Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hard truths about travelling to Thailand, right now

Thaiger

Published

 on 

image
image

OPINION

Just a year ago, you could book a flight, booked a hotel, and in many cases, just arrived to receive a visa-on-arrival stamp in your passport. A few hours later you were sitting on a beach sipping colourful drinks out of tall glasses. Just one year later and being a tourist in Thailand is very difficult, if not impossible for most.

At this stage it is a mind-numbing challenge to come to Thailand unless you have very deep pockets, an urgent need, or fall into a smattering of categories currently allowed by the Thai government. Even if all that applies to you, there is an almost endless number of hoops you will have to jump through to be approved for travel to Thailand right now.

Currently, as of the start of October, the government only recognises certain visa types to re-enter the country. But, as the evidence shows, even if you are eligible in theory, there are limited entries of people allowed back into the country. For example, the holders of Thailand Elite visas have been ‘officially’ able to re-enter the country since the start of August. But in practice, according to a source at Thailand Elite, not more than 50 people have actually successfully returned up to date.

Around the world, the information from Thai embassies has also been ‘lumpy’ with different officials, in different countries, providing conflicting information about the same visa products.

But the sticking point, with just about every visa, is the mandatory 14 day quarantine period at a state approved facility. This includes government approved hotels as well, but these hotel quarantines (ASQs) come at a high cost. And of course, you’re cooped up in a room with little access to outside activities during that time.

Even the newly launched Special Tourist Visa is very special indeed. Applicants require plenty of cash and have to have the intention coming for at least 90 days, with the option of staying for up to 270 in total. But when you add the compulsory health insurance, only provided by Thai companies, doing all your bookings through the government’s private travel company Thailand Long Stay, flying on specially chartered flights, etc etc, the costs start to stack up. And you haven’t even bought a beer or had a massage at this stage!

To call this ‘tourism’ is a misnomer. The dribble of high spenders, people prepared to fill out all the paperwork and pay for the pleasure of coming to Thailand, will do nothing for Thailand’s broader tourism industry and re-open the 1000s of shuttered hotels. 1000s of other businesses, connected to the Thai tourism juggernaut, remain in tatters.

Even if you’re a tourist, with the best intentions to visit ‘safe’ Thailand’, officially free of Covid-19, what precisely are you going to do here? If your intention is to head out on an island tour, hit the red light districts or choose from a spectacular list of hotels, you’re probably going to be a little disappointed. There are few tours running right now, the red light districts – at least in Phuket, Samui and Pattaya – are not very ‘red’, and many hotels, again in the popular tourist zones, remain shut. Ok there’s still plenty to do and you’ll probably be able to get some great bargains with eager hotels and taxi drivers. But the ‘Thailand’ you were probably expecting is not currently operating.

For now there’s a world of difference between the ‘almost back to normal’ areas and the ‘almost deserted’ locations around the country. Bangkok, in all but the really touristy areas, is pretty much back to its chaotic, busy self. Even Pattaya is having bursts of activity on the weekends but the weekdays are tough for the popular ‘sin-city’. Chiang Mai tourism is doing it particularly tough right now with a smattering of domestic tourism doing little to keep the northern city alive. Phuket’s west coast beach towns are almost completely bereft of people. Businesses in Koh Samui are facing extinction. Hua Hin is surviving on a trickle of weekend traffic from Bangkok.

Some of the places you’d really like to visit may be inaccessible for now, or not even open.

At some stage, hopefully sooner rather than later, the Thai government will have to re-open its borders and find a way to ‘manage’ the Covid-19 situation rather than remain in a travel bubble of its own making. The longer the government doesn’t re-open to something akin to general tourism, the harder it will be to re-boot the former Thai tourism powerhouse.

You would think with a compulsory wearing of face masks, some diligent respect for social distancing and constant reminders of good hygeine and hand washing, most of the risk factors for Covid-19 can be mitigated. Testing before travel and upon arrival also provides an extra level of defence. There are well established ways to avoid a virus beyond the blunt tool of simply closing borders.

Sure locals, who have been living inside this Siamese Bubble for 6 or so months, will also have to manage their own prevention with potential new cases coming into the country. The recent complacency will have to be replaced with a new vigilance.

