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Phuket Governor urges a safe, ‘New Normal’ Loy Krathong

Phuket Governor urges a safe, ‘New Normal’ Loy Krathong

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has urged people across the island to enjoy a safe, “new normal” Loy Krathong this evening (Nov 19) as celebrations for the main festival holiday go ahead nationwide.

By The Phuket News

Friday 19 November 2021, 09:55AM

Governor Narong pointed out that under the latest order for COVID-19 preventions regarding venues, large events may be held, but must strictly comply with the “COVID Free Setting” requirements to prevent the spread of the disease.

He asked all people to strictly follow public health measures.

“According to Article 3 of Order No. 7188/2564, the organisation of group activities of a large number of people is permitted by strictly complying with public health measures set by the government. and following the safety measures for the COVID Free Setting according to the type of business that can be operated since November 16,” Governor Narong said.

“This includes holding the annual Loi Krathong Festival 2021 in order to carry on Thai culture and traditions by modifying the format to be under the measures to prevent and control the epidemic of COVID-19,” he added.

“However, I would like to emphasise that people and tourists participating in the activities should behave under strict public health measures to make the carnival go safely.

“Therefore, we must strictly protect ourselves by wearing a mask at all times, maintain social distancing at all activities and wash your hands with alcohol gel, to jointly create a safe Loy Krathong area and reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 on Loy Krathong day In order to carry on the tradition of Loy Krathong in the New Normal style,” Governor Narong said.

For the first time, Phuket City Municipality this year will open Suan Luang (Rama IX Park) for people in Phuket Town to enjoy the festival in order to reduce the crowding at the traditional Phuket Town centre of festivities at Saphan Hin.

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Officers will be on site to enforce COVID regulations.

Local municipalities across the island are holding their own Loy Krathong festivities, including In Patong, traditionally one of the busiest areas on Loy Krathong night. All official events have been heavily promoted asking people to use recyclable materials only to help mitigate the impact on the environment.

Patong Mayor Chalermsak Maneesri has issued a notice specifically asking foreigners in Patong to wear face masks at all times, not just for Loy Krathong. The notice follows concerns being raised by local residents over tourists arriving under the Test & Go entry requirements not complying with COVID prevention measures.

The Phuket News notes that although it has been months since reports of officials fining people for not wearing face masks while in public, the provincial order remains in effect. The maximum fine is B20,000.

The same order is in effect nationwide. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was fined B6,000 in January for not wearing a face mask at a meeting.

PM Prayut later clarified that B20,000 was the maximum fine. Initial fines are to be lower, gradually increasing with repeat offences, he said.

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