CentralWorld scraps onsite New Year countdown celebrations

Pattaya party goes ahead, alms-offering event in Hua Hin cancelled

Fireworks light up the sky at CentralWorld on Dec 31, 2020 to celebrate the new year. This year, people can only watch the display and other activities via live broadcast. (CentralWorld photo)

The CentralWorld shopping centre has cancelled in-person attendance at its New Year countdown party to avoid further spread of Omicron variant, although the event will still be broadcast live across the country.

The party will be carried live on the One 31 TV station, the CentralWorld Facebook page and other accounts including Bangkok Post and Post Today.

“CentralWorld is following the government policy for safety of all Thais,” it said on the social media platform.

CentralWorld’s New Year’s Eve festivities include fireworks and concert performances, and is one of two events synonymous with the new year in Bangkok.

The other is at Iconsiam, which said on its Facebook account that onsite activities will be held with strict social-distancing measures. It added it will keep revellers updated if it decides to change the format.

The parties at both locations have been approved by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). City Hall decided to allowed them to continue as planned despite the cancellation of all BMA-sponsored activities, including midnight prayers and an alms-offering ceremony to monks. 

Elsewhere, Pattaya mayor Sonthaya Khunpleum has said the countdown in the resort city will be held as planned, festivities – including concerts and a firework display – beginning on Wednesday and culminating early on New Year’s Day. 

Across the Gulf of Thailand, the Hua Hin municipality has announced the cancellation of an alms-offering event downtown on the morning of Jan 1 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paring of New Year’s restrictions nationwide came after Omicron cases rose from 154 reported on Wednesday to 205 on Friday, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The country detected its first cluster of the highly contagious variant in Kalasin, with more than 100 people deemed at risk due to close contact with two patients visiting home from Belgium.

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