The mandatory 14 day quarantine, clearly a major sticking point for many travellers, has been cobbled together to appear as little more than a money-making exercise for a select group of wealthy hoteliers, rather than a well-grounded public health policy. Appointing a government-owned private company as the intermediary for travel arrangements also smacks of turning Covid travel into a profit centre for a single business entity. The 10 room guesthouse in Patong and the bike tour company in Chiang Mai are making nothing from this exercise.

The two reoccurring themes behind every announcement about possible re-openings are “fear” of a new wave of Covid-19 and “we’re just waiting for a vaccine”.

Whilst the Thai government’s success in containing Covid-19 relatively early is something to be proud of, it has been replaced with an irrational fear to develop a useful, science-based plan to re-open the borders.

And while the hopes for a Covid-19 vaccine are shared by millions, the history of successful coronavirus vaccines is not good. In fact there has never been a workable vaccine for any of the five other coronaviruses. The urgency and clear need for a vaccine for Covid-19 has forced scientists to fast-track their development and testing, and clinical trials are currently underway. But, even if they work they will only be partially successful and many people simply won’t get the vaccine, either through choice, poorly-informed fears or lack of access. So waiting for a vaccine could be a LONG wait… it simply may never happen.

Thailand’s travel and hospitality industries, and they ARE industries, are in a perpetual limbo. Whilst everyone is happy to see a development like the Special Tourist Visa, it is not even a remotely sustainable model for Thailand’s tourism industry beyond the immediate short-term.

It’s time to replace fear with professional management of this inconvenient virus.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

68 Comments

68 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ryan

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:11 am

    There is another and rather sinister aspect to this prolongedshut down … the Thai money elite now has a once in a century opportunity to snap up idle property, shuttered businesses, and suspended companies at bargain basement amounts. It’s a classic system of robbing the poor to make the wealthy wealthier, hailing back to medieval times.

  2. Avatar

    TS

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Well written opinion piece. Its very true the current STV/Phuket model/experimental scheme or whatever they’re calling it is a start at least. But also true is that its a money making exercise for certain wealthy resort & hoteliers whom begged the gov to come up with something. It will do nothing to help the thousands or millions of average hospitality workers. Unless policies change, which is doubtful, they’ll need to learn new ways to make their livings.

    • Avatar

      Insider

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      Well written perhaps, but bereft of either scientific knowledge or policy experience. Firstly, aerosols are the dominant mode of transmission by far, which puts sharing indoor spaces safely completely out of the question; the only real mitigations are air exchange mechanisms, which require incredibly expensive and labour-intensive mechanical interventions, making them appropriate to essential spaces like hospitals and manufacturing plants, not to small-budget hotels and restaurants already struggling to survive. Secondly, China’s early experience with quarantining international arrivals already showed that even 14 days was insufficient to protect the local economy, so they shut the gates completely to some and lengthened quarantine to 28 days for others; given sufficient traffic, we’d see the beginning of visitor-initiated community outbreaks, which would spread the paralysis currently afflicting the tourism economy to the *entire* economy, *and* invite rampant xenophobia. Lastly, even if policies that looked sensible in theory were put in place, it would be the height of naivete to assume the bureaucracy would have either a) the competence to persistently and correctly follow highly specific rules that are unforgiving of even small errors or b) the ability to resist and self-regulate away from succumbing to system-defeating corruption that is, unlike this virus, already endemic to both the civil service and the service economy.

      Trying to force open the border is a non-starter, on both overwhelmingly well-established scientific grounds and a sober realpolitik reading. Instead, we should be focusing on the *real* elephant in the room question that policymakers are too scared to address publicly, which is not “How do we save the tourism economy?” but is rather “How do we coordinate a successful pivot to agriculture and medical manufacturing and accommodate public welfare during the transition?”

      That’s the actual question that contains the real answers to this protracted economic crisis that’s still only just beginning. When will policy-makers be brave enough to admit that this is what the real conversations that have been happening privately have been about? And when will the press stop playing catch-up and start calling for these discussions to take place publicly?

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      What a boring article, offered nothing new, just padding. Why don’t they get people to write about interesting things in an interesting way? It’s just short clickbait and long tedious opinion pieces in this site, I’ve read much better writing elsewhere, recently, they really need to up their game.

