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CCSA to Consider Dropping Masks Outdoors, Longer Bar Hours

New Bangkok governor, Health Ministry backing changes

Thais Wearing Face Masks in Chiang Mai Thailand Coronavirus Covid-192

Thailand may agree to allow bars and clubs to remain open until 2 a.m. again if both operators and customers adhere to “strict and continual” disease-control rules, a government spokesman said.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana of the Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday that the Cabinet and Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration would consider extending the legal closing times as demanded by industry and tourism groups, but not until the coronavirus pandemic has improved even further.

In one of its last daily reports on new cases, the Public Health Ministry said Monday that only 2,162 new cases were found in the past 24 hours, along with 24 deaths. They’re the lowest totals of the year.

“It depends on the strict and continual cooperation of the entertainment-venue operators and tourists with the Health Ministry and CCSA’s Covid-19 preventive regulations,” he said.

Bangkok’s new governor this week will ask the city’s Disease Control Department – and later the national CCSA – not only that bars be allowed to stay open later, but that the outdoor face mask mandate be dropped in the capital.

Chatchart Sittipunt said Sunday he’s empathetic to the calls to extend operating hours, arguing that Covid-19 infections are decreasing and “artificial limits” put on bars will push people to congregate illegally instead.

The governor also reiterated his statements last week that it’s time to get rid of hated masks while outdoors.

Chadchart said will ask the CCSA at its next meeting to allow people in the capital to remove their face masks when outdoors. And, surprisingly, Public Health Ministry might actually back his proposal – but only in 31 “blue” and “green” provinces.

Phuket’s governor tried to do the sensible thing and get rid of masks outdoor last week, only to be pushed into revoking his order two days later.