Bangkok cancels official new year events amid fear of Omicron

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) announced on Thursday that it will cancel all of its new year countdown events due to potentially rapid spread of the Omicron strain of COVID-19.

According to Deputy Governor of Bangkok Kriangyos Sudlabha, all new year's eve activities including Buddhists chanting hosted by the BMA across all 50 districts will be cancelled.

However, private events are still allowed as planned but each event must implement stricter measures against COVID-19 such as screening, cleaning and social distancing protocols, Kriangyos said.

All event attendees must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours, and organizers are required to prepare emergency quarantine areas at the venue in case any infections are found, he added.

As of Dec. 22, more than 100 cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in the country, with several others waiting for the confirmation result.

Thailand has temporarily suspended the registration for quarantine exemption for foreign visitors since Dec. 22 in order to prevent the transmission of the new highly contagious variant. 

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