Pattaya on Tuesday confirmed that a Chonburi provincial order banning all large public gatherings in the eastern province had forced the cancelation of the three-day Pattaya New Year Countdown Music Festival along with all other countdown events.
Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai’s order bans crowded gathering at temples, mosques, churches, and places previously set up for festive events. In addition to the Pattaya Countdown, the Koh Larn countdown and Huai Sukri Floating Market concert in Sriracha also now has been shelved.
Fresh markets, indoor shopping malls, merchant shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, pubs, and bars must provide required measures and social distancing to contain Covid-19 as well as enforcing the use of the Thai Chana mobile app to track visitors.
The order was issued due to the explosion of coronavirus cases in Samut Sakhon, which soared above 1,000 on Tuesday. There have been no Covid-19 cases reported in Chonburi for months, but officials across the country are taking aggressive steps to prevent possible “superspreader” events.
The governor had also stressed officials should monitor and prohibit any illegal immigrant laborers from interprovincial travel and increase health checks at construction camps and fresh markets.
He urged people who recently visited the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon to monitor themselves or contact any public health center if they are found to have high fever and breathing problems. Face masks are required when going out of home and at workplaces.
Cancellation of the Pattaya Countdown, which was scheduled to take place at Bali Hai Pier Dec. 29-31, deals a body blow to Pattaya’s tourism industry. Hotels in the city were said to be nearly fully booked for the weekend.
The event was to feature popular Thai musicians such as Angie Titicha Sombatpiboon, Pete Peera and Pong SMF. The music festival also would have featured fireworks shows, giveaways for a million baht in prizes, street stalls and light shows.
Pattaya officials had been confident that the event would pose no health threat, pointing to its aggressive social distancing and crowd limits imposed on the Pattaya Music Festival earlier in the month. But Chonburi’s governor took the decision out of their hands.