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  • New Years Evening Activities 2021

    Thai PM defends plan to spend 100 Million THB on New Year’s Eve celebrities

    The Thai PM is standing firm amid fierce criticism of a plan to spend 100 million baht on 2 global singing stars for New Year’s Eve festivities in Phuket. Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended the government’s plan to spend around US$3 million dollars to secure Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, and Lalisa “Lisa” Manobal, from the K-pop band, Blackpink. The Bangkok Post reports that both stars are expected to perform at New Year’s Eve shows on the southern island of Phuket.

    The plan has come under attack for the huge cost involved, with critics pointing out that the money should be spent on supporting the small businesses struggling to survive financial devastation caused by the pandemic. However, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana says separate funds have been set aside for such rehabilitation and to fund economic revival. The costs of hiring the New Year’s Eve performers are part of the tourism promotional budget, which he says is a vital part of Thailand’s imminent re-opening.

    According to the Bangkok Post report, Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the New Year’s Eve proposal will be discussed at a mobile cabinet meeting in the southern province of Krabi on November 16. It’s understood draft contracts should be available for his ministry to review by the end of the month. He has defended the plan to bring both superstars to Thailand, insisting it has economic value and that most of the cost will be covered by private sector sponsorship.

    In related news, the CCSA has brushed off concerns that the ongoing Covid-19 situation could delay the country’s re-opening. Assistant spokesperson Apisamai Srirungson says the government is putting contingency plans in place to ensure Thailand’s re-opening is a success.

  • #2
    Phuket gets approval for all-nighter New Year’s Eve party

    Phuket is approved to allow New Year’s Eve celebrations to go on all night, along with alcohol sales.

    The notice was issued yesterday that states alcohol sales would be extended on NYE, from 11:00 pm - 6:00 am. The order says usually it is forbidden to sell alcohol during those times, but notes that December 31 is an exception. The Phuket governor signed the order on Saturday, but it was only posted officially early this morning.

    The order was meant to serve as another extension of the standing order that regulates which venues, establishments, and services could open and which ones had to remain closed due to Covid-19 measures.

    All other alcohol sale conditions are to remain in effect, including the interrupted service hours that restrict venues from selling alcohol from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, and 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm.

    The order also noted that a limit of 5 musicians could perform at any 1 time, with no physical contact between the musicians and other performers, customers, and staff.

    Dancing and organised dance performances are strictly prohibited under the order. However, gaming venues for animal fighting, racing, boxing and others are now able to open with special permissions from an “authorised person.” Temporary boxing stadiums can now open for live broadcasting events, but must get special permission and be in full compliance with Covid free setting measures set out by the government.

    Violators of the order could be fined up to 20,000 baht under the Communicable Disease Act 2015, or up to 100,000 THB and/or 1 year in prison under the same act. Both of these fines are listed under Sections 51 and 52 of the act, respectively.

    Section 18 of the Emergency Decree also brings punishment of up to 2 years imprisonment, or a fine up to 40,000 THB, if violated.


    • #3
      Bangkok to organise New Year’s festival followed by Buddhist chanting ceremony

      Bangkok city officials are planning New Year’s events, but under Covid-19 measures. A New Year’s festival is planned for December 31 and a Buddhist chanting ceremony is planned for the following day, according to the deputy permanent secretary of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The spokesperson says the events will be under the universal Covid-19 measures.

      The two-day event will be organised by BMA’s Office of Culture, Sports, and Tourism at Lan Khon Mueang Town Square in Phra Nakhon district, according to the spokesperson.

      “The events aim to welcome the year 2022 and promote Thai tradition of merit making and Buddhist chanting on New Year Day.”
      However, all attendees to the festival must wear facemasks and adhere to the Ministry of Public Health’s disease control measures, in order to control the spread of the virus. Chaloemphol also stated that the BMA will hold a press conference about the events on December 23 at 1:30pm at Bangkok City Hall in the Phra Nakhon district.


