A viral clip on Thai media of a Thai woman without a mask exercising on Pattaya Beach has driven debate on social media, with Pattaya Police releasing a brief statement.
The clip, which can be found here in the Thai language, shows a middle-aged Thai woman arguing with a member of the Tessagit, or the municipality law enforcement in English, on Pattaya Beach about having to wear a mask while exercising.
The clip has driven intense discussion on Thai social media, with most stating they believe the woman should wear a mask right now, with suggestions that she find a mask that is comfortable to breathe in.
Exercising and masks have been controversial as officially there is no exception in the mask mandate rule set by the Chonburi Governor that requires a mask to be worn at all times outside of one’s home (including in a car with more than one person, even family members) or face fines of up to 20,000 baht. Unofficially, however, enforcement of those exercising without masks has been rare even as some doctors have previously advised against mask-wearing when exercising.
Jirawat Sukontasap, from the Pattaya Police, stated that although the particular clip did not result in fines and was not officially reported to the police, that officers were instructed to “soft warn” exercisers about wearing masks. He stressed that it wasn’t just about oneself, even though it was important to protect oneself, but that some people not wearing masks made others uncomfortable and that for the current period of time everyone must work together. He stated the faster they did so, the faster policies could be relaxed.
What do you think? Should exercising be an official exception? Does walking count as exercise? Tell us in the comments below.