      • Avatar

        Kevin Leary

        Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:33 pm

        That was a very unfair comment on a well written article, i thought.
        It was not boring , but did talk about things we already new and were very topical.

        It was not short. It was not clickbait. You just dont like it?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 8:35 am

      The STV and the proposed but rejected ‘Phuket model’ are two totally different things

  3. Avatar

    lootarzoon

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:34 am

    For once a super great statement of the situation, lets launch a new normal Thailand fact ” not We Travel Together” scheme but ” lets Suicide together” its mor fun to do it in groups

  4. Avatar

    Jim

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:38 am

    If you’re not vaccinated, don’t come to Thailand, specifically Phuket.

    • Avatar

      John

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 11:22 pm

      I can’t get a covid test 72 hour before flight they are not giving test with no systoms. Married to a Thai. Unless I get fit to fly from doctor and test on arrival it will be very difficult

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:52 am

    “a money-making exercise for a select group of wealthy hoteliers, rather than a well-grounded public health policy“ – spot on. The current plan does nothing to start reopening the tourist sector, contrary to the official line. No country can afford to permanently destroy 20% of their GDP. Yet that appears to be exactly what Thailand is going to do. The first step is to slay the irrational fear the powers that be have purposely allowed to develop in the public. I see no sign of it to date.

  6. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:08 am

    The Thai population are either very ignorant, or cowardly not to rise up and throw out the government that is forcing them all into poverty.
    Foreign money, and potential investment will run for cover from the gang of tyrants that are ruining the country.
    The bans and restriction are based on lies and corruption.

    • Avatar

      Raphael Hythlodaeus

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:28 am

      Well said — not that all this nonsense affects me as a retiree (well, not significantly), but I feel so sorry, even alarmed, for the Thais themselves, with millions thrown into poverty.

    • Avatar

      patty

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Agreed 100% Toby, this military regime has done more to damage the country than the virus itself. The government and the CCSA has put fake fear into Thais for too long. If they dont fully open up soon, the backlash from Thais will be worse for the government – I hope. The virus is not going away, and vaccine is not 100% the answer, we need to learn to live with this instead of hiding in fear from the truth. All the government’s fault, regardless

    • Avatar

      Nopral

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      1000% true !
      …and people starve !
      Protests + starving people = civil war ahead.

  7. Avatar

    Emmanuel Castellani

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Thank you for this article, I must say it is the first one I read in Thailand that includes real common sense… I quote: “Whilst the Thai government’s success in containing Covid-19 relatively early is something to be proud of, it has been replaced with an irrational fear to develop a useful, science-based plan to re-open the borders.”. There you have it… While in Europe, most governments are also using fear and dispropotionate measures against a “second wave” which, according to an increasing number of top scientists that are voicing their alarming opinions with numbers and REAL facts(in the Uk, France, Germany, Italy but also in the US, India, etc…), is not really happening while they also remind us that for 98% of all these populations, this virus is harmless. Protecting the most vulnerables, this should be the only measure right now, and the rest of us, get on with our lives as usual… as we do, and always did with the flu and any other cornaviruses and other similar viruses that are still circulating – not to mention that it is very certain now that at least 2 treatments are available. Yes, 2 treatments that WORKS!! So millions of people will die from other things under this current world “regime”, famines, poverty, countless other diseases that are not treated in priority anymore because of the covid, suicides (yes rates are rising in Thailand but also everywhere else), etc… On the island of Koh Chang, it is empty, deserted,sad, lifeless, the charismatic Thai smile seems to be fading dangerously… most young Thais working here have gone back to their familly, even farangs with businesses (small resorts, restaurants, tec…) are thinking to get back to their home country although the situation there is pretty much the same, hundreds of thousands loosing their jobs, and it is only the beggining. Thailand as the rest of the world need to be now following rational science-based paths as the 1 million people (number that is questionable) that covid apparently killed worldwide in… 8 months (!!!???) will be a VERY VERY tiny number comparing to the one in 8 months from now if this irrational world madness is not stopping RIGHT NOW! (PS: just a quick RATIONAL comparaison: according to WHO (yes, the very same organisation that is fueling this politic of fear for covid), more than 7 million of deaths worldwide are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Is the world going mad???