      • #4
        New Year’s events under “Covid Free” measures, attendees must be vaccinated

        Get vaccinated if you want to party on New Year’s. The Thai government is loosening restrictions on alcohol and events, but just for New Year’s… and for those who have been vaccinated. In all provinces, New Year’s countdown events will be allowed to offer alcohol drinks until 1am on January 1, but venues need to abide by “Covid Free Setting” measures which require customers attending events to show proof of vaccination at the door and those attending large events to also show a negative result from an antigen test.

        “Covid Free Setting” measures for New Year’s Events

        Covid Free Staff
        • Event holders, staff, singers, and musicians should get vaccines meeting with the criteria.
        • Event holders, staff, singers, musicians, and other participants should get ATK test within 72 hours before joining.
        • Screening and completing Q&A assessment via Thai Save Thai (TST) or other applications.
        • Practice standard disease control measures including wearing face masks, using hand sanitiser, and checking temperature.

        Covid Free Customer
        • Participants might require to show vaccination document before joining except children under 12 years old coming with parents.
        • Customers attending New Year’s events with more than 1,000 people will need to… complete registration, show vaccination documents before joining, and test negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours before joining. The ATK test kits should be provided at the door or ask participants to get tests in advance except children under 12 years old coming with parents.
        • Screening and completing Q&A assessment via Thai Save Thai (TST) or other applications.
        • Practice standard disease control measures including wearing face masks, using hand sanitiser, and checking temperature.
        Covid Free Environment
        • Events must be held in the close area (where access can be controlled) or open-are space only
        • The event area must not be crowded. Recommended to…
          • Offer reservation or registration in advance
          • Have only one entrance and exit along with a queue system
          • Limit the number of participants to one person to every four square metres and put a clear sign to inform participants.
          • Clean every one to two hours.
          • For concerts or performances, there should be an at least 5 metre distance between the stage and audience.


        • #5
          Thailand set to host five alcohol-free New Year’s celebration events

          The government has given the okay for booze at New Year countdown events, but for those who want to start 2022 sober, or just want to go to a more family-friendly celebration, the Thai government is hosting the alcohol-free “Amazing Thailand Countdown 2022” in five locations across Thailand.

          Locations include Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai, City Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Moonlight Beach in Rayong, Wat Phra Ram at Ayutthaya, and Saphan Hin Beach in Phuket. There will also be countdown events in 44 other provinces. All attendees must be fully vaccinated or tested negative by ATK in order to enter these events. A government spokesperson added that all events will be hosted under the universal Covid-19 guidelines.

          The Tourism Authority of Thailand will also host a variety of activities such as art and cultural events, concerts by Thai and international performers, traditional cuisine festivals, and light and firework shows at the same locations from December 27 to 30, starting from 4pm to 11pm, and each location is expected to host 15,000 visitors.


          • #6
            CentralWorld in Bangkok to host a five day New Year’s countdown party

            For those who missed one of the biggest countdown events in Bangkok due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CentralWorld is back with a five-day countdown to 2022.

            The event, dubbed “centralwOrld BangkOk cOuntdOwn 2022,” will take place at Bangkok’s CentralWorld department store from December 25 to 31 from 8pm to 12:15am daily, according to Central Pattana Public Co. Executive vice-president of the group, Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, stated that the massive mall will become an important landmark in Asia, and that the New Year’s Eve countdown party will represent its lofty goals, complete with 3D fireworks on the big screens.

            There will be tight sanitary and universal measures to protect against the virus, such as social distancing, the mandatory wearing of face masks, and temperature screening. Participants must register to enter the event seven days prior by submitting copies of their identification cards, contact information, and proof of two vaccinations.


            • #7
              Government-hosted New Year’s Events in Bangkok Cancelled

              Government-hosted New Year’s countdown events and holiday celebrations in Bangkok will be cancelled, the vice governor, Kriangyos Sudlabha, announced today, adding that the decision is due to the emergence of the Omicron variant and follows the World Health Organisation’s recommendations.

              The countdown event in front of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Office will be canceled as well as other events organised by the government.

              The government is asking the private sector to avoid organising events. If the events have already been approved, like the major countdown events at ICONSIAM and CentralWorld, they can still be held under the Covid Free Setting measures.

              The event should have a checkpoint to screen participants, staff should clean areas frequently, and customers must practice social distancing and wear face masks.


