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Bt5,000 handouts: ministry does not want massage, spa employees overlooked


The Public Health Ministry’s Department of Health Services Support will ask the Finance Ministry to consider Bt5,000 handouts for traditional massage and spa employees who have been affected by the government’s shutdown order and not covered by social security, director-general Dr Thares Karasnairaviwong said today (April 13).

“There are more than 120,000 employees registered with the department as service providers in health-related establishments and who are not under the social security scheme,” he said. “We will submit this list to the Finance Ministry to make sure they are not overlooked under the cash-handout campaign.”

The campaign offers eligible citizens, whose livelihoods have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, Bt5,000 a month for three months. To be eligible, candidates must be Thai nationals, aged over 18, be self-employed, freelance or a non-permanent employee and not covered under social security. The first batch of handouts started on April 10, while the website for registering will stay open until no more people register.

“We want employees in the traditional massage and spa businesses to rest assured that the department has not abandoned you and will do everything it can to make sure those affected by the government’s shutdown will receive proper compensation,” Thares vowed.

Massage therapists are considered a profession with a high risk of contracting Covid-19 as it involves physical contact with customers. Massage parlours and spas were among the first businesses ordered to close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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