The hottest stories in Thailand from the last week: Thai Public Health Ministry backtracks on its proposal to remove mandatory facial masks, Covid Center announces Covid-19 easing restrictions and Songkran preventive measures, and more

Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, March 14th to the 20th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.


1. Election date for Bangkok Governor and Pattaya Mayor scheduled on May 22nd

The long-awaited election for Bangkok and Pattaya will be officially held in the next two months. Apart from the date, it is worth noting for Thai and foreigners that there would be an alcohol sale prohibition on the night before the election according to Thai law. So, the regulation would be likely to be implemented between 5:00 or 6:00 PM. on May 21st until 5:00 or 6:00 PM. on May 22nd.

2. Thai Public Health Ministry backtracks on its proposal to remove mandatory facial masks, says was a misunderstanding

Following overflowing comments on social media regarding the report of the Ministry’s proposal to revoke mandatory facial masks, the Permanent Secretary publicly denied such a statement on the following day, saying that the Ministry had only proposed the plan to announce Covid-19 as endemic. Wearing marks in public is still regulated with lawful punishment nationwide as a part of the Emergency Decree to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. It has mostly been complied with but there were also complaints mostly from foreign tourists from countries without mask mandates, especially outdoors.

3. Thai Covid Center holds a major meeting about Covid-19 restrictions and Songkran, here is the full recap

A little progress of immigration preventive procedures was announced for international arrivals on Friday. The CCSA stated that they would revoke the RT-PCR test 72 hours prior to the arrival for all traveling routes (air, land, and sea), starting April 1st. This means that all visitors would only have to conduct a single PCR test on the day of their arrival and a self-ATK on Day 5 while they are staying in the “Test&Go” or “Sandbox” program. Songkran festival will be basically dry for another year as the CCSA still prohibited public water splashing and other public celebrations of the event. Private events, like concerts, and similar activities must be approved beforehand by the provincial communicable disease.

And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!

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Nop Meechukhun
National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October, 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.