Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

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Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

Post by Gaybutton »

Despite the fact that the emergency decree is now history, face masks are still required by law on public transport and in movie theaters. Also, any venue can still require face masks. Grocery stores, shopping malls, even small mom-and-pop shops typically require the masks. Most Thais continue to wear the masks no matter where they go.

While I realize some of you don't want to wear the masks at all, I suggest wearing it anyway when trying to enter anywhere that requires it and wherever you see virtually all the Thais wearing it. You can put up a fuss if you want to, but in Thailand I doubt many of you need me to tell you how far trying to argue about it will get you. I suggest at least keeping one with you. Being a foreigner in their country I suggest complying with their wishes whether you like it or not.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Goodbye Emergency Decree and Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, an era comes to an end in Thailand

By Nop Meechukhun

30 September, 2022

After over two-and-a-half-years an era that for many people was deeply unpleasant and life changing will come to an end in Thailand.

After today, September 30th, the emergency decree in place to control Covid-19, which came into effect in March of 2020, will be eliminated. Additionally, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration or CCSA that handled the rules and regulations during the Covid era and centralized all administration will be dissolved.

Nearly all remaining Covid measures, such as random checks to see if someone is vaccinated or has covid on entering Thailand are dropped. Yes, masks are still being recommended and some venues and services based on the business may still require them but the mandate has been dropped for months and it’s mostly a personal decision now if someone wishes to wear a mask.

The duties of the CCSA will be moved to the Ministry of Public Health which has also downgraded Covid-19 to a disease being monitored, similar to many regularly occuring sicknesses and diseases in Thailand. In a sign of changing times even some Thai media has stopped publishing daily Covid-19 statistics, English language media, including us, in Thailand mostly stopped months ago after continued negative feedback from readers.

Covid isn’t over of course, in fact cases are rising in some parts of the world, and is still a real threat especially to those who are vulnerable or elderly but Thailand has clearly made the decision to move forward and fully engage the shattered tourism industry in particular, understanding that Covid will likely always be with us. A quick look on Twitter shows that not everyone agrees with decisions to lower precautions however, which is to be understood.

The last over two years was for many people a miserable time. Pattaya and Phuket in particular saw almost all of their economy on pause for much of the entire pandemic as it is nearly entirely reliant on tourism. Lines of thousands of people in charity lines for food during the height of the closures of nearly every business except essential grocers and markets last year will haunt many peoples memories for along time to come.

That being said, we also wanted to say that the CCSA in particular, especially Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin and Natapanu Bangkok (on Twitter) kept the public informed and aware throughout the pandemic and were also intensely aware of the impact their decisions were making, with Dr. Taweesin on a number of occasions showing true emotion and empathy on camera to those whose businesses and livelihoods were shut down by covid restrictions and mandates. Many have thanked them for their hard work in a mostly thankless job, and we do as well.

There will be more challenges and more hurdles in the future, but for now let’s bid farewell to the emergency decree era and see what the future holds. The emergency decree was constantly a polarizing item, with critics saying it was being used to silence protests and anti-government activists. The government, however, strictly maintained their viewpoint that it was needed to control the Covid-19 pandemic only. Regardless of one’s personal opinion on the decree, it is finally laid to a close tonight.

https://tpnnational.com/2022/09/30/good ... -thailand/

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Re: Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

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Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 1:10 am
Being a foreigner in their country I suggest complying with their wishes whether you like it or not.
On my next trip, being a foreigner in their country, I shall, as you advise, keep up appearances by wearing a mask when it's reasonably expected and where that expectation is proven by a high proportion of Thais wearing a mask.

In the UK, the last time I wore a mask was when I got a booster vaccination in March and a mask was required.

I have no inherent objection to masks and was wearing one long before the useless government scientific advisors in the UK recommended them.
However, I'm not going to wear a mask for ever and as far as I'm concerned, the time to stop was after getting vaccines.
If Thailand takes a little longer to get there, I can go along with that.

There are times when the particulate pollution in Thailand is so bad that the main health benefit from the mask will be protecting against that. So at least there will be some benefit from the mask.

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Re: Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

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Jun wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 4:16 am
wearing a mask when it's reasonably expected and where that expectation is proven by a high proportion of Thais wearing a mask.
The way I see it, if wherever you are the Thais are all wearing their masks, then even though you don't have to, you have to.

I don't understand why some seem to have such a problem about wearing the mask in the first place. What's so terrible about wearing the mask? If virtually all the Thais are wearing their masks, why would you refuse?

