BANGKOK — Water splashing will most likely be allowed this coming Songkran, the culture minister said Tuesday.
Culture minister Ittipol Khunpluem said that Songkran festivities had the go-ahead from the government, in the upcoming Thai New Year holiday from April 13 to 15.
“From infection numbers in the three digits, we’re seeing two digits,” Ittipol said.
Tuesday saw 60 new infections, a third of which were found from active case-finding missions, the government pandemic center announced Tuesday.
The current COVID-19 was stable enough to handle Songkran’s annual interprovincial travel back home, as well as family meetups including older relatives, Ittipol said, although social distancing must still be maintained.
The Wan Lai Festival in Chonburi province, usually celebrated from April 16 to 20 after Songkran, also has the green light. The sand sculpture festival is usually held at Bang Saen Beach and surrounding areas.
Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha had said that he hoped Songkran could boost the tourism-bereft economy.
“I want the economy to improve during Songkran for commerce, tourism, and hotels to make up for lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Prayut said Monday. “Plans are in the pipeline, and will be made clear before Songkran for sure.”
“We have to do what we can to make sure there’s not another COVID-19 wave,” he said.
In 2020, Songkran in April was cancelled, before being postponed to September. Water-splashing was prohibited – a Songkran, without Songkran.