The Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunplume spoke with TPN media this morning to address concerns on social media about the fast-spreading “Omicron” Covid-19 variant in Pattaya and how the city was handling the situation.
Mayor Sonthaya stated that all precautions and protective measures were being taken, such as rapid Covid-19 testing screening checkpoints for venues that serve alcohol.
The Mayor also stated that for 2022 the city would continue to plan and execute major events every single month as they significantly helped local tourism, especially domestic, based on the results of the past few months of weekend events. He also said the city had shown they knew how to safely execute events with Covid-19 precautions and if the Omicron situation continued to increase officials could respond with more measures, such as required rapid testing for entering event areas along with only allowing fully vaccinated event-goers. The exact precautions would differ depending on the current Covid-19 situation and the type of event.
For this month major events include the Jet Ski World Cup taking place in Jomtien mid-month, January 12th-16th near the Jomtien Night Market. It is not yet decided if fans will be allowed, as this is dependent not just on local rules but also on organizers of the event representing athletes and athletic organizations. The Walk and Eat festival also continues every weekend in Naklua.
For February, the city will be having a Chinese New Year Festival and a Valentine’s Festival event, with details coming in the next few weeks.
For March, the city is planning another music festival with top Thai artists throughout the month.
For April, the city is planning a major Songkran (Thai New Year) festival, which is normally the biggest event of the year for Pattaya but has been canceled (at least the “fun” parts of concerts, bars, water play, etc) for the past two years. It was far too early according to the Mayor, however, to determine if the festival would be “only traditional” like 2021 due to Covid-19 concerns or if for the first time since 2019 water wars and the “fun” aspects of Songkran would be allowed.
The Mayor stressed that Pattaya had to “live with Covid19” and although all plans were subject to change, the city was moving forward for its major event schedule for Quarter 1 of 2022.