THE Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) executive committee today (Mar. 18) set the rules for celebrating Songkran festival while dropping the mandatory PCR test 72 hours before travelling to Thailand, Matichon and Naewna newspapers said.
Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, CCSA’s spokesman, said the executive committee meeting presided over by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha acknowledged that some countries, such as Denmark, Finland and the UK, had eased pre-arrival Covid testing with none required after doing so since last month.
It was decided to similarly ease rules in Thailand from April 1 with travellers not having to undergo a PCR test before setting forth on their journey but one will be done upon their arrival.
They have to stay at a SHA Extra Plus hotel, that is, those that meet the Amazing Thailand SHA Plus standards and have partnered with certified hospitals for the PCR test. On the fifth day of arrival they are required to undergo an ATK test.
Traveller’s health insurance has been reduced from $50,000 to $20,000.
Regarding Songkran festival, Dr. Taweesilp said this could be marked in the traditional Thai way but permission would have to be sought if it is done in a fun manner as this would involve the gathering of a lot of people.
Key Songkran measures are as follows:
– Those returning to their provincial homes, particularly those in the 608 group, that is those older than 60 years or suffering from one of seven chronic diseases or pregnant women, must be fully vaccinated.
People should monitor themselves and if they have Covid symptoms they should avoid attending any events and undergo an ATK test;
– At supervised venues arranged to mark this festival people may splash water and undertake traditional activities such as sprinkling water on a Buddha image, pouring water on the hands of revered elders, hold parades and cultural events but consumption of alcohol, spraying foam and applying talcum powder is banned.
In public areas, such as streets, water splashing, applying talcum powder and spraying foam is forbidden.
A Songkran dance performance, top, and youngsters pouring water on the hands of revered elders, Home Page. Top photo Tourism Authority of Thailand and Home Page image NNT