NY countdown gets green light

NY countdown gets green light

Festivities approved, alcohol until 1am

People at Sampheng market in Samphanthawong district shop for gifts for the festive season. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
People at Sampheng market in Samphanthawong district shop for gifts for the festive season. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

New Year countdown festivities will be allowed to take place while the consumption of alcoholic drinks will be permitted until 1am on Jan 1, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Speaking after chairing a CCSA meeting, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that attendees agreed that New Year festivities will be held under the so-called Covid-free setting measures.

The prime minister also stressed the need for Thais to be vaccinated before taking part in New Year countdown activities which will start from Dec 27. "Everyone should get their vaccine shots as quickly as possible," he said.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said that the meeting also decided to allow the consumption of alcoholic drinks in restaurants nationwide on New Year's Eve until 1am on Jan 1 under strict disease control measures prescribed by the Public Health Ministry.

Under the resolution, eateries in all 77 provinces -- be they the 39 provinces in the control zones (orange), 30 in the high surveillance zones (yellow) or eight in the tourism-oriented zones (blue) -- will be allowed to serve alcoholic drinks to customers during the New Year countdown until 1am on Jan 1 on the condition that they are open-air restaurants with good ventilation.

For a New Year countdown party with at least 1,000 participants, organisers, staff, singers, and musicians must be fully vaccinated and must undergo antigen testing 72 hours prior to the event.

As for patrons, they are required to register or buy tickets in advance, must be fully vaccinated, and produce a negative ATK test result issued 72 hours prior to the event, Dr Taweesilp said.

For events with less than 1,000 participants, they must be fully vaccinated before taking part, he said.

The CCSA on Monday also decided to end all maximum control red zones in 23 provinces effective from Thursday, Dr Taweesilp said.

The number of provinces declared control zones (orange zones) will increase from 23 to 39. The number of high surveillance zones (yellow zones) will rise from 24 provinces to 30 provinces.

The number of blue-coded tourism-oriented zones will increase from seven to eight: Chon Buri, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phangnga and Phuket.

Another 18 provinces also have some districts declared as tourism-oriented zones, and altogether such zones will exist in 26 provinces.

Previously, the CCSA had downgraded the dark-red maximum and strict control zones in six provinces along with the nationwide curfew, effective on Dec 1.

Dr Taweesilp also said that between Nov 1-30, a total of 133,061 people -- foreign and Thais -- arrived in Thailand, with 171 (0.13%) of them being detected as having imported Covid-19 infections. As for this month, there were some 87,383 arrivals, with 152 imported cases or 0.17%, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Thailand logged 23 more Covid-19 fatalities and 3,398 new cases over the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry said on Monday.

There were 3,396 cases in the general population and two among prison inmates while 5,467 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals on Monday after recovering from the coronavirus.

Bangkok had 604 new cases, followed by 200 in Nakhon Si Thammarat, 150 in Songkhla, 137 in Samut Prakan, 129 in Chon Buri, 118 in Surat Thani, 105 in Prachuap Khiri Khan, 94 in Ayutthaya, 85 in Chiang Mai and 72 each in Pattani and Trang.

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