The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

We must have Songkran, says PM

THAILAND: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday (Mar 8) insisted that Songkran celebrations be held to revitalise the struggling tourism industry.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 9 March 2021, 11:48AM

Phra Pradaeng district of Samut Prakan celebrates the water festival in April 2019. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill.

Phra Pradaeng district of Samut Prakan celebrates the water festival in April 2019. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill.

People would be allowed to travel across the country to celebrate, the PM said, but each area must impose measures to prevent the virus spreading.

Gen Prayut said he wanted to see the economy improve and people’s income boosted by tourism activities over the long holiday.

He therefore vowed to ease restrictions ahead of the festival so that people had enough time to plan their trips and make hotel reservations.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said Songkran would this year be celebrated as a “new normal” festival, the goal being to preserve Thai culture while containing the virus.

Spokesperson Apisamai Srirangson said the CCSA would meet next Monday to consider rolling out a further relaxation of restrictions in three phases.

The first phase starting on April 1, the easing would be in line with the government’s vaccination plan with adjustments to the colour-coded status of each province, she said.

The second phase will include the lifting of the state of emergency at the end of May, and thereafter a reliance on communicable disease laws to contain the virus.

From Oct 1, the third phase will likely begin with a further easing of measures, including entry and quarantine requirements for foreign visitors. This phase will coincide with more people having been given their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Phuket Property

Quarantine requirements would vary based on the vaccination status of foreign visitors, Dr Apisamai said.

The Public Health Ministry is working in tandem with the Foreign Affairs Ministry on how to ease COVID-19 measures and the latter is planning for the use of vaccine passports.

People who have been vaccinated will be required to use a vaccine passport to travel overseas in compliance with measures set by each country, said the spokesperson.

Dr Apisamai said CCSA officials favoured Oct 1 for the easing of restrictions on travellers who had been given an approved vaccine.

The final decision would be made by the CCSA board, chaired by the premier, at its meeting next Monday.

Regarding the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, Dr Apisamai said the PM was focused on linking the distribution of the vaccine and its compliance with the easing of restrictions.

She said it was the PM’s policy to give the vaccine to important economic and tourist cities first, with the highest priority given to healthcare workers, immigration officers, customs officers, people with congenital diseases, police and military officers, plus civilians in at-risk places such as quarantine facilities and airports.

The CCSA announced 71 new cases yesterday with no new deaths. The country’s daily infection rate has fallen from triple to double digits since the second wave in mid-December.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Galong | 11 March 2021 - 10:10:24

Sadly, the road death tolls per year are much greater than the total number of Covid deaths for the duration of the pandemic. I see no reason to think an upcoming Songkran would have different results. But remember, your safety is the gov's top priority. 

Kurt | 10 March 2021 - 12:25:25

As long Thai people are not vaccinated they should celebrate Songkran at home (-town). Don't travel, don't spike a Covid-19 wave. If that happens Thailand is even further away of seeing foreign tourists coming. Concentrate now on population vaccination first, not on a Songkran. When they get smart and sett priorities?


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Entertainment venue closure extended, snorkeling and diving prohibited

Have the bosses at Cafe Del Mar, in Kamala, been jailed yet for making Kamala a hotbed for COVID-19?...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The July 1 dilemma

If Thailand wants to rebuild a major tourism industry, it needs to do one thing. Close down the curr...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The July 1 dilemma

"The big question is, if vaccinated tourists do start coming after July 1, what would be the li...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The July 1 dilemma

You are correct risk of what ?...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The July 1 dilemma

@Heinz, Yes, you are right, and the time between the 1st and 2nd jab of AstraZeneca is quite long. I...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The July 1 dilemma

Astrazeneca vaccinations for over 60 start in June! Second vaccination three months later! How shoul...(Read More)

No curfew, but full alcohol ban for restaurants

@Maverick, Let's not focus only on alcohol. It strikes me that at Homepro Village Chalong, HomeP...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The July 1 dilemma

Soon Health Minister Anutin will have another big problem at hand. Military crackdown cripples Myanm...(Read More)

COVID passenger warning for Phuket flights

@Christy Sweet, Guess Thailand considers herself this moment not being a foreign tourist destination...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The July 1 dilemma

There is only one long term solution: Give the 2 most effective MRNA vaccines emergency FDA approva...(Read More)