BANGKOK — PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was fined for not wearing his mask during a meeting at the Government House, the governor said Monday.
In a now-deleted photo posted Monday morning on his official Facebook page, Gen. Prayut can be seen chairing a meeting about the country’s vaccination campaign without his mask on, prompting netizens to question whether the premier was breaking the governor’s mandatory mask wearing order which went into effect for the first day today.
Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang later said online that Prayut was fined 6,000 baht for not wearing his mask in public space, a violation of the Communicable Diseases Act.
“Myself, together with the metro police commander and officers from Dusit Police Station, went to the Government House, and the prime minister assented to being fined,” Aswin said Monday evening.
It remains unclear whether Prayut paid the fine out of his own pocket.
Deputy national police commissioner Damrongsak Kittiprapat said the prime minister did not get the maximum fine because he committed the offence for the first time.
“The regulation states that first time offenders shall be fined 6,000 baht, so the prime minister was fined 6,000 baht,” Gen. Damrongsak said. “Nevertheless, I’d like to ask for cooperation from the public to wear a face mask and be aware of the situation.”
Today is the first day on which the governor’s order on mandatory mask-wearing in public spaces across Bangkok became effective, with violators facing maximum fines of 20,000. The rule also applies to passengers sitting in the same vehicle, no matter if they are members of the same household or not.
Update: The article has been updated with quotes from the governor and the deputy national police commissioner.