EventsKoh Samui

Phangan’s Full Moon Party Countdown will go on but regulated

PHOTO: Full Moon Party New Year's Eve Countdown Event will go on, with Covid-19 rules. (via Culture trip)

With New Year’s fast approaching and fears of Omicron hampering the all-out party festivities, Koh Phangan officials have put out a release through mostly Thai channels announcing the rules and restrictions for the infamous Full Moon Party New Year’s Countdown which typically drew 40,000 to 60,000 people before the Covid-19 pandemic.

After an initial attempt at a Full Moon Party in November was a mild success, with no obvious surge in Covid-19 infections as a result, last week saw a bigger return of the party with DJs and tables and bucket bars set up along the beach and thousands of people wandering the beach.

Police came shortly after 11 pm shutting the events down, though people remained on the streets and smaller bars and food vendors were allowed to keep selling. One resort started a separate event at one end of the beach with a more mellow vibe, inviting families and acoustic musicians.

While the Full Moon Parties have been a bit of a pop-up neighbourhood party, officials are getting ahead of the game now to lay down regulations and Covid-19 safety procedures (and make a little money) for the New Year’s Countdown, something some local businesses have been calling for over the past month.

Last night officials called a meeting at 1 pm today to meet with local party operators and mentioned either testing everyone with antigen test kits or delivering ATKs for businesses to administer to their guests. Before that, they recently released an invite/warning outlining their plans for the Full Moon New Year’s Eve Party in Haad Rin.

According to their announcement, the event will run on the 31st from 4 pm to 1 am with admission being monitored, likely at entrances to the beach, and 200 baht entry being charged. They touted a variety of food, drinks, shops and parties along the beach and in town.

One thing that was previously unconfirmed and guaranteed to make a splash: the announcement of a fireworks show, launching from a boat in the bay at midnight. The show should be visible from the Full Moon beach and from lookout points at the taller hotels along the party beach.

The announcement then covered the downside that everyone is worried about and addressed Omicron and Covid-19 prevention. They said their will be screening for Covid-19 vaccination and testing at the event and giving tests on the spot to those who do not have proof of a negative test:

  1. People who want to join in the NEW YEAR’S COUNTDOWN FESTIVAL event MUST fully vaccinated by showing via the ‘Mor Prom’ mobile application their certification or vaccination documents from hospitals or institutions that are licensed and certified properly by the Ministry of Public Health.
  2. Show the proof of a negative Covid-19 antigen test ATK (rapid antigen Covid test) result (medical certificate/approved clinic or hospital only) no more than 48 hours before the New Year’s events, running from December 30th-December 31st.
  3. In case of there is no a Medical Certificate with an ATK test result. You will get a COVID-19 test in the form of an Antigen Test Kit (ATK) that we provide at the entrance point of the event. (Service charge fee of 200 baht)

Haad Rin and Full Moon Party has often been a renegade, with lax enforcement and being excepted when other parties or special event are cancelled. How strictly these measures ill be enforced will be seen in 2 day’s time.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.