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Tourists Ordered to Put Their “Face Masks On” in Phuket, Thailand

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On Thailand’s resort island of Phuket, the governor has ordered the wearing of face masks once again mandatory for foreign tourists and Thai citizens effective immediately. The rule comes just two days after the face mask restriction was removed.

Governor Narong Woonciew signed the order rescinding a previous one dated May 31. This order allowed people to take off masks while in open public spaces provided they maintain social distancing of at least 2 meters.

The announcement on Friday did not give any explanation as to why the mask order was revoked immediately.

The governors act as directors of the situation management centers in their provinces.

Color-coded Covid-19 zones, such as green, indicate stability, while blue zones are more likely to have businesses promoting tourism-related activities.

Up until Friday, Phuket was the only blue zone that allowed people to remove their masks.

Are face masks here to stay?

Is it time for us to remove the masks as the Ministry of Public Health plans to loosen more Covid-19 measures in June?

A poll on Line asks: “Are you willing to take off your mask and live as you did in the pre-Covid-19 era?”

Three options were presented to respondents: yes, because it is uncomfortable to wear one; yes, but only in uncrowded outdoor conditions; and, no, I will continue wearing one.

Since we use face masks on a daily basis, there’s no harm in choosing option number three.

Mask wearing is also rooted in the Japanese culture of considerate behavior. Since masks are an everyday item, they have been improved to improve function and comfort, and even designed as stylish fashion items to cover the nose and mouth.

Here, after two years of fighting the virus, people always leave the house with face masks on. We’ll have to wait and see whether that becomes a Thai custom as well.

 

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