              • #8
                Private sector countdown events to go ahead in Bangkok on New Year’s Eve

                New Year countdown events organised by the private sector in Bangkok can still go ahead, provided they adhere to strict disease control guidelines, according to a Bangkok Post report. The CCSA is giving the go-ahead despite the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration cancelling government-organised events in the capital over concerns about the Omicron variant. Supoj Malaniyom from the CCSA says private sector events can go ahead, as long as they’ve received prior approval and adhere to safety measures.

                “City Hall and authorities in other provinces will have to enforce strict compliance with the precautions prescribed by the Public Health Ministry.”

                Yesterday, the BMA decided to axe government-organised events in the capital amid fears of a surge in Omicron infections. Deputy governor Kriengyos Sudlapha says City Hall has been monitoring the effects of the Omicron variant as it spreads rapidly in other countries. He says the BMA has taken on board advice issued by the World Health Organisation that countries should postpone New Year countdown events.

                The Bangkok Post reports that all official events in the capital have now been cancelled, including an overnight prayer ceremony and a morning gathering to offer alms to monks on New Year’s Day. This event was expected to take place at Larn Khon Muang near the Giant Swing but will no longer go ahead. Various other religious ceremonies organised by district offices and due to take place around the capital have also been axed.

                Events organised by the private sector can still go ahead but Kriengyos says they must adhere to disease control measures. These include screening and limiting the number of attendees and ensuring they wear masks and observe social distancing. Two of the biggest events still going ahead in the capital will take place at Iconsiam and Central World.

                “We will not ban those events, but we are seeking their cooperation. The guidelines set by the Public Health Ministry must be strictly followed.”


                • #9
                  New Year’s countdown events in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Phangan

                  New Year’s countdowns will be a little different this year. As a gift for the holiday, the Thai government loosened alcohol restrictions – but just for the night – allowing booze to be sold at restaurants and approved venues until 1am. But restrictions will still be tight for large events, many requiring participants to be fully vaccinated and test negative for Covid-19 in an ATK test. Here are some of the countdown events in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and Koh Phangan…


                  CentralWorld Bangkok Countdown 2022
                  Want to stay in for New Year’s? CentralWorld changed the plan offering a 3D virtual countdown only on 31 December 2021 from 10:15pm to 12:15am via their official Facebook page of every branch, One 31 TV Channel, Viu Thailand, Bangkok Post, Post Today, Thairath Online, Khaosod, and Workpoint Entertainment.

                  ICONSIAM Amazing Thailand Countdown 2022
                  ICONSIAM will continue their countdown event on 31 December and will also broadcast the event via Thairath TV and on their official Facebook. Those who would like to attend will need to register before 4pm on Friday at Entrance 5 of the shopping centre. Participants will need to show an ID card, proof that they are fully vaccinated, and a negative result from an ATK test. Tests will be available for free at the shopping centre. Restaurants by the river will be open until 1am.


                  Renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli is headlining Phuket’s main countdown event to ring in 2022 at the Saphan Hin public park. All attendees will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated and produce a negative Covid-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours prior.


                  Pattaya Countdown 2022 at Bali Hai Pier is confirmed to continue under the measure to prevent Covid-19, and the concert zone is limited to 2,500 participants per day. To join the event, participants have to show vaccine certification together with Covid-19 test results – either PCR and ATK.

                  Koh Phangan

                  Full Moon Party Countdown on Haad Rin Beach is on. Reports say proof of vaccination and a negative result from an ATK test is needed to party. Local authorities have also banned the reusable buckets that Full Moon Party is famous for and said only single use disposable cups are allowed.


                  • #10
                    Tourists flock to Koh Phangan for New Year’s Beach Party

                    Expats and tourists are flocking to Koh Phangan for the legendary Full Moon Countdown New Year’s party on Haad Rin Beach, packing ferries and overwhelming some in the tourism industry after a quiet two years due to the pandemic. While many hostels and hotels remain shuttered, those that are open are reporting to be sold out and in some cases overbooked as travellers who waited until the last minute are paying premium prices of upwards of 10,000 THB for a room for the night.

