Compulsory face mask measures introduced in Bangkok to battle coronavirus

A worker sells protective face masks at a subway station in Bangkok, Thailand today (March 26) as wearing them on trains was made compulsory.

The head of the Department of Rail Transport Sorapong Paitoonphong signed the order as efforts were stepped up to battle the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Onboard the city's MRT subway trains, tape has been laid onto the ground and some seats have crosses through them, two measures which ensure social distancing rules are followed.

State officials ordered operators to prepare masks for sale at reasonable prices and increase the number of screening spots at their stations. Anybody with a body temperature above 37.5C will be denied entry into the station.

In addition to mandatory face masks, passengers will also have their body temperature measured as they enter and must leave a space of at least two metres between each other in all parts of the network, the rail chief said.

The order covers State Railways of Thailand trains and the Airport Rail Link, Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) electric trains, BTS Skytrains and Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company Limited (BEM) trains.

Thailand has declared 1,045 cases of COVID-19 and four deaths since the outbreak began.