Thailand’s Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) proposal to allow the return of in-person MICE events to be held under ‘Covid-19 Free setting’ protocols.
The approval follows the government’s announcement, 11 October, that fully vaccinated overseas visitors will be allowed to enter Thailand from 1 November without having to quarantine. The reopening will begin with a list of countries the CCSA considers low-risk, such as the US, UK, China, Germany and Singapore.
Under TCEB’s proposal, limits on a venue’s operating hours and number of attendees will be relaxed. Event spaces will be allowed to operate until 10pm, while the number of attendees allowed will be dependent on the site’s risk level. These are the five levels from highest to lowest risk:
- Maximum controlled and strict zone
- Maximum controlled zone
- Controlled zone
- High surveillance zone
- Surveillance zone
‘Covid Free Setting’ protocols
This easing of restrictions will require venues and organisers to follow a set of three ‘Covid Free Setting’ protocols covering the event environment, personnel, and customers:
- Event Environment: Requires attention to hygiene at every touch point, availability of hand wash stations and hand sanitisers, individual servings of all foods and beverages, screening of organisers and staff, pre-event and onsite communication on safety measures, a risk and emergency management plan, social distancing of at least one metre and at least 4 sqm for each attendee, a limit of two hours per meeting session, and good air ventilation.
- Personnel: Requires organisers and venues to deploy only fully vaccinated staff with a screening and risk record. Staff must undergo self-test with Antigen Test Kit (ATK) and test negative no more than 72 hours prior to reporting for work. Gathering while on duty and during breaks are prohibited. Operation zones must be clearly designated, and cross-zone operations must be avoided.
- Customer: Requires an examination of an attendee’s risk profile and proof of full vaccination. The attendee must strictly follow ‘DMHTA’ – distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, temperature testing, download of Thai Chana application. Additionally, attendees must keep watch of any possible Covid-19 symptoms during attendance and post-event for at least 14 days.
To organise an event, the event planner must first develop a plan based on ‘Covid Free Setting’, produce an emergency procedure and select a certified venue. The implementation of ‘Covid Free Setting’ will be randomly inspected by officers from the city’s public health authorities or communicable disease committee. After event, the organiser must submit a report to the city’s communicable disease committee and safekeep the record of attendees for at least 14 days.
Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya (pictured), president of TCEB, said: “TCEB’s proposal incorporating ‘Covid Free Setting’ is the first step towards reviving MICE in Thailand. The next step would be for TCEB and its partners to push for further easing, especially for larger size events.”