A Covid-19 meeting involving officials and the Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha came to a solution of postponing the international water festival Songkran until further notice is given in attempts to control the Coronavirus outbreak situation. The PM reported to the public on 16 March 2020 “Thailand will Win”. Rachada Thanadirek, the deputy government spokeswoman, confirmed after the meeting that Songkran 2020 will have to be postponed for now until the pandemic situation calms down. Songkran is a water festival celebrated across the nation from April 13-15. International travelers visit Thailand while locals return home to their loved ones on the Thai New Year’s.
There will be official holiday dates set to replace the celebration, but the exact dates depend on how the situation develops. Although the cancellation of the big holiday was just announced postponed, many local provincial authorities have already announced that Songkran will not be celebrated as usual this year. The celebrations usually take place in the main cities of each province with popular locations including Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai. This means that tourism in the Songkran period is out of the picture where normally millions join in the water wars to help defeat the heat in Thai April. The main focus is to control the pandemic as much as possible and travel plays a big role in spreading the feared virus.
The postponement of Songkran will be brought up in the cabinet meeting on 17 March 2020 with other regulations to set in place. This includes possible orders to temporarily close entertainment businesses such as nightclubs, bars, and sports venues such as boxing stadiums. The Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be meeting again to find a solution for foreigners working in Thailand. As for locals that have already purchased tickets to return home in different provinces there will also be a resolution to help reduce damages.
FB Caption: Songkran 2020 will have to be postponed for now until the pandemic situation calms down.
Source: INN News