    • Avatar

      Ron

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      Protecting the vunerable must be the priority, you said. Here in lies the problem for Thailand. Their older aged people live in multi generational households. You cannot protect them against a wide outbreak of CV 19. Lets also go through the logic of opening without isolation. How many tourists will sit in a plane for 10 hours with a mask on? How many tourists will buy the health cover needed? How many tourists will in actual fact return, 1 million or 5 million? Even at 5 million for high season the tourists will be so thin on the ground that it will not save the industry. But here is the biggest reason why tourism without isolation does not make sense. As soon as a country’s infection rate increase other countries impose a 14 day isolation for returning tourists (Spain, Greece, France etc). In the end 14 days isolation entering Thailand or 14 day isolation returning is the same. My last issue is who will pay the B 400 k it cost to treat every very sick CV 19 patients? If the 2% vunerable population gets sick it will cost B 520 bn to treat them and the cost of life will be high. The Thai people are not stupid and they have made their choice and I do not see them changing it soon. They are survivors and will survive again. Yes it will be at a cost, but that cost is for them to determine not for foreigners.

      • Avatar

        Peter

        Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:18 pm

        At last a voice of reason.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      “… not to mention that it is very certain now that at least 2 treatments are available. Yes, 2 treatments that WORKS!!”

      Really?

      So what are they?

      An injection of bleach, or deep-throating a light bulb?

      Or that old favourite, amputation at the neck?

      • Avatar

        Emmanuel Castellani

        Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:55 pm

        Inform youserf!! if you do not know already, that means you have not informed yourself properly!!

      • Avatar

        Emmanuel Castellani

        Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:14 pm

        “Really?
        So what are they?
        An injection of bleach, or deep-throating a light bulb?
        Or that old favourite, amputation at the neck?”

        Also, is sarcasm your only argument?

        There … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF-wZrQAlrg&t=15s

        There … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyA_FlPCWUA

        There… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6gDletOCHc

        Only 3 examples here but there is far much more available and also loads of scientific literrature out there, available to anyone who want to inform themselves properly…

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 9:00 am

          “Available”, yes, but none are approved to treat Covid-19, and none have proven effective.

          Most people would see that as a bit of a problem ..?

  8. Avatar

    Carlos

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Great article and well written which clears up some of the misconceptions that are around…

  9. Avatar

    Jorge

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    What’s the problem? I as a frequent tourist spend my money elsewhere. Other countries are open.

    • Avatar

      Andreas Petermann

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      Andipop007:: Jetzt. Ist México angesagt. Kein Visum Theater.

      • Avatar

        Latecomer

        Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 4:06 pm

        And Dominican Republic. Of course, USA as well

  10. Avatar

    Mr Smith

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Science based travel is the correct approach. Why is Singapore letting folks in from New Zealand etc. Because they have figured out that someone coming from there is no more likely to import covid that someone already inside Thailand. The question is why the government is not applying the same level of rational thinking given the countries need for overseas visitors. It is baffling.

    • Avatar

      Phil

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 5:02 pm

      It seems everyone in Thailand is scared of covid 19 but they are not at all concerned that 20,000+ people die EVERY year on the roads

  11. Avatar

    KathA

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    As a local resident and watching Phuket & its people and businesses dying on their feet daily, it is such a sad situation and there has to be a better alternative than what is being offered now. All the time that the heavy restrictions on tourism access and 14 day quarantines or any quarantines come to that are in place, the general tourists will not be able or wish to return. There has to be some hope of a partial high season business for this island and elsewhere, survival is paramount and coping with the virus is key.

