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New Thailand Plus app for tourists will help officials track their whereabouts

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New Thailand Plus app for tourists will help officials track their whereabouts | The Thaiger
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A new app, named Thailand Plus, for tourists has been created to help officials track their whereabouts more precisely once they have arrived in Thailand. The app was developed by Sompote Arhunai, the CEO of the Energy Absolute Company, which also developed the “Mor Chana” application.

Sompote says the app will send information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will function similarily to a GPS. Such information will include certificate of entries, as well as screening and tracing. He says officials will know the whereabouts of tourists during their stays in case any of them are found to have contracted the virus. Such precise whereabouts will reportedly help authorities to take immediate action to prevent the spread of the virus in the areas in which the tourists visited.

So far, he says 600,000 Thais have downloaded the Mor Chana app and he urges more Thais to do the same. But following the controversial app, which some say is an invasion of privacy, he says their privacy will not be compromised.

Such a new development comes after The Tourism Authority of Thailand has introduced a special tourist visa, for tourists from low-risk countries, in order to start helping the country recover after Covid wrecked the tourism-reliant economy. However, some of the requirements have been controversial as critics say only rich tourists would be able to take advantage of the special visa option. Such requirements include a mandatory 14-day stay at an approved alternative state quarantine hotel or hospital, which is may be quite pricey for the average backpacker. Other requirements include the procurement of travel health insurance that covers a minimum of 400,000 baht.

Recently, tourism authorities have announced that the nation will see 681 tourists arriving by next month, as they have secured the special visas and a place to quarantine.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gary

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Wow, eliminates the need for the 90 day reports………………

    • Avatar

      scottie doo

      Friday, November 27, 2020 at 8:22 am

      Simple turn of location on your smart phone

  2. Avatar

    Jesse Jones

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    I can always take my money to another country. I can’t see Thailand even as a option for my holiday.

  3. Avatar

    SG666

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    So…600.000 morons downloaded the Mor Chana app…not so many, so another success story in LOScam.

    If the new tracking app should become mandatory for foreign tourists LOScam can say goodbye to its tourism industry for a very looooooong time. Maybe uncle Pinocchio makes a test run with expats living in LOScam ? Flights out here are luckily available

  4. Avatar

    Fabian

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    The app we have all been waiting for! It’s a nice addition to all the other demotivating requirements.

  5. Avatar

    luca

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    all absurd and useless requests, how many tourists can hope to attract in these conditions? Wouldn’t it be better to tell the truth and that tourism will reopen in 2022? Thailand is a low-cost tourist destination so it attracts 40 million tourists, if it becomes too expensive or complicated it will attract too few to maintain the industry which, as we have seen in recent months, cannot be maintained by domestic tourism

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7:26 pm

      From the BP in July about the Mor Chana app:

      “… public trust in contact tracing apps remains low. People skipping Thai Chana checkpoints has become a common sight in Bangkok shopping centres, while many are crying foul at the app’s dubious privacy and data protections.

      According to the Singapore-based cybersecurity firm Straits Interactive, the Mor Chana and Thai Chana contact tracing apps, endorsed by the government to stop the spread of Covid-19, contain excessive user permissions and have terms and conditions lacking transparency.

      A report by the Data Protection Excellence Network (DPEX) conducted by Straits Interactive showed the Mor Chana app asked for more permissions from users than any other contact tracing app in Asean, while Singapore’s TraceTogether app and Vietnam’s Blue Zone app had the least.

      Countries around the world are developing similar apps to fight the pandemic, while privacy advocates are raising concerns that these tracing apps could be abused by the government and used to monitor citizens for purposes other than Covid-19 prevention.

      According to the study, the app requires nine “dangerous” permissions (or permissions that grant access to personal data outside the app) including access to the camera, GPS location, and device and app history, which means the app developer can access web history and log data of other apps. The developer and its partners in government could access these functions as long as the app is running.

      “It is like giving access to your entire phone to the developer,” said Kevin Shepherdson, chief executive of Straits Interactive. “

  6. Avatar

    Andres

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Thai Big Brother.

  7. Avatar

    Peter

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Heading down the same road as their Chinese masters.
    My love affair with Thailand has faded over the last year. I personally think it will be a few years before visa on arrival will be reinstated.
    I won’t be jumping through hoops and being imprisoned to return to a Thailand that has had huge parts of its tourist industry destroyed.
    No fun whatsoever.

  8. Avatar

    Farang

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Why not leave the phone in room and go out?
    This is so stupid.

    • Avatar

      Ted

      Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 9:01 am

      No need, only turn it off

  9. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Which will cost the tourist how much?
    Another Thai racket to extract money from foreigners on the excuse of covid,
    A virus that it is unlikely to catch, and it is extremely unlikely to die from unless the victim is old, fat, and ill already.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 9:50 am

      The app is free – not someting I’d want, but free.

  10. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    I luv this app long time…… next time I’m in a motel room about to go to the nirvana someone can bust in and save me in the dick of time before entering the young evil covid 19 lass……

  11. Avatar

    AI

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    OK what’s next? How about this and that and this and have a nice taxpayer’s dinner in between meetings to discuss it!
    Clowns, clowns and more clowns and yet more to keep people in fear.
    Look at the silly picture above 55 lol! WTH is that all about! The aliens have landed! Who actuall gets paid to make this stuff up!
    Bet ol’ Uncle Joe & Josef G. must be chuckling away to themselves!

  12. Avatar

    Benji

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Great suggestion! Only question is who will pay for my falang SIM card LTE internet that has to be online 24/7 for the tracking app to work. Last I checked it costs around USD 2 / Megