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Thai government lowers fine for not wearing face masks


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Thai government lowers fine for not wearing face masks

The government plans to lower the fine imposed on people who do not wear masks in public from 6,000 Baht to 1,000 Baht for their first offence.

Those who violate this law can currently be fined up to 20,000 baht, and first-time offenders will be fined at least 6,000 baht.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said after meeting with the National Communicable Disease Committee that it had approved a decision to lower the fine for first-time offenders.

“The fine for a face mask violation can be exempted [or] reduced so as not to put an additional burden on the public,” said Charnvirakul.

More police officers and Department of Corrections personnel are expected to be tasked with enforcing the mask policy.

“Beyond face-covering policies, social disassociation and hand washing are still important measures to help us overcome the COVID-19 crisis,” Charnvirakul said.

Dr Grandpa Karnkawinpong, the director of the Thai health service, said offenders will be fined up to 1000 baht for the first time, while a fine of up to 20,000 baht will be imposed for the second and third time.

The policy was designed to raise awareness of the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation, said Dr. Karnkawinpong.

The Interior Ministry announced late last month that people in 73 provinces, including Bangkok, would be fined for not wearing face masks outdoors.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has imposed a masking mandate on all vehicles with more than one person in Bangkok to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

If more than one person is in the vehicle, the driver and passengers must wear mouth masks, even if they belong to the same family.

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