The resort island of Phuket got a head start on dropping face masks yesterday when outdoors.
With Thailand on track to declare COVID-19 an endemic disease next month, Phuket Gov. Narong Woonsew ordered that people who are “exercising or outdoors where the air flows” do not need to wear masks.
That means those on the beach, in public parks or sport stadiums that are further apart than two meters are not asked to wear face masks. 
The order was the first coming from provincial officials to relax mask policies, even though dropping face masks outdoors has been increasingly common since the COVID-19 situation improved in Thailand.
After peaking in late March, new daily cases of COVID-19 have declined to a seven-day average of about 4,900.
Thirty more provinces are expected to follow suit later this month. Last week, Taweesap Siraprapasiri of the Department of Disease Control said the relaxing of face mask measures may start in 31 provinces – 14 designated green-colored provinces and 17 blue-colored provinces. Those include the capital city Bangkok, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Pathum Thani, and Nakhon Ratchasima.
This article was previously published by BK Magazine partner Coconuts Bangkok.