New Year’s Countdown Allowed With No Booze Ban on Jan 1

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has authorized the New Year’s countdown festivities and lifted the ban on alcohol beverages consumption until 1:00 a.m. on January 1st, 2022. 

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who chaired a CCSA meeting yesterday, said attendees had agreed to allow New Year celebrations to take place from December 27 under the Covid-free setting measures. However, he stressed that Thais should get vaccinated “as quickly as possible” before participating in such activities. 

Later, the CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin revealed that health officials had also decided to allow alcoholic beverages’ sale and consumption in all Thai restaurants on New Year’s Eve, from the countdown until 1:00 a.m. January 1, as long as business operators and consumers follow the strict disease control measures imposed by the Public Health Ministry. 

The resolution applies to all open-air and well-ventilated restaurants in Thailand’s 77 provinces, including those classified as control “orange” zones, high surveillance “yellow” zones and tourism-oriented “blue” zones. 

New Year’s countdown parties with 1,000 or more participants could be held if its organizers, attendees, staff, musicians and singers are vaccinated against Covid-19. All of them must take an antigen test 72 hours before the event and test negative for the virus, the CCSA spokesman. explained. 

Patrons must register or purchase tickets in advance and show negative ATK test issued no more than 72 hours before attending the party. Also, everyone planning to attend events with fewer than 1,000 participants must receive at least two Covid-19 vaccine doses. 

The CCSA had also decided to end all red or maximum control zones in 23 provinces from Thursday. Moreover, the number of control zones (orange) will increase from 23 to 39, and the number of high surveillance provinces (yellow) will rise from 24 to 30. 

One more province has also been added to the blue or tourism-oriented zones. The group now includes Chon Buri, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phangnga, Phuket, and Bangkok. 

Authorities also classified some districts in 18 other provinces as tourism-oriented zones, for 26 provinces with blue areas in total.

Meanwhile, Thailand logged 3,308 Covid-19 cases and 23 more coronavirus-related deaths during the past 24 hours, the Public Health Minister reported. 

The figure included 3,396 infections among the general population and two among prisoners. 

The capital registered the highest case toll again, with 604 infections, followed by Nakhon Si Thammarat (200), Songkhla (150), Samut Prakan (137), Chon Buri (129), Surat Thani (118), Prachuap Khiri Khan (105), Ayutthaya (94), Chiang Mai (85) and 72 each in Pattani and Trang.