No talking on trains allowed in Thailand

Just last week, the Thai government warned residents about the possibility of daily Covid-19 cases increasing by 10,000 due to the fast-spreading nature of the virus’ Delta variant.

This morning, Thailand recorded 8,685 new Covid-19 cases.

Officials have been steadily implementing new measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19; the latest regulation being that talking is no longer permitted on trains.

Here’s how the new rule affects the public.

Recent Covid-19 updates:

No talking on trains in Thailand to reduce the spread of Covid-19

Speaking disperses saliva, which acts as a platform for the virus. Hence, the Department of Railway Transport (DRT) has asked passengers to refrain from talking to each other or on the phone while riding the train, reported Bangkok Post on 13th July 2021.

Masks, which passengers are required to wear, do reduce the transmission of oral fluids. However, the new regulation is said to provide extra precaution for those in an enclosed space, like a train carriage.

Director General of the DRT, Mr. Kittipan Panchan further encouraged passengers to continue maintaining their social distance from others, cooperate with temperature scans, use hand sanitiser when boarding and disembarking the train, and to utilise contact-tracing app, Thai Chana.

Transportation in Thailand during Covid-19

As of yesterday 12th July 2021, Thailand has implemented a 14-day curfew from 9PM-4AM. So, in addition to the general public being asked to remain indoors during the period, public transit systems have also revised their schedules.

For example, the Airport Rail Link will only operate from 5.30AM-9PM and busses will only operate from 5AM to 9PM, according to The Thaiger.

The Blue Massive Rapid Transit (MRT) line will run from 6AM, with the Purple line starting at 5.30AM. The last trains will arrive at 9PM.

The Gold, Silom, Sukhumvit lines of the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) system will close at 9PM.

No talking on trains? Catch up with your loved ones in a game

Catching up with our commuter friends has been something that has helped us feel less isolated during the pandemic. So, it’d make to total sense to feel a little bummed about the new measure.

While talking on the train is no longer, allowed, we can do something that is almost as expressive: play Words with Friends or Draw with Friends.

Just reading the app’s name takes me back to when my classmates and I would stare at each other across the study hall classroom where we weren’t allowed to talk. While there were no words exchanged, we could definitely feel the losing party’s ire.

Cover images adapted from: Department of Railway Transport

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