  12. Avatar

    karl

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    you should have started:

    it was so easy. you booked a flight. later you found out that your flight back home was cancelled. till now you are waiting for your money back…

  13. Avatar

    murika

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    when a government base his policy on fear, when something actually fearful happened population go in panic mode, the government put itself in this situation and wish they could back in time and choose the trump way of doing nothing, but now it’s too late and face losing mentality will make it impossible for them to say they were wrong, i think they will jump on any shitty untested vaccine that is no more than a vitamin boost and make it look like the answer, then they will let everybody enter, the first wave will hit and kill a few hundred thousand, but they will not test them and declare they died of old age and threaten anyone who ask questions, those people in charge are military not politics, they use warfare technics of corruption, fear and lie to get things done, in the land of karma, this is a very good example to understand how karma work, nothing magic, you just get what you deserve. the media are now participating in that fear by announcing the end of Thailand because of that 20% gdp lost, Thailand is here to stay, people who can’t make money with tourist will do another job, it’s a crisis, lessons will be learned and life will go on…

  14. Avatar

    Sir Geoff

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Very good article. It is astonishing that Thailand can lose about 20% of GDP (including tourism multipliers right through to food and agriculture, construction etc) and appear not to be bothered. Bangkok restaurants and malls are full of locals. I assume living on credit. But this cannot last. At some point they have to wake up.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 9:11 am

      Of course Thailand’s “bothered”, but what’s the alternative?

  15. Avatar

    Keegan

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Irresponsible to say the least.

  16. Avatar

    Nigel Graham Henson

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    excellent article. If you don’t have family in Thailand then be patient and wait. There is no need to be in Pattaya or Phuket right now. The places are a shell of what they used to be. Plan on easter next year, by which time the sudden cancellations will have stopped, and hotels and bars (that survived) will be open normally.

  17. Avatar

    Charlie

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Thaiger it’s gross that you seem to be pro-red light districts. We could only be so lucky that this pandemic would have the side effect of eliminating massive prostitution and all it brings with drugged women, violence, and venereal diseases.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      The Thaiger is NOT “pro red-light districts”. However we recognise that that segment of the market is a real part of Thailand’s tourism mix – that’s not a tacit approval, just a reality. You may also like to read the long list of articles we’ve published about better rights for the country’s 200,000 or so prostitutes and attempts to provide improved conditions for them, female and male.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 12:17 pm

        For once, I have to side with Thaiger.

        It would be disingenuous in the extreme to ignore this side of Thailand’s tourist industry, just as it would be to ignore the part played by the red light district and cannabis cafes in Amsterdam’s.

        FWIW, as far as “massive prostitution and all it brings with drugged women, violence”, etc goes, informed estimates put the number of prostitutes in Thailand at between 150,000 and 300,000 while there are 700,000 registered prostitutes in Germany, and I’d suggest there’s far less drugs, violence and trafficking involved in prostitution in Thailand where it’s just “another profession”, little more, than in the West and elsewhere.

    • Avatar

      Robert

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:13 pm

      I was also very suprised that this article made reference to this type of tourist. I agree one positive outcome of this virus may be a decline prostitution in Thailand. It would greatly improve Thailands image.

  18. Avatar

    Tara Vanhonacker

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    It does not help tourism when Thai people who want to steal houses and other stuff claim the tourist has a criminal record in their own country, when there is none … ZERO …
    That is my story and you do not want to hear it … it is frightening how an innocent female writer who wrote these words had to die in the streets of Belgium because of the meanness and racism of Thai people …

    Prayer to the Lord Buddha

    My Lord
    I ask for too much
    when I pray that people
    not lie … not steal …
    not kill … not rape

    My Lord
    I ask for too much
    when I pray that people
    who lie … who steal …
    who kill … who rape …

    My Lord
    that they may feel lighter
    that they may be happy
    that they may feel free

    My Lord
    Because maybe for all of us
    The meek and the weak
    The innocent and the sweet
    The eternal children
    Because maybe for one hour
    for one breath
    we may love without fear ….

    Tara Vanhonacker ©2014 – That Phanom – Thailand

    The only remark I want to make is : when are they going to be ashamed enough to fix the mess they created ?

  19. Avatar

    DK

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Great opinion piece. Please do more!

  20. Avatar

    James

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    This was a well written piece that stated a simple fact, “tourism is an industry.” Many people will have to pivot away from tourism, but our global world requires travel to operate efficiently in many other ways. Countries such as Thailand that have extremely tight restrictions will lose other export related industries – including fisheries, agriculture and manufacturing – to competitors that are more flexible at managing this crisis. This is already happening. I’m aware of a manufacturing business that’s moving to a neighbouring country for reasons of accessibility- more flexible government rules allowing foreign managers, technicians and investors in and out.

