The Ministry of Public Health said that it did not set a time to relax its face mask mandate and it planned to ease the rule in blue and green zones first. (See provinces below)
Dr Taweesap Siriprapasiri, an expert at the ministry’s Department of Disease Control, said that the use of face masks was considered as personal protection while vaccination reduced the severity of illness, infection and the use of ventilators for patients.
When the country reopened, disease control measures had to be relaxed to pave the way for the declaration of COVID-19 as an endemic disease. However, elderly people and visitors to poorly ventilated and crowded places should wear face masks for personal protection, Dr Taweesap said.
Officials concerned would later consider an end to the face mask mandate in some areas including green and blue zones but that would depend on factors such as vaccination and the situation of COVID-19 infection, he said.
If the number of new daily cases drops and 60-70% of people have been vaccinated, general people can remove face masks in some places such as exercise venues and public parks, Dr Taweesap said. The time of the measure relaxation would depend on the COVID-19 situation, he said.
Green Zone (14 provinces): Chai Nat, Trat, Nakhom Phanom, Nan, Buriram, Pichit, Ang Thong, Mahasakam, Yasathon, Lampang, Surat Thani, Surin, Udon Thani and Amnat Charoen.
Blue zone (17 provinces): Bangkok, Chonburi (Pattaya), Phuket, Krabi, Kanchanaburi, Chanthaburi, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nonthaburi, Narathiwat, Pathum Thani, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phang Nga, Phetchaburi, Rayong, Songkhla. (TNA)