Bangkok city hall cancels its New Year countdown event, prayer ceremonies

New Year’s Eve fireworks erupt over the Chao Phraya river during the fireworks show in Bangkok on January 1, 2021. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has decided to cancel the official New Year countdown event and prayer ceremony planned to be held at its Lan Khon Meaung town square and at 50 district offices on the night of December 31st and January 1st due to concerns over the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Kriangyos Sudlabha said the meeting of the subcommittee of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) asked the BMA to cancel all its New Year-related activities city-wide.

The cancellation, he added, is in line with the World Health Organisation’s appeal for the cancellation of New Year festive activities worldwide.

Kriangyos said, however, that activities being organised by the private sector, such as the countdown events at Central World and Icon Siam shopping malls, which have already been approved by the BMA, will depend on their management for a decision on whether to proceed.

He said that should the celebrations at the malls are to proceed, the BMA will seek their cooperation in limiting the number of attendees and in enhancing safety measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.


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