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Phuket Loy Krathong events to go ahead

PHUKET: Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong has confirmed that large-scale events to commemorate the traditional Thai festival Loy Krathong, to be celebrated nationwide Friday next week (Nov 19), can be held across the island.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 11 November 2021, 11:08AM

Vice Governor Pichet announced the news during a radio interview late yesterday (Nov 10).

“Loy Krathong events can be held, but they must be under strict disease prevention measures,” he said.

“We ask for cooperation from the people and tourists to protect and take care of yourselves,” he added.

V/Gov Pichet noted that the tourism situation in Phuket had improved since the Nov 1 reopening of the country to vaccinated tourists with only one night of hotel quarantine while waiting for the results of the PCR test on arrival.

“There are more tourists coming in. Tourist attractions are more active and there are more cars on the road,” he said.

The first nine days of the reopening have seen 9,679 people arrive in Phuket from abroad, according to the newly launched “Phuket Reopening Daily Report” issued by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

From Nov 1-9, 5,544 Test & Go tourists had arrived in Phuket, along with 4,099 entering under the Sandbox scheme and 36 entering Alternative Quarantine, the report noted.

The report for Nov 9 marked that 830 people arrived in Phuket on seven international flights on Tuesday ‒ 691 under the Test & Go scheme and 139 under the Sandbox scheme.

“The situation of COVID-19 in Phuket has decreased steadily, but it’s not over yet,” V/Gov Pichet cautioned.

“Therefore, people, business operators and tourists are encouraged to beware the spread of the disease by strictly adhering to disease control measures to take care and protect yourself,” he emphasised.

“In terms of organising activities for the Loi Krathong Festival for the year 2021, activities can be held, but I would like to emphasise that all operators must strictly control the events and conduct them under the prevention measures.

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“Don’t let infections spread unnoticed through carelessness. We ask all parties, including the organisers, the public and tourists, to prepare yourselves. Wear a mask, keep your distance from others and take care of yourself to prevent any spread of infections, which may occur at any moment,” V/Gov Pichet said.

Sumanee Wacharasin, hazard communication director of the Department of Disease Control, announced only yesterday (Nov 10) that Loy Krathong float events could be held nationwide.

Events will be classified into two categories, she explained.

The first category concerns activities by individuals, families and small groups of people. These will be subject to disease control measures and personal hygiene practices advised by the Public Health Ministry. The practices cover the use of face masks, social distancing and hand washing.

The second category refers to large events like those usually organised in Bangkok, Sukhothai and Chiang Mai provinces. They must be approved by the respective provincial communicable disease committees, Ms Sumanee said.

The committees would supervise the organisation of both small and large events to make sure organisers comply with disease control measures, Dr Sumanee said.

Meanwhile, Patong Mayor Chalermsak Maneesri has been promoting the Loy Krathong events to be held in Patong since Tuesday (Nov 9).

Patong is traditionally one of the busiest centres of events on the island for Loy Krathong, along with Saphan Hin on the outskirts of Phuket Town.

“Patong Municipality celebrates the Thai Festival of Lights and Lanterns called ‘Loy Krathong on The beach 2021’ to express gratitude to priceless worth of rivers at Patong Beach which falls on November 19th this year, by adapting an ancient tradition to the New Normal with following the basic ‘D-M-H-T-T’ measures provided by the Ministry of Public Health,” said Patong Municipality in announcing the event.

Patong Municipality is now open for the public to register for permission to sell krathongs. The materials used to produce the krathongs must be biodegradable materials only, noted teh announcement.

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