    Thailand also has many international families living here for children’s education, with fantastic schools, facilities and programs part of that “industry” worth billions of baht annually. If restrictions continue to be too onerous, schools will lose out. These schools employ many thousands of Thai people in respectable, well paying jobs. And importantly, they create legacy relationships that many of those students will use for their lifetime. This, in many cases, will directly benefit Thai people and the country for years to come. My kid’s school has lost over 100 students net between last year and this one – mostly related to travel difficulties for the families.

    This is a complex problem requiring the most complex of analysis and solutions. Simply nailing everything shut will likely come at a greater cost in the long term.

  21. Avatar

    King kee neow

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Putting people in jail for bad reviews isn’t great for tourism either but we don’t talk about that. Thailand is becoming more like China everyday and I feel sorry for the expats on a set income.

    • Avatar

      JM Sienz

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 1:40 am

      Agree, once this settles it will be interesting to see what the Thai goverent does with visaa and the ability of ex-pats to live here

  22. Avatar

    Ben

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    The article is well written and suggests a reasonable approach to reopening from a western perspective which champions individual rights above all else whereas Asian culture emphasizes the group.

    Most, if not all, Asian countries are on lockdown to general tourism so what Thailand is doing isn’t out of step with its neighbors or culture.

    They’re looking at how China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam are handling the crisis with caution. They see the USA and UK are open, and on edge, and everyone is on their own to protect themselves – how has that worked out for them?

    It’s frustrating we cannot travel to Thailand with ease and enjoy its offerings. The decision makers there aren’t worried about us, at the moment. Those going bankrupt and being put into poverty aren’t our problem – that’s their problem too.

    They, like their neighbors, are waiting for the results of vaccine trials which are a few months away. If the vaccines are effective then that’ll be the basis for opening up for general tourism. If you don’t want to vaccinate then you won’t be going to Thailand or anywhere else in Asia. If they’re not effective then they’ll have to figure out a plan B.

    So they’ll be doing what the Chinese do and not what the Americans and Brits want.

  23. Avatar

    Carl Anton Weber

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1:23 am

    Well, I agree that a 10 days quarentine is necessary for all incoming people to keep the virus out. 14 days is just a number and not founded on a scientific base. Thailand must provide hundreds more hotels all over the country with strict rules and guidelines the guests have to follow. But Thailand should show much more that tourist are welcome. Unfortunatly Thailand just published in recent weeks the money generated by incoming special guests. So they don’t appear to be interested in the persons visiting beautiful Thailand but seem to look only at the money. Certainly this view doesn’t create a sympathic feeling. I don’t see a reason to overprice these stays anymore. Sure two additional Corona-tests will extend the price but certainly not to the extent that is currently happening. Maybe these measures might be a way to improve both the economy and the strong desires of tourists to visit this outstanding country.

  24. Avatar

    Edy F.

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 3:26 am

    But these vaccines are not made to preserve from covid19, they are made to control and kill people by genetic modifications, nanoparticles and a lot of chemical inside.
    So everybody will become a GMO and a potential dead. Nanoparticles working with 5G give the control upon the population. This is part of the new world order agenda.
    So don’t be hurry to get this vaccine..

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      OMG … it’s down to 5g and the baby-eating paedophiles …

  25. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 8:32 am

    What appalling, blinkered, uninformed nonsense.

    While it doesn’t spell it out, it’s written as if Thailand is one of the few if not the only country to have such a policy of “mandatory 14 day quarantine” which “has been cobbled together to appear as little more than a money-making exercise for a select group of wealthy hoteliers, rather than a well-grounded public health policy.”

    RUBBISH. UNADULTERATED, UNTRUE, ABSURD RUBBISH.

    The majority of countries across the world have the exact same policy, from Japan to India, Taiwan to Australia, New Zealand to Canada.

    The idea that they are all corrupt and somehow run by “a select group of wealthy hoteliers” would be laughable if only it wasn’t so stupid, so blinkered and so dangerous.

    Thailand has had 59 deaths from Covid-19 in total, with only one since June, with the rate of Covid infection steady since the same time, with a very limited “lockdown”.

