around the streets and public spaces, but still need to wear one on public transport for example. Whilst the official announcement raises plenty more questions, the real-life result will be that there will be fewer people walking around the streets of Thailand with face masks.
Just how quickly Thais and expats reverse their 2 year and 2 month habit is yet to be seen.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post