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Phuket Songkran ground rules laid out

Phuket Songkran ground rules laid out

PHUKET: The Phuket office of the Public Relations Department has posted a notice laying out the ground rules for Songkran this coming Monday (Apr 13), which specifically states no water play.

Wednesday 8 April 2020, 07:26PM

Songkran blessings will be kept very simple this year. Image: Ministry of CUlture

Songkran blessings will be kept very simple this year. Image: Ministry of CUlture

The notice, issued by Culture Ministry Permanent Secretary Kitsayapong Siri, specifically orders people to not join or organise any festivals and to not join any crowds or large gatherings.

It also orders people to not return to their “place of birth”, presumably a person’s family home outside the province where the person may be now living and working, and specifically bans any water play.

What people can do, says the order, is conduct blessing ceremonies on Buddha statues at home and offer traditional wai blessings at home with their father, mother and relatives – but people are warned to be careful to maintain distance of one to two metres.

The notice also suggests, “What you can do to show your father, mother and relatives that you are a good person is offer your blessings by phone call, video call or online.”

Phuket Governor in an interview aired today (Apr 8) explained that by Monday all 17 subdistricts in Phuket will be under “lockdown” orders.

However, he added that people still allowed outside their homes, but must stay inside their subdistrict.

Thai Residential

The Governor has repeatedly urged people to stay indoors to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

This still applies during Songkran, The Phuket News has been told.

The Governor on Monday night issued an order warning that persons in Phuket found not wearing a face mask while in a public area – or conducting any other behaviour that increases the risk of spreading the virus – risk being fined up to B20,000.

Meanwhile, the national nightly curfew from 10pm to 4am still applies. Any persons found breaking the curfew without valid reason face up to two years imprisonment, up to a B40,000 fine, or both.

Before the national curfew was announced, Governor Phakaphong had already “kindly asked the cooperation” of tourists and local residents to stay off the streets from 8pm through 5am.

Many other restrictions in Phuket have been issued by national or provincial order. For the full list as of Apr 2, see here.

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