Scaled-down Phuket Vegetarian Festival on Oct 5-15

Scaled-down Phuket Vegetarian Festival on Oct 5-15

Pre-Covid: The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on Oct 8, 2016. This year’s event will be scaled down because of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Bangkok Post photo)

PHUKET: This year's Vegetarian Festival in Phuket will be held from Oct 5-15 under stringent Covid-19 controls, with scaled-down activities and fewer participants, provincial governor Narong Woonciew said on Monday.

Mr Narong said he had signed an order, as chairman of the provincial communicable disease committee, outlining measures to be enforced during the festival.

He gave the following details:

– The number of people taking part in ceremonies, including mediums and their assistants, must be limited, to be fixed by the committee of each Chinese shrine. They are to strictly follow distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, temperature taking, Covid-19 testing and ThaiChana app (DMHTTA) rules;

– All mediums and their assistants must be fully vaccinated and test negative with an antigen kit one day before the festival begins. They must also take a second test on the fifth day of the festival. Anyone who tests positive will be sent to a hospital for treatment and barred from all activities;

– Ceremonial activities must be scaled down;

– Displays of supernatural power through mediums are banned;

– All worshippers at ceremonies must have their temperature checked and observe DMHTTA rules; and

– No flares or fireworks are allowed.

He said if new infections are detected during a ceremony, in a kitchen or in shops around a shrine, the people must be moved out for treatment and the place sealed off for at least three days for disinfection.

People in close contact with infected people must be quarantined.

If more than 10% of participants at a shrine are infected, the number of activities must be reduced, with even fewer participants. If more than 20% of the participants are found infected, the festival at the shrine must be called off, the governor said.

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