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Officials mull over new guidelines for this year’s Songkran water festival

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Officials mull over new guidelines for this year’s Songkran water festival | Thaiger
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

With Thailand’s massive water festival, Songkran, set to go on next month, officials are now mulling over potential guidelines to help reduce the risk of Covid-19. The culture minister says there is talk of setting up so-called “water play” areas that allow the water fights and splashes with a Covid-19 check-in at the entrance. Pattaya News says face shields, goggles and raincoats could be required in the splash zones, but the idea is still being discussed.

The Thai new year has become an annual water fight with massive events in popular tourist destinations like Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Culture minister Itthiphol Khunplume says the “water play” zones are likely to be set up in areas with major events. In a previous report, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said people will need to abide by social distancing rules during the festival.

The government is also reviewing disease control guidelines for traditional activities like pouring scented water over religious objects and monk processions.

The Pattaya News says the government plans to hold a meeting next Monday to discuss Songkran guidelines as well as other Covid-related subjects like the length of the mandatory quarantine for travellers entering Thailand.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bobby B

    Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    And who should overlook these “water play” zones? The police?

    I would bet that one week before songkran, it well be canceled in whole Thailand.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Difficult to maintain much credibility if you ban protests but allow Songkran “festivities”.

  3. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Stupidity just flows from these people like water.

    Yeah, right. That’ll work.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    I think you are finally reallsing the authorities in Thailand are incompetent clowns John.
    Please, no more defending them . . .

  5. Avatar

    Anthony Gallagher

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 1:22 am

    Since this is an air Bourne desease carried from person to person through the air from droplets this is not a good idea i suggets you wear masks ear plugs goggles or better still stay away!!

  6. Avatar

    Ynwaps

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 2:17 am

    I only wonder if people are going to get their long-awaited rain or get sprayed down with blue-laced water. Time will tell

  7. Avatar

    zig

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 4:15 am

    who will monitor this?

    wo will actually follow these rules?

  8. Avatar

    funny coz its true

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:01 am

    I would rather shave my balls with a broken beer bottle.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

A Thailand Covid update that you won’t read in the news

Tim Newton

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A Thailand Covid update that you won’t read in the news | Thaiger

Tim Newton goes through some of the moving goal posts regarding Thailand’s Covid situation RIGHT NOW. Vaccines for expats, what will happen after Songkran, provincial restrictions, new quarantine requirements. Reading the tea leaves and reading between the lines, Tim provides his personal opinions on many issues expats and foreigners in Thailand are worried about at this time.

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Songkran

37 Thai provinces now imposing restrictions for travel from Bangkok and some surrounding provinces

Tim Newton

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37 Thai provinces now imposing restrictions for travel from Bangkok and some surrounding provinces | Thaiger

37 Thai provinces, out of 77, have now imposed a 14 day quarantine on travellers from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathum and Samut Prakan – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces. These provinces are now considered Red Zones under maximum control . Expect more provinces to follow with restrictions for people from these provinces around Bangkok, and the Capital itself.

Songkran, officially, is tomorrow, April 13. But the annual exodus started on Saturday.

37 Thai provinces now imposing restrictions for travel from Bangkok and some surrounding provinces | News by ThaigerThe provincial restrictions, in some cases, will accept a negative Covid test as an alternative. But you expect some delays whilst travelling between provinces over the next week of Songkran celebrations. The annual migration to home provinces by Thais is the biggest movement of people in the country each year, the exact opposite to what you would want during a potential outbreak of new infections.

Here’s the full breakdown of new local Covid-19 infections for Monday, April 12 from the NBT…

37 Thai provinces now imposing restrictions for travel from Bangkok and some surrounding provinces | News by Thaiger

Out of the 980 local infections in today’s announcement, most were in the northern city of Chiang Mai (246), followed by Bangkok (137), Chonburi (92), Samut Prakan (83) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (52).

10 new Covid infections announced in Phuket today. Total 74 since last Monday when the first case was announced involving the 3 big parties on the previous weekend. These are not included in the government’s official tally as announced this morning.

Although several schools and universities on the island have taken their own independent precautions, the provincial government has been silent about any new restrictions or changes to the status quo. Flights for Songkran, and road traffic, continue to pour into the island for Songkran.

5,265 people still in care or under observation in Thailand, there has been a total of 97 deaths in January 2020. 28, 248 people have fully recovered.

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Songkran

Songkran activities cancelled in Ayutthaya due to Covid-19

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Songkran activities cancelled in Ayutthaya due to Covid-19 | Thaiger
PHOTO: Ayutthaya traditionally has elaborate Songkran celebrations

After the recent outbreak of Covid-19 across Thailand, in a large part due to entertainment activities, Thailand’s former capital city of Ayutthaya has now officially cancelled all Songkran festival activities for the upcoming holiday. All events previously planned to mark the Thai New Year’s holiday between April 13 and 15 have now been called off. An urgent declaration by the provincial governor today informed the public of the decision. Many people across the country are cancelling Songkran events or any observance of the holiday at all.

The decision by the province’s Songkran committee and the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Ayutthaya office was directed especially at tourists who may be planning to travel to the area for traditional festivities. Complex and ornate events had been planned, scheduled to be held on Si Sanphet road, with the sudden cancellation announcement abruptly ending the preparations for holiday merriment.

TAT and the local government agreed that the cancellation was necessary to prevent the possible spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in light of the current outbreak across Thailand. In Ayutthaya, 86 people have been infected with 21 new cases diagnosed yesterday. In an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19, the Ayutthaya Hospital issued a statement limiting visits for hospital patients. The hospital encourages people to do video calls with their relatives as the hospital will only allow one relative to spend time with each patient. This overall situation led to the official decision to call off all Songkran festivities.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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