NBTC Wants Some Shows Maskless

NBTC

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will propose next week a no-mask policy be applied during the filming of game and variety shows.

NBTC member Pirongrong Ramasoota said the proposal will be submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) for its meeting on June 17.

Ms Pirongrong said operators have been complying with Covid-19 protocols in accordance with Ministry of Public Health’s preventive measures.

However, now that the country is preparing to transition from pandemic to endemic status the NBTC has tweaked its working guidelines for the industry.

She said the updated guidelines include scrapping antigen testing and temperature checking, in addition to changing social-distancing measures and risk management plans for production crews.

However, operators have also asked that the face mask rule be eased during the filming of variety and game shows on the condition that regular Covid-19 screening continues.

News programme hosts also have called for a no-mask policy with partitions installed between programme participants.

Diao Woratangtrakul, secretary of the association of digital television broadcasting, said the industry has given top priority to health safety and many operators have adopted regular antigen testing every three days while also observing social distancing.

“If actors in drama shows can remove face masks, those participating in other shows also should be able to do so,” he said.

Dr Wanna Harnchaoworakul, a specialist at the Department of Disease Control (DDC), said face masks are the most effective tool for preventing the spread of the virus and so are likely to be among the last Covid-19 restrictions relaxed.

She recommended the NBTC draw up Covid-19 preventive measures for the industry and submit them first to the Ministry of Public Health.

As things stand, the NBTC will submit proposals from television operators during a meeting with the DDC before forwarding the proposals to the CCSA for review on June 17.

Meanwhile, Chiang Mai governor Prachon Pratsakul said the province is awaiting any change in CCSA policy regarding face mask-wearing, saying the province is fully prepared for an easing of the rule.