Government To Reduce Fine For Not Wearing Face Masks

Anutin Charnvirakul Speaking

The government is set to reduce the fine imposed on people who fail to wear face masks in public from 6,000 baht to 1,000 baht for their first offence.

Those who break this law can currently be fined up to 20,000 baht, with first-time offenders being fined at least 6,000 baht.

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

“The fine for a face mask violation can be exempted [or] reduced to avoid causing a burden on the public,” Mr Charnvirakul said.

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

“Apart from the face-covering policy, social distancing and hand washing are still important measures to help us overcome the COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Charnvirakul said.

Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said first-time offenders would be fined up to 1,000 baht, while second-time and third-time offenders would be fined up to 20,000 baht.

The policy was designed to make people aware of the COVID-19 situation, Dr Karnkawinpong said.

The Interior Ministry late last month announced that people in 73 provinces, including Bangkok, would face fines for not wearing face masks outside of their homes.

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

If there is more than one person in the vehicle, the driver and passengers must wear masks. This applies even if they are in the same family.