The news came at a meeting held at the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) yesterday (Aug 29), chaired by Phuket Vice Governor Amnuay Pinsuwan.
Chantana Sitthiphan of the Phuket Provincial Office of the Ministry of Culture, explained that the “D-M-H-T-T-A” measures observed last year, such as social distancing, the wearing of masks at all times and body temperature checks, will be required this year.
All people taking part in ritual ceremonies at the shrines must be vaccinated with at least two injections of COVID-19 vaccine and must be tested by antigen test kit (ATK) every three days during the festival.
Any person who tests positive by ATK will be quarantined and admitted to a medical facility, and will not be permitted to take part in any further activities in the festival, she said.
Shrine administrators will be responsible for enforcing the measures, Ms Chantana said.
“People who participate in the activities in the shrine must wear a mask at all times and follow the D-M-H-T-T-A measures,” she said.
“Administrators are to consider reducing activities or reducing the number of people participating in the activities,” she added.
Of note, last year ’mah song’ spirit mediums were not required to wear masks during the cermonies and street processions.
Administrators must ensure safe and hygienic health practices are observed at all areas where food is prepared and served. PPHO officers will conduct checks, Ms Chantana said.
“Shops are forbidden to sell firecrackers, except for those used as part of the festival. No fireworks or playing with firecrackers is allowed, as they have been deemed dangerous by provincial authorities, she added.