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How to avoid Omicron’s Tiger claws this Chinese New Year

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The Bangkok city administration has issued a list of Covid-19 safety guidelines for the three days of Chinese New Year at the end of this month.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) urged Bangkokians to observe the measures to stay safe from the highly contagious Omicron variant on “shopping day”, “worshipping day” and “vacation day” as the city greets the Year of the Tiger.

Celebrations this year start on January 30 with shopping day, followed by worshipping day on January 31 when people visit temples to pay respect to their ancestors.

Chinese New Year’s Day itself falls on February 1 this year and is marked as a national holiday.

The holiday period usually sees Chinese-Thais visit their families in the provinces or even make foreign trips, but this year non-essential travel has been restricted due to Covid-19.

The BMA listed safety guidelines for each day.

Shopping day (Jan 30):

1. Only buy food from vendors with hygiene certificates or online from reliable outlets.

2. Wash raw food, vegetables and fruits thoroughly.

3. Store pre-cooked foods in sealed containers.

4. Plan shopping ahead to reduce exposure time in markets.

5. Food shops must undergo thorough cleaning ahead of Chinese New Year.

Worshipping day (Jan 31):

1. Raw food must be properly cooked and should be heated through two hours before banquets.

2. Areas of worship must have good ventilation.

3. Worshippers must wear masks to protect against infection.

4. Participants must clean their hands with alcohol or soap frequently.

5. They must stay one or two metres away from others during ceremonies.

6. Anyone with fever, sneezing or running nose must not join ceremonies.

7. Participants must not share plates, cutlery, chopsticks or drinking glasses.

8. Try to refrain from burning paper in ceremonies.

Chinese New Year’s Day (Feb 1):

1. Only visit food shops, restaurants, shrines and other venues that meet “Covid Free Setting” standards.

2. Gifts of money or ang-pao should be sent via online transactions rather than traditional red envelopes or cash handouts.

Published : January 18, 2022

By : THE NATION