New Year celebration events in the capital are only allowed at open-air venues, while partygoers must pre-register to attend as walk-ins will be prohibited, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Communicable Disease Committee.
The BMA has announced a series of Covid-19 measures in the capital following the issuing of New Year celebration guidelines by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Host venues are expected to follow the city's "Covid-free setting" measures. Organisers who are planning big events of more than 1,000 attendees must seek permission from the Public Health Office. Those who want to join the party must be fully vaccinated, register themselves with the venues and undergo antigen testing 72 hours prior to taking part in the festivities. For events with less than 1,000 people, attendees must be fully vaccinated.
For events with more than 300 people but less than 1,000, hosts must work with district offices to describe their Covid-19 measures. Consumption of alcohol in restaurants will be permitted on New Year's Eve until 1am on Jan 1.
Meanwhile, Kiattiphum Wongrajit, public health secretary-general, said the Public Health Ministry plans to propose a "Covid-19 safe area" measure to allow masks to be taken off at some designated areas such as public parks and beaches as a New Year's gift to Thais. The plan was criticised on social media after it was released, with netizens saying it would increase infection risks.
Anan Jongkaewwattana, director of the Veterinary Health Innovation and Management Research Group of the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Biotec) said the need for a negative result in an antigen test kit within 72 hours is not good enough. He suggested that people should undergo the test within 12 hours before joining the events.