The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) announced on Sunday, Dec 20, that official 2020 countdown events in Bangkok have been canceled, according to the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT)
, fueling speculation that many other cancellations could be coming soon.
With a recent Covid-19 outbreak in Samut Sakhon threatening to spread into Bangkok and the surrounding areas, the agency acted quickly to shut down the kind of large-scale events that have seeded large outbreaks across Europe and the United States.
Not all countdown parties have been canceled at time of writing, however. Venues such as hotels and restaurants will need to gain permission from government officials if they plan to hold events. Private gatherings are not subject to the same restrictions and currently can go ahead as scheduled.
One public relations worker, who wished to remain anonymous as she was not authorized to speak about the matter with members of the press, told BK that the luxury hotel where she works had not yet scuttled its countdown party, although most employees expect for that to happen in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s communicable diseases committee has highlighted three main locations to curb the outbreak:
1. Pubs, bars, and all entertainment-related venues must comply with strict measures by prohibiting dancing and the gathering of crowds. Tables in these establishments must not be less than 1.5 meters apart.
2. Boxing stadiums, the source of one of Thailand’s first outbreaks this year, must enforce mask-wearing and limit the amount of visitors, among other preventive measures.
3. Following an outbreak traced to a Samut Sakhon fish market over the weekend, all markets must implement strict mask-wearing rules inside their premises.
Public parks and temples remain open to the public; however, masks must be worn at all times. On the other hand, schools along Bangkok’s border with Samut Sakhon, notably in Bang Khun Thian, Bang Bon, and Nong Khaem, are to be closed for 14 days, from Dec 21 to Jan 4, 2021.
The BMA has also advised the public to work from home for 14 days.