While Thailand is tightening its borders and restrictions in the face of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, which has now infected over 100 people in the country, the New Year’s holiday is just over one week away. As authorities are torn between to need to protect against Covid-19 and the desperate need of the tourism and entertainment sectors to create some revenue, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has announced that they will keep their plans for a big New Year’s Eve countdown event but will ramp up Covid-19 safety measures.
The steadfast decision to carry on with the countdown event is intended as a demonstration to the world that Thailand is still strong in handling Covid-19 and has safety regulations in place that make the country ready to reopen to the world as soon as Omicron is understood and handled a bit more, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
While the TAT is committed to counting down to the new year in a glorious huge celebration, they don’t have the authority to make the call and concede that they will reluctantly call off the event if the CCSA decides that New Year’s Eve events must be cancelled.
The event planned by the TAT is determined to be safe and Covid-19 free, using an open-air venue and having strict rules for admission into the event. Only fully vaccinated partiers will be allowed into the event, and all attendees will have to register in advance and take an antigen test before being admitted to the party. All performers, staff, and organisers of the event must similarly pass an antigen test.
The World Health Organisation has recommended that Christmas and New Year’s events be cancelled worldwide, but the TAT says they are confident that Thailand has disease control measures in place that are ready for any post-New Year’s outbreaks. They believe the event will be a symbol of Thailand’s readiness for reopening the country to international tourism with disease control in place and a savvy balance between economic recovery and Covid-19 pandemic safety.