23 May 2024

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has announced a list of provinces where New Year countdown events will be allowed, has set limits on the number of attendees and introduced new measures for foreign arrivals in the light of COVID-19 Omicron variant.

New Year countdown events will be held in:

  • Chiang Mai, at Hor Kham Luang and Royal Park Rajapruek from December 27th to 31st
  • Nakhon Ratchasima, in front of the provincial hall from December 27th to 31st
  • Rayong, at Saeng Chan beach from December 27th to 31st
  • Ayutthaya, at Wat Phra Ram from December 27th to 31st
  • Phuket, at Laem Saphan Hin on December 31st

Attendees at each event will be limited at 15,000 at each location for the whole event. Daily attendees on December 27th, 28th and 29th are limited to 1,500 while, on December 30th and 31st, the number is set at a maximum of 5,000 a day.

All attendees must be fully inoculated and have tested negative, using a rapid antigen kit, within the 72 hours prior to attending the event. The same requirements are applied to event organisers, staff and musicians.

Foreign arrivals under “test and go” and “sandbox” schemes are the only ones subject to a maximum of one-day quarantine while awaiting their negative COVID RT-PCR test results. For other arrivals, those who are fully vaccinated will be subject to 7 days isolation in their hotels, and one RT-PCR test plus a second antigen test, effective December 16th.

People who are not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo 10-day quarantine, and those who are from high-risk countries in Africa and illegal entrants will be subject to 14 days in quarantine.

Overland border crossing between the Laos PDR and Thailand will be opened in the north-eastern province of Nong Khai on December 24th. A decision on a similar opening in Songkhla, with Malaysia, is still pending.

The CCSA also decided to adjust the areas throughout the country, in accordance with their various COVID-19 situation, effective from December 16th.

All 23 provinces classified as “maximum controlled” areas will be removed from that category.  

The number of “controlled” areas will be increased from 23 to 39 and now includes Khon Kaen, Chanthaburi, Chachoengsao, Chumphon, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Trang, Tak, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Pattani, Prachin Buri, Ayutthaya, Phatthalung, Phitsanulok, Phetchaburi, Phetchabun, Mae Hong Son, Yala, Ranong, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Lop Buri, Lampang, Lamphun, Satun, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Songkhla, Sa Kaeo, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Udon Thani and Ubon Ratchathani.

The 30 provinces, now classified as “under maximum watch” are Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Chainat, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Sawan, Nan, Bueng Karn, Buri Ram, Phichit, Phayao, Phrae, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Yasothon, Roi-et, Loei, Si Sa Ket, Sakhon Nakhon, Samut Songkhram, Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Surin, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu, Uttaradit, Uthai Thani, Ang Thong and Amnat Charoen.

The eight tourism “sandbox” provinces include Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phang-nga and Phuket. 18 other provinces are classified as partial “sandbox” areas.

Eateries can serve alcohol on New Year’s Eve up to 1am the following morning in all provinces.

Existing measures governing “home from home”, group activities, all educational institutes, child care, small child development centres, libraries, eateries located inside or outside malls or department stores, convenience stores, flea markets, malls, department stores, convention halls, exhibition halls, beauty clinics, beauty salons, tattoo shops, massage parlours, spas, fitness gyms, stadia, public swimming pools, cinemas, theatres and other venues for local performances remain unchanged.