                    Raja Ferry, transporting people from Donsak pier on the mainland in Surat Thani, has been packed with tourists. Not only were most of the seats taken, about half of the people on board had to sit on the ground. There was no room for social distancing. Most people took off their masks as it was so hot inside the ferry. And there was no Covid-19 check to get on the island.

                    Authorities said that to access the main party, the Full Moon Party Countdown on Haad Rin Beach, proof of vaccination or a negative result from an ATK test is needed. Those unable to provide proof will be given an antigen test kit to take on the spot for a fee of 200 THB That said, there are already thousands of people inside the party zone at the hotels, hostels and resorts along the beach. Hotel owners have not been given any information on how authorities plan to test those people. The party itself will charge a 200 THB admission fee to enter the beach zone, with the money being used as always to pay for beach cleanups after.

                    Tomorrow morning’s cleanup may be extra tough though after a bizarre new rule introduced by town authorities banning the reusable buckets that Full Moon Party is famous for and allowing only single-use disposable cups. Normally by 2 am, locals begin collecting buckets from the beach, sanitising them, and reselling them to bars to be reused for the next party, but tonight may see loads of additional disposable plastic littering the beach and sea.

                    The party is officially allowed to run until 1 am, though local authorities have said that only music must end then, and drink sales and consumption can continue. If last night was any indication, the partying will continue until morning. Street vendors selling buckets and food as well as small bars off the beach continued to operate well into the night last night, while music had to be turned down for the seating and bucket sellers on the beach.

                    A number of parties around the island also went on last night without incident seeing throngs of people, with popular events like OXA Beach forced to close their entrance gate early after a much higher turnout than expected.

                    Party at OXA Beach, Koh Phangan, December 30

                    Spirits are high with tourists bursting with excitement for the party tonight and local vendors emerging from a nearly 2 year long hibernation, thrilled to see customers back on the island.


                    • #11
                      Koh Phangan Countdown partygoers share positive Covid test results on TikTok

                      Did you go to the Full Moon Countdown on Koh Phangan? Take a test for Covid-19, if you haven’t already. Some people who went to the countdown event have made posts and comments on social media saying they tested positive for Covid-19. Several others say they got sick after the party.

                      One foreigner is in the spotlight after she posted a video on TikTok showing three antigen Covid-19 tests, all with positive results. The video read “you’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation,” and then flashed to videos of her partying in crowds at the 2022 countdown event by Haad Rin’s Drop In Bar.

                      After criticism, with many saying she was irresponsible, the traveller wrote in a pinned comment saying “everyone who goes to such parties is aware of the risk! It’s my own fault!! Stay safe ppl.” Some people even commented on the video saying they were at the Full Moon Countdown and also tested positive for Covid-19.

                      Another girl who was also at Haad Rin’s Drop In Bar, but it’s unclear which night, posted a video of her positive Covid-19 test result and then videos of the party at the beach bar, which was packed with people around a fire jump rope.

                      While there has been hearsay that many people tested positive for Covid-19 after the Koh Phangan Countdown Event, the local health department has not reported a cluster of infections from the event. Today, the Surat Thani Provincial Health Department reports 3,630 active Covid-19 cases in Koh Phangan and neighbouring islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao. These infections have been reported to or detected by health officials and confirmed with RT-PCR tests.

                      Hundreds of expats and foreign travellers flocked to Koh Phangan for its famous countdown event. The Raja Ferry at Surat Thani’s Donsak pier was packed with so many people headed to the island that around half of the passengers were sitting on the floor. There was no room for social distancing, and inside the ferry, there was little air ventilation. Proof of vaccination was not required and there was no Covid-19 check to get on the island. (There has been a check in the past.)

                      On the night of the massive New Year’s event on Haad Rin, officials from the Ministry of Public Health were at the main entrance to the beach, requiring partygoers to show their vaccination records or their Thailand Pass. The Thai government basically gave venues across the country a free pass for the night of New Year’s Eve, allowing restaurants and approved venues to serve alcohol until 1am on January 1, but under “Covid Free Setting” measures.

                      After the massive parties, taking an at-home Covid-19 test became the “norm.” Many people who went to parties have been posting their results from ATK tests on social media, like TikTok and Instagram. Some went to parties in Phuket and Pattaya.