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Re: Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

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Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:51 am
What's so terrible about wearing the mask? If virtually all the Thais are wearing their masks, why would you refuse?
The second question doesn't apply to me. If virtually all Thais were wearing a mask, I would wear one. At least in Thailand.
If I were on a bus full of Thais in the UK, there would be zero chance of me adapting my behaviour. When in Rome.....

I'm also no anti-masker, as explained previously.
Pre-vaccine, I wore one long before the clowns who advised the UK government woke up and recommended masks. Even then, they botched it by specifying face coverings, rather than FFP2 or FFP3 masks. They never updated their advice in line with studies which show FFP3 masks have a really beneficial effect on infection rates. They also failed to retract or correct their initial bullshit statements that covid was spread mainly by surface contact. Some of them don't even have a basic grasp of exponential maths.

However, I don't expect people to wear masks for ever. After vaccination, the covid death rate is comparable with flu, so that seems as good a time as any to stop. If we carry on wearing masks now, exactly when will we stop ?

Now, of course it might make sense for people of (say) 80 years of age who have health issues to wear a mask in certain circumstances, as even after vaccines, their risk is a little higher. If so, make sure it's an FFP2 or FFP3 mask.

However, the average age in Thailand is somewhere in the 30s and it makes no sense at all for such people to wear masks for something which will not kill them, when the same people happily ride around on motorcycles with no helmet. Or don't wear seatbelts in cars. The latter two behaviours are far more likely to kill them.

They overweight the risk of Covid, just because it's new and fresh in the memory.

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Re: Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

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I’m just recovering from bad case of Covid. In my gym about 5% or less wear a mask. I’m in USA right now. It’s rare to see mask anymore here. I’m quite certain I caught the virus in my gym.

This month I’ll be back in Thailand and I’ll be happy to wear a mask most places. And when I excercise it’s in the pool, so far safer.

I’ve had three shots before, none this year. So who knows, maybe my Covid would have been much worse had I not gotten vaccinated. Or maybe the vaccine didn’t work. There’s no way of knowing. Covid is still here and I’m glad I didn’t catch it early in the pandemic

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Re: Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

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Rocket wrote:
Wed Oct 05, 2022 2:13 am
I’ve had three shots before, none this year.
My parents have just had their 5th shots (UK). You might correctly deduce that they are elderly.
The most recent shot was the new Moderna booster, which is 25% of an original Moderna plus the same dose size of their first Omicron vaccine (so total half dose, as other Moderna boosters).
So that ought to provide improved protection against recent variants.
I haven't kept up with it, but thought the US was lining up a slightly later Moderna vaccine.
I'm entitled to the same Moderna vaccine, but have to wait for them to work their way down the age ranges. Hopefully before my next winter holiday. If they fail, I might pay for whatever Moderna vaccine is available in Thailand, even if it's the original.

Rocket wrote:
Wed Oct 05, 2022 2:13 am
So who knows, maybe my Covid would have been much worse had I not gotten vaccinated
Quite possibly. The data tends to show that on average, the vaccines protect quite well against severe covid and death.

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Re: Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

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"US criticised for rolling out Covid boosters without human trials"
https://www.ft.com/content/92d52780-14c ... 722363254f

Note the link may require a FT subscription. To read the article for free, google the headline and then go to the FT from the search results.

Never mind the criticism and rights or wrongs of it. The article explains what the US, the EU and the UK are doing for boosters, which board members might like to consider in advance of their next vaccine.

The US will use bivalent boosters, with original vaccine plus an Omicron BA4/5 booster. [Sounds trivalent, but what do I know ?]

The European Medicine Agency has allegedly recommended a bivalent BA4/5 booster, based on data from a BA1 booster.

The UK is using bivalent Moderna boosters, with original vaccine plus an Omicron BA1 booster. With some trial data available to support this. I'll be getting mine imminently, as the UK decision was made some time ago.

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Re: Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

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I haven't heard anything about availability in Thailand.

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Re: Emergency Decree now lifted - Masks still required in some venues

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Oct 17, 2022 3:27 pm
I haven't heard anything about availability in Thailand.
I don't think it will be long. I've been reading about vaccine surpluses and even Covax getting Omicron boosters. If we look at the high volume part of the original vaccine programme, Thailand was about 4~5 months behind the UK.
With vaccine surpluses, the lag ought to be much less this time around, unless the Thai authorities have been asleep.

Incidentally, whilst I'd heard the Moderna Original + BA1 booster had been approved in the UK, I'd missed the more recent announcement that a Pfizer Original + Omicron BA1 booster has been approved here. So the first thing I knew about that was about 60 seconds before getting it in my arm.
Perhaps it's getting to the point where new vaccines barely make the news in various countries.

Any readers due for a vaccine booster in the next couple of months might want to spend some time on google trying to find out when the new vaccine variants will be available.

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