CCSA confirms dry Songkran but no travel restrictions
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) confirmed today that the Songkran celebrations next month will be dry, with no water splashing, no concerts, no foam parties or daubing of face powder, said CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin.
The traditional water sprinkling on Buddha statues and the traditional ritual of pouring scented water into the palms of elderly people of respect and then receiving blessings from them are, however, permitted. Additionally, there will be no travel restrictions.
Taweesin also said that the CCSA has decided to extend the Emergency Decree, from April 1st to May 31st, and to reduce mandatory quarantine from 14 to 10 days and, eventually, to 7 days during the second stage of the easing of restrictions between July 1st and September 30th.
During the third stage of the easing of restrictions, from October 1st onward, quarantine will be lifted in some areas as, by then, many people in Thailand will have been inoculated against COVID-19, and Thailand will begin opening up to foreign travelers from low-risk countries. The 14-day mandatory quarantine will, however, still be required for those coming from countries where there are reports of new variants of COVID-19, said Taweesin.
Starting from July 1st, he said Thais reentering the country might have to shoulder the quarantine expenses and alternative quarantine will be required in only some cases.
Tentatively starting on July 1st, those in alternative quarantine will be allowed to sit together in restaurants in hotels and, in the third stage, beginning in October, the quarantine format will be changed again to “close observation” and “sealed route” system.
The CCSA has also approved the Public Health Ministry’s vaccination plan, which is divided into three stages. From April 1st until June 30th about two million doses of Sinovac vaccine will be administered. From July 1st to September 30th 26 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be available and from October 1st, another 35 million doses of AstraZeneca are expected to be received.
Taweesin said that only Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Songkhram, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Tak and Ratchaburi are now classified as Red Zones.
14 provinces are Yellow zones and 54 are Green zones, which have the fewest infections or none at all.