    Compare that to the UK, with a similar-sized population, which has had over 42,000 deaths and an infection rate that has recently been doubling every fortnight, with ever increasing lockdowns.

    Thailand is not the exception in closing and controlling its borders and imposing a 14 day quarantine, but the norm.
    What’s exceptional is how successful it has been in controlling Covid-19, which is due not only to government policy (to give credit where it’s due) but to the Thai people looking out for each other by respecting social distancing, washing hands, monitoring temperatures, and wearing facemasks.

    A vaccine isn’t the only answer and the only obstacle to safely opening borders, as the article also misleadingly suggests. A far simpler, more likely and more effective solution would be an effective test which could be given to all on arrival giving accurate results quickly – pass and you’re in and everyone’s safe, fail and you’re quarantined (and everyone’s still safe). Sadly such a test doesn’t exist yet as tests are not only slow but wildly inaccurate (both positive and negative), which is why quarantine is still the only answer, but the signs are that it’s more likely to be ready before a vaccine and it would be the answer for tourism.

    Ironically, given the outcry here from a vocal few, as a low-risk, comparatively safe destination, it’s likely that in the long term Thailand and Thailand’s tourism industry could be one of the few to benefit from Covid-19.

    Of course there are going to be losers and casualties, and my sympathy goes to them and they and the tourism industry should be given whatever support they can be – but the tourism industry shouldn’t be allowed to profit at the expense of the rest of the country who will pay with their lives.

    The tourism industry may well possibly make up close to 20% of GDP, possibly employing up to 10% of the population directly and indirectly if you include spin-off indirect employment … but that leaves 90% of the population who those benefiting from the tourism industry prefer to selfishly ignore.

    At the same time, regardless of the effect on their fellow countrymen, the political opportunists are using the world-wide recession as a chance to attack the government, blaming it for the downturn not Covid-19. Shame on them. While there are plenty of valid sticks to beat the government with, this is simply not one of them and this particular policy has widespread support despite the government rather than because of it as the reaction even in Phuket to the proposed “Phuket model” shows.

    The rest of the World, particularly those such as the UK and the USA, should learn from that and Thailand should be proud of what it’s achieved and the example it’s set, and not be betrayed by a vocal but selfish tourism industry and some political opportunists.

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 9:51 am

      It’s a boring, badly written article, full of old rehashed info and a lack of checking facts, which seems to be the norm here. They should dump the editor and the writers and let some of the commenters write the stories instead, it’s just endless dross and clickbait.

    • Avatar

      nonsense2

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 2:33 am

      total nonsense your comments.you have no clue what you are talking about

  26. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    “There are well established ways to avoid a virus beyond the blunt tool of simply closing borders.”

    THEN NAME THEM!

    • Avatar

      Aaron

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 1:56 am

      Self paid Testing and a cash deposit on arrival and every other day until the end of 14 days. and a hefty fine of you have it, and if you do have it also required self paid quarantine for 21 days..And block you from coming to Thailand for a year..this should keep risky travelers out. But also allow for people who take precautions to travel and spend money anc most importantly see loved ones in Thailand.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 9:09 am

        If you’re not quarantined during that 14 days, what’s the point in testing every day???

        If positive, the damage will have already been done!

        Surely that’s obvious?

  27. Avatar

    JD Seinz

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    From the littany of responses it’s apparent many of us worldwide wish to return to Thailand but are subject to the devastating holds placed on us due to the current pandemic.
    But amungst all the health, science and economic data is the mere fact of when an effective and safe vaccine will be available and those who wish to be vaccinated. ( this seems to be the ongoing key to returning to life as we know it ) So how and when will any country begin to allow foreign tourists back into their country is still an unknown yet the current state of zero revenue, not to mention the myriad of other developing issues of no growth and failed businesses, can not continue for months on end. And, unfortunately, for countries such as Thailand which rely on the tourist dollar for a large part of its GDP, the issue is even more delicate requiring a novel approach to reopen the borders.

