Thailand to drop mask rule, foreign tourist registration hinh anh 1Foreign tourists visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: VNA)
Thailand (VNA) - Thailand said on June 17 that it would abandon its pre-registration process for foreign visitors and no longer require face masks to be worn in public places, responding to a slower COVID-19 spread.

Tourism Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan said the "Thailand Pass" system, where foreign tourists must seek prior approval from Thai authorities, will be halted from July 1, lifting one of the country's last remaining travel curbs.

In 2019, Thailand welcomed nearly 40 million tourists, but received less than 1 percent of that number last year, despite easing its quarantine requirements.

Though tourism has picked up in recent months, the industry is far from recovering.

The same day, the coronavirus task force said the use of face masks would from next month be voluntary, but advised people to wear them if in crowded settings or if suffering from health conditions.

Thailand recorded more than 30,000 COVID-19 deaths overall, but has largely contained its outbreaks, helped by a vaccination rate of more than 80 percent./.