The Public Health Ministry aims to ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to do away with the mandatory face mask requirement in public places such as parks.
Dr Jakrat Phittayawong-anon, chief of the Department of Disease Control’s Epidemiology Bureau, said on Wednesday the Covid-19 situation in Thailand was improving, with decreasing daily infections and mortality, so this would be a suitable time to further ease disease control measures.
“The ministry is considering downgrading the Covid-19 warning level from the current level 3 to 2 soon to let people resume their lives as normal. We will ask the CCSA to allow people in certain areas and who are engaged in public activities to go without face masks,” he said.
Jakrat said that in the early phase of the no-mask measure, only people in non-high-risk groups would be allowed to take off their masks in areas such as public parks, and the measure will be implemented first in green and blue provinces.
“People in high-risk groups, such as the elderly aged over 60, those with chronic health problems and unvaccinated people will still be required to wear face masks and avoid visiting crowded areas,” he added.
A CCSA meeting last Friday approved the new colour coding of provinces from next month based on the Covid-19 situation.
Fourteen provinces have been added to the green or low-surveillance zone, namely Chai Nat, Phichit, Ang Thong, Nan, Maha Sarakham, Yasothon, Nakhon Phanom, Lampang, Amnat Charoen, Buriram, Trat, Surat Thani, Surin and Udon Thani.
Seventeen provinces will be classified as pilot tourism areas or blue zones – Bangkok, Krabi, Kanchanaburi, Chanthaburi, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nonthaburi, Narathiwat, Pathum Thani, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phang-nga, Phetchaburi, Phuket, Rayong and Songkhla.
The 46 other provinces will remain in the yellow or high-surveillance zone.
Isolated heavy to very heavy rains are likely in the Northeast, the Central region, the East and the South from May 27 to 31, the Thailand Meteorological Department warned on Thursday.
During this period, the southwest monsoon prevailing over the country, the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand will strengthen. In addition, a monsoon trough lies across the North and will become a low-pressure cell as it moves over the Gulf of Tonkin.
The department said wind and waves in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf would also become stronger, with waves 2-3 metres high in the Andaman Sea, 2 metres in the upper Gulf and above 3 metres during thundershowers.
People have been warned to beware of heavy showers and accumulated rainfall that could cause flash floods and overflows.
The department advised all ships in the upper Gulf and the Andaman Sea to proceed with caution and keep away from areas experiencing thundershowers, while small boats should stay ashore.
Here’s the weather forecast for May 27-31:
North: Thundershowers in 40-60 per cent of the area; temperature lows of 23-27 degrees and highs of 29-37 degrees Celsius.
Northeast: Thundershowers in 60-70 per cent of the area with isolated heavy to very heavy rains; temperature lows of 22-26 degrees and highs of 30-34 degrees Celsius.
Central: Thundershowers in 40-60 per cent of the area with isolated heavy rains; temperature lows of 22-26 degrees, highs of 30-35 degrees Celsius.
East: Thundershowers in 60-70 per cent of the area with isolated heavy to very heavy rains; temperature lows of 23-28 degrees, highs of 29-34 degrees Celsius; waves about 2 metres high and over 2 metres high during thundershowers.
South (east coast): Thundershowers in 40-60 per cent of the area with isolated heavy rains; temperature lows of 23-26 degrees, highs of 28-35 degrees Celsius; waves 1-2 metres high and about 2 metres offshore.
South (west coast): Thundershowers in 60-70 per cent of the area with isolated heavy to very heavy rains; temperature lows of 23-28 degrees, highs of 30-34 degrees Celsius; waves 2-3 metres high and over 3 metres during thundershowers.
Bangkok and surrounding areas: Thundershowers in 40-60 per cent of the area, mostly from the afternoon to evening; temperature lows of 24-28 degrees, highs of 31-34 degrees Celsius.
เวลา 06.30 น. ตามเวลาท้องถิ่นประเทศญี่ปุ่น พลเอก ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา นายกรัฐมนตรี และรัฐมในตรีว่าการกระทรวงกลาโหม เดินทางถึงท่าอากาศยานนานาชาติฮาเนดะ ณ กรุงโตเกียว เพื่อเข้าร่วมการประชุม International Conference on the Future of Asia (Nikkei Forum) ครั้งที่ 27