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Thailand’s prime minister fined for not wearing a mask

▶ Watch Video: CDC expected to release new mask guidance

As of Sunday, everyone in Bangkok, Thailand was required to wear a mask. On Monday, the country’s prime minister was went without a mask during a meeting — and had to pay up.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was fined 6,000 baht – about $190 – the governor of Bangkok wrote on Facebook on Monday.  

The fine came after Prayuth posted a photo on Facebook showing him not wearing a mask in a meeting, according to Reuters. The photo has since been deleted, but was widely shared online. 

“I informed the prime minister this was a violation of rules,” the governor wrote in his Facebook post. The fine for violating the mask order could go up to 20,000 baht, or $638.25, according to the Thai Government.

The order to wear masks outside the home comes after the government instated a temporary closure of certain places in Bangkok.

In the order, the governor stated that the number of COVID-19 infected persons has continued to increase and necessary measures must be implemented urgently, according to the government. 

Thailand has reported 59,688 coronavirus cases and 163 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

According to Reuters, COVID-19 infections in the country reached a peak this week, with 1,966 new infections reported each day. That is highest daily average reported in Thailand. 

Orders on wearing masks in public have been implemented in cities around the world, such as New York. Experts and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say masks are an effective way to slow the spread of the virus, and should be worn even after vaccination. 

On Tuesday, the CDC unveiled updated U.S. guidelines detailing activities that vaccinated people can safely resume, including attending small outdoor gatherings without the need to wear a mask.

The Biden administration said the “interim public health recommendations” measures are a “first step at helping fully vaccinated Americans” resume activities they had stopped doing during the pandemic, “at low risk to themselves, while being mindful of the potential risk of transmitting the virus to others.” 

The new recommendations say fully vaccinated individuals can engage in some outdoor activities, such as walking and dining outside and attending small gatherings outside, without wearing masks.

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