BANGKOK — The government’s pandemic response center said the country is at the risk of another coronavirus outbreak because some foreign visitors are failing to follow disease control measures, like wearing facemasks in public.
Centre for COVID-19 Situation spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangson said the agency has received complaints from hotel staff and provincial officials who witnessed violations of coronavirus safety measures among foreign visitors in some areas.
Apisamai said tourists are subject to the nationwide mask mandate, which carries a maximum fine of 20,000 baht for violators. It is also considered a criminal offense.
“Visitors must comply, or they will be prosecuted,” she said.
The threat and advice to foreigners to wear masks were then repeated during the same news conference in English by Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesman Natapanu Nopakun, who reminded everyone that under the Communicable Disease Act, masks must be worn when engaging in activities in public.
“You’re required to wear masks while in public spaces and while doing activities in groups,” he said. “There is a maximum of 20,000 baht for failing to do so.”
The mask mandate was imposed in late April, when coronavirus resurgence was starting to take hold, fueled by high-ranking government officials and VIPs who flouted social distancing rules and gathered to make parties.