Thailand Ends Restrictions on Bars, Scraps Mask Mandate

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Bangkok: Thailand scrapped a mask mandate and allowed bars and pubs to remain open for longer hours as the Southeast Asian nation rolls back its remaining Covid-19 curbs amid a decline in new cases and a rebound in tourist arrivals.

The wearing of masks is now voluntary nationwide, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said in a statement published on Royal Gazette late Thursday, ending a mandate first imposed in June 2021. People with chronic diseases should continue to wear masks during group activities to prevent infections, he said.

Pubs, bars, karaoke outlets and other entertainment venues can return to their normal operating hours, according to the statement. The nightlife venues in the country’s main tourist destinations were allowed to reopen earlier this month but ordered to shut at midnight.

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