Thailand’s Prime Minister has confirmed that the government is not banning events celebrating Loy Krathong Day on 19 November, urging event organizers to comply strictly with public health measures for the safety of participants.
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha made a clarification that Loy Krathong events this year can be held with social distancing and other public health measures implemented for safety.
Government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul said Prayuth’s comments canceling Loy Kratong were “misunderstood,” and that events may continue so long as preventive health measures are in place.
Prayut said earlier reports on the prohibition of this year’s events are only a matter of miscommunication, however, warning that a new lockdown would be inevitable should such events lead to a new spike of COVID-19 cases. Previously it was understood that public events were to be cancelled and private events could still continue, however that is not the case anymore with public events now being allowed.
He said the government is constantly reviewing the COVID-19 situation, with adjustments for current measures considered every 15 days.
Dr. Sumanee Watcharasin, communications director on health risks and behavior from the Department of Disease Control, said small and personal Loy Krathong events are allowed to be held privately, however larger events such as Loy Krathong festivals in Bangkok, Sukhothai, and Chiang Mai require approval from the respective provincial communicable diseases committees.
Social distancing and public health measures must be strictly enforced at all event venues, including temperature screening, hand hygiene, frequent surface disinfecting, scheduled cleaning of toilets every 1-2 hours, vaccination requirement for organizers and staff, capacity control, mask-wearing, and physical distancing.