Strict curbs for Phuket veggie fair

This year's Vegetarian Festival in Phuket will be held from Oct 5-15 under tight controls, with scaled-back activities and fewer participants, provincial governor Narong Woonciew said yesterday.

Mr Narong said he had signed an order, as chairman of the provincial communicable disease committee, outlining measures to be enforced during the festival so as to ensure that the event participants will be safe from Covid-19 transmission.

He insisted that according to current rules, the number of people taking part in ceremonies, including mediums and their assistants, must be limited. These limits are to be fixed by the committee of each Chinese shrine.

“All mediums and their assistants must be fully vaccinated and test negative with an antigen kit the 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,” he said.

Moreover, he said all ceremonial activities must be scaled down and displays of supernatural power by mediums have been banned.

He said if new infections are detected during a ceremony, in a kitchen or in shops around a shrine, the area will immediately be sealed off for at least three days for disinfection and 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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