Six weeks from now, will Thailand be ready to return to packing the streets to spray water and touch each other’s faces?
Sure, with limitations, said the heads of culture and tourism, signaling that the infamously wild, wet street party of Songkran would return next month after being called off two years in a row.
Culture Minister Ittipol Khunpluem and Tourism Minister Yutthasak Suppasorn yesterday said their offices supported the return of Songkran – the traditional Thai New Year’s festival that runs April 13-15 – so long as COVID-19 health measures were strictly followed.
While coronavirus vaccines aren’t expected to reach the masses until June, the April festival would give the economy a shot in the arm.
The number of people at Songkran events would be limited to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For popular destinations such as Khaosan Road, Ittipol said the rules would be decided by local authorities.
Songkran was canceled last year due to the pandemic and in 2019 for the king’s coronation.
However, the final word rests with the Ministry of Public Health and COVID-19 task force, which will again consider the current rate of infection. They are expected to officially announce whether Songkran events can go ahead by mid-March.
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