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Cyprus And Qatar Reinstate Mask Mandate And Thailand Could Be Next

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Cyprus and Qatar have become the latest countries around the world to make the decision to reinstate their face mask mandates – and the wildly popular destination Thailand could become the next country to join them. Whilst it seemed that the world had turned a corner months ago with regards to Covid-19, as entry restrictions and requirements around the world began to be eased and travel took off once more, it seems that a rise in cases could lead to countries throwing up their barriers once more. 

Whilst it may be just masks for now – and not the reintroduction of other restrictions such as testing requirements or vaccine passports – travelers will be hoping that one move doesn’t lead to the other. Here’s a look at Cyprus and Qatar’s decisions to bring back their mask mandates, which situations the wearing of masks will be required and why Thailand looks set to join them in the coming weeks. 

Cyprus Reintroduces Mask Mandate – Information For Travelers

One of the largest islands in the Mediterranean sea, Cyprus has attracted travelers for many years due to its clear waters, sandy beaches and rugged natural landscapes. The country removed all of its Covid-19 related entry restrictions on June 1st, and travelers enjoyed smooth, easy access from that date as a result. However, just yesterday it was announced that Cyprus would be bringing back its mask mandate, doing so at a time when other countries across Europe are also considering the move. 

The Cypriot government stated that compulsory mask wearing in indoor areas would be brought back for everyone aged 12, with the change in policy set to go live from Friday 8th July. The reason behind the move is a high proportion of positive test results; the country’s Health Ministry stated that 19,503 people tested positive out of a total of 147,623 samples between June 25th and July 5th. Those who flout the ban could face a fine of €300 ($305).

Qatar Bring Back Masks – What Travelers Should Know

Cyprus isn’t the only country to bring back its mask wearing policies this week, with Qatar also getting in on the act. The tiny Middle Eastern nation, which is set to hold the world’s largest sporting event in the shape of the FIFA World Cup from November, had also eased some of its Covid-19 related entry requirements earlier in the year as the Covid-19 situation improved across the country. However, it is set to become the latest country to bring back its mask mandate – though probably not the last. 

Following a meeting of the Qatari Cabinet yesterday, the country’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced that the wearing of face masks would become mandatory for all individuals aged six years of age and older in closed public spaces, with the new rule starting from Thursday 7th July. That means that the wearing of masks is now required in venues such as mosques, healthcare facilities, workplace, public transport, gyms, malls, shops and cinemas. Like with Cyprus, the decision has been made following a spike in cases, with a rolling average of 650 per day now being reported.

Is Thailand Next?

Once home to the world’s most visited city in Bangkok, the pandemic saw the number of travelers visiting Thailand nosedive as a result of strict entry requirements that made visiting the country a chore compared to others. Yet whilst the country dropped all of its entry requirements on July 1st, the Land of Smiles looks like it could be set to bring one of its least popular restrictions back – the wearing of face masks. 

Grand Palace Wat Phra Keaw During Sunset In Thailand, South East Asia

Spooked by the rapid spread of the highly transmissible BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Covid-19, several prominent doctors in the country have called for the government to reimpose its mask mandate in an effort to help stop the spread of the virus. Whilst many Thais continue to wear masks regardless of the mandate ending, the practice isn’t popular amongst tourists – and a reintroduction of the policy could turn many travelers against the idea of visiting the country. The issue is expected to be discussed at the next meeting of the country’s Covid-19 taskforce at the end of the week. 

Read More:

U.S. State Department Issues 15 New Travel Advisory Updates

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2022

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This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Ka

Monday 11th of July 2022

As of today 50% of Denmark, 43% of France and 26% of USA have tested positive for Covid. (Data from Ourworldindata Coronavirus).

What a dangerous, deadly virus!

Darren

Friday 8th of July 2022

Ok so cases are rising? What about hospitalizations? Going forward, if we are going to learn to live with this thing, this needs to be the new metric. Basing rules off just rising, largely asymptomatic cases is ridiculous and stupid.

Adam

Friday 8th of July 2022

Typical for TH. Every week you get to hear about new rules that contradict previous ones. How can anyone book a vacation in a land of the face masks?

No clot shot thanks

Sunday 10th of July 2022

@Adam, You can't, I was in Mexico in April 2022 and because of the mask mandate my holiday was ruined. Entering a small coffee shop and guy at front is handing a box of masks to put one on. I did not enter and simply walked away. But that dystopian act itself simply ruins everything.

Tina

Friday 8th of July 2022

Those stupid stupid stupid idiots. The saga of ridiculous nonsense continues. Just go on this way, people will simply go elsewhere where they haven't collectively lost their minds.

John Smith

Friday 8th of July 2022

Good news in Thailand, at least for now. The country's Covid taskforce has decided against re-imposing a mask mandate. Instead, it calls for the public to wear them voluntarily, which the vast majority of locals comply with.