BANGKOK (NNT) – The government has recommended government agencies and state enterprises allow their employees to work from home on 25-29 December to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, and helping reduce air pollution.

The Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister Theerapat Prayurasiddhi, disclosed today that the government’s Center for Air Pollution Mitigation has asked government agencies, state enterprises, and public organizations to allow their employees, civil servants, and contract workers to work from home from 25th to 29th December, as a way to reduce air pollution from vehicles.

The policy has been introduced based on a forecast from the Meteorological Department, where the weakening high pressure system prevailing over Thailand during the period from 25th to 29th December will make the atmosphere favorable to the accumulation of airborne particulate matter, including PM 2.5 dust, at an unhealthy level.

In addition, the center has ordered the Department of Land Transport and the Pollution Control Department to be stringent with vehicle exhaust emission regulations, and ordered the Royal Thai Police and the Traffic Police Division to minimize traffic congestions, particularly in downtown Bangkok.

The center has instructed the Ministry of Industry to inspect emissions from factories, to issue a temporary ban on open air fires in suburban areas and farmlands, as well as a temporary ban on construction and other activities causing particle emissions, as emissions from road traffic, delivery vehicles, and construction sites have already contributed to 70% of air pollution.

Members of the general public are advised to follow PM 2.5 self-protection instructions from the Department of Health, particularly on the wearing of face masks, the reduction of vehicle usage, and car maintenance.

Motorists should immediately stop driving any vehicle emitting black exhaust smoke, and take it for maintenance before driving again.

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