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Songkran but safe, says PM

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday insisted that Songkran celebrations be held to revitalise the country’s struggling tourism industry.

Travel across the country will be allowed, the PM said, but each area must impose measures to prevent the virus spreading.

The PM vowed to ease restrictions ahead of the festival so that people had enough time to plan their trips and make hotel reservations.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said Songkran would this year be celebrated as a “new normal” festival, the goal being to preserve Thai culture while containing the virus.

Spokesperson Apisamai Srirangson said the CCSA would meet next Monday to consider rolling out a further relaxation of restrictions in three phases.

The first phase, starting April 1, would see easing in line with the government’s vaccination plan and include adjustments to the colour-coded status of each province, she said.

The second phase would include lifting of the state of emergency at end of May.

From Oct 1, the third phase would likely begin with a further easing of measures, including entry and quarantine requirements for foreign visitors.

Quarantine requirements would vary based on the vaccination status of foreign visitors, Dr Apisamai said.

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