  28. Avatar

    Kuzbidon

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    It would be risky to inject a vaccine that would have been produced in a few months (last record was 5 years) to all a population. The risk would me much higher than covid.
    Young people who mostly stay asymptomatic would be fool to take vaccine against something that is no risk for them.
    So the world will slowly build herd immunity and countries who have none will have to maintain quarantine in place for years to come.
    There is Maybee a business to develop in quarantine market, as the world split in 2 (zéro covid zone and herd immunity zones).
    If zero covid zones creates travel bubbles Thailand could become the entry door to Australia new Zeeland south corea etc offering approved quarantine at competitive price.

    .

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 9:18 am

      There is no evidence so far of “herd immunity”, nor any basis for supposing there will be any based on the lack of “herd immunity” to other viruses in general and corona viruses in particular.

      According to all the scientific evidence, it’s nothing more than a hoped-for myth.

      • Avatar

        Latecomer

        Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 4:09 pm

        Have you ever heard of a country in Europe, called Sweden. They had no “lock-downs” /what does that word actually mean, where does it come from, who invented it and when?/, no obligatory face masks, light touch measures.
        Cases falling, hospitalizations falling, and deaths falling…

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 12:10 pm

          Yes, heard of Sweden, and realised why what apparently worked there wouldn’t (and hasn’t) worked elsewhere.

  29. Avatar

    West tiger

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Thailand is committing financial suicide with these new visa requirements.
    As every day passes Thailand sinks further into the abyss.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      “financial suicide”, possibly, for a few who can and should be given government support …

      … or mass genocide for tens of thousands of Thais who will undoubtedly die as a result if quarantine is abandoned unless new, more accurate, tests are developed.

      That’s the choice.

  30. Avatar

    Sami

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Very very well written article which needs sensible people to understand what has been a clear mention of facts…gives e depression to see what is the state of affairs in a country where I would love to take a short break ever so often …the way I am looking at the situation I feel we would be fortunate to travel again maybe in 2023

  31. Avatar

    China copyright

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Thailand, just like Italy, UK, France, Spain and Belgium understood that the Chinese example is the one to folkow – extremely hard measures, muzzles, house arrests, state quarantine, attack on human rights. All which maybe works in China, for a while, but has harmful consequences….

  32. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Except that Thailand HASN’T HAD “extremely hard measures, muzzles, house arrests, state quarantine, attack on human rights” – at least because of Covid-19.

    … but, despite that, it’s been a thousand times more successful in controlling Covid-19 within its borders than “Italy, UK, France, Spain and Belgium”.

    Credit where it’s due …

  33. Avatar

    West Tiger

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    I don’t think any intelligent person believes the low number of deaths from coronavirus in Thailand

  34. Avatar

    Rory

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    I just made it to Thailand for a student exchange on an ED Visa. My god, the hoops you have to go through do seem truly endless. SO much mind numbing bureaucracy. The government needs to be clearer and more coherent in the way that they explain the process, and which steps you need to take first. I am finally here, but it was messy, painful and stressful to say the least.

  35. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    @Issan John – I love responding to comments that aged really poorly. Credit where credit is due, indeed! lmfao.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Media16 hours ago

No sex please, we’re Thai

Events18 hours ago

An aquatic meal with Olga Belka – taking art to new depths

Transport21 hours ago

Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Train Station) – History and future | VIDEO

Sponsored3 days ago

CBRE recommends top 5 luxury condominiums in Phuket with fantastic locations

imageimage
Thailand21 hours ago

Bug-eating challenge with Natty, feat. Mark Abbott | VIDEO

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

UPDATE: Israel bans ALL foreign entry over Omicron

Thailand1 day ago

New variant could dampen Thailand’s reopening enthusiasm

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

UPDATE: Latest news on Omicron – what we know

Tourism2 days ago

Songkhla prepares for tourism across the Southern land border

Thailand2 days ago

French expat being denied re-entry to Thailand over repeated criticism of the Thai monarchy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 6,073 infections, 32 deaths, provincial data

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Omicron causing concern, Thai authorities ban travellers from 8 countries

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Thailand’s nightlife venues and bars told to keep closed until January 16

Protests2 days ago

Amnesty International under investigation for defending activists

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

New Covid-19 strain named “Omicron” and a variant of concern

Thailand2 days ago

CCSA sticks with plan to reopen bars on January 16

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending