Songkran festivities allowed

Songkran festivities allowed

Khao San Road, normally a focus Songkran celebrations in Bangkok, was deserted on Songkran day last year, after the government cancelled the festival and banned water splashing, to stop the spread of Covid-19. This year, limited festivities will be allowed. (File photo)
Khao San Road, normally a focus Songkran celebrations in Bangkok, was deserted on Songkran day last year, after the government cancelled the festival and banned water splashing, to stop the spread of Covid-19. This year, limited festivities will be allowed. (File photo)

The annual Songkran festival will be allowed to go ahead next month, to stimulate tourism and the economy, but celebrations must comply with disease control measures.

Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome said on Wednesday that his ministry supported the return of traditional and cultural activities that were part of the festival before the pandemic struck.

However, there must be strict disease control measures in place, including social distancing and limits on the number of people at venues where activities are planned, he said.

"Streets famous for such activities, such as Khao San, will be subject to measures designed by the organisers," Mr Itthiphol said.

Songkran activities woud help stimulate tourism and the economy, now that Covid-19 vaccines were available, he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government was considering what measures would need to be applied for the festival, to prevent Covid-19 from spreading again.

Businesses on Khao San Road are looking for more help from the state after City Hall gave the area a facelift intended to attract local visitors. (Video by Jetjaras Na Ranong)

The prime minister admitted it would be a difficult decision.

Songkran is from April 13-15 this year.

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