BMA: No powder smearing, foam parties during Songkran

BMA: No powder smearing, foam parties during Songkran

Songkran celebrations under Covid-free setting allowed

Locals and tourists celebrate Songkran through water fights on Khao San Road, Bangkok, in 2018. (Photo: Bangkok Post)
Locals and tourists celebrate Songkran through water fights on Khao San Road, Bangkok, in 2018. (Photo: Bangkok Post)

The Bangkok Communicable Disease Committee has decided to prohibit powder smearing and foam parties during the Songkran festival next month.

After chairing the committee's meeting on Tuesday, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) permanent secretary Khajit Chatchawanich said that Songkran celebrations could go ahead, but all related activities must follow the rules and regulations set by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and signed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

On Thursday, the BMA will issue an order in line with the CCSA’s guidelines so that it will take effect on the following day, said Mr Khajit.

The meeting had resolved to allow traditional water sprinkling under the Covid-free setting, but alcohol consumption in organising venues will not be permitted, he said.

Population density in these venues is limited to one person per four square metres, and participants are required to wear face masks at all times, said the BMA official.

Water splashing, powder smearing and foam parties are prohibited in roads and other public areas, he added.

Mr Khajit said families can take part in activities, such as pouring water on the hands of the elderly to show respect and seek their blessings, could be held, but wearing a face mask remains compulsory. People are advised to refrain from engaging in activities that involve close contact or shared objects. 

He urged the eldelry to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before the Thai New Year.

Earlier, business operators along Khao San Road in Bangkok had objected to a policy by the CCSA that allows Songkran activities to be held but prohibits water fights, saying they will lose income.

Mr Khajit said that organisers are required to obtain permission from the BMA's Health Department if participants exceed 1,000 people. If lower, they must seek permission from district authorities. 

He said the administration had received seven to eight requests seeking permission to hold Songkran activities in areas run by private firms and temples.

Currently, 46 out of 50 district offices in Bangkok had notified that they would not hold Songkran celebrations, while the remaining four district offices had yet to give a confirmation, he said.


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