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To mask or not to mask? Here are some answers


The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) lifted the mask mandate on June 17, but many people are still confused about what they should do and how they can protect themselves.

Here are some explanations:

Q: Why are masks not necessary in open areas?

A: Several studies show that the risk of Covid-19 spreading in well-ventilated areas is low. Hence, people doing outdoor activities such as running or walking do not need to wear a mask, provided they maintain a distance from others.

Q: Can I continue wearing a mask?

A: Yes, no regulations are preventing you from wearing a mask. Masks also protect you from inhaling fine dust particles and other viruses in the air.

Q: Where is it not mandatory to wear a mask?

A: According to the CCSA mandate, people do not need to wear a mask outdoors or in well-ventilated areas. People can also remove their masks when it is necessary such as exercising, playing sports or filming.

Q: Where is it mandatory to wear a mask?

A: CCSA mandate says people should continue wearing masks inside buildings and crowded areas such as public transport, concerts, conferences, markets, malls and air-conditioned buildings.

Q: Why is temperature not being screened in public places?
A: Those infected by the Omicron variant of Covid-19 usually have mild or no symptoms, so screening the temperature does not help. Other methods such as checking proof of vaccination or ATK tests are more effective.

Q: Why is it no longer necessary to undergo regular ATK tests?

A: A large part of the population in Thailand has been vaccinated, and the number of new patients is dropping.

Hence, screening asymptomatic and non-vulnerable people is not necessary.

However, experts still advise people to take precautions and check for symptoms regularly. People who are at risk should take ATK tests regularly and isolate themselves.

Q: Are vaccines still necessary?

A: Vaccines are necessary because they prevent severe symptoms and people still have the chance of getting infected. Also, Omicron spreads faster than other variants.

People should be vaccinated so they can return to their daily lives without worry. If the vaccination percentage is high enough, people do not have to be concerned about the public health system not being able to tackle patients.

Q: Should I get a booster shot?

A: Studies show that the immunity offered by vaccines drops over time, so the Public Health Ministry is advising fully vaccinated people to get a third and fourth jab (four months after the third shot).

People whose first two shots were of an inactivated vaccine should get an AstraZeneca or mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) booster shot.

Those who have been infected can get their booster three months later. The ministry explained that though natural immunity after infection is high enough, it will still drop over time.

To mask or not to mask? Here are some answers

Published : June 28, 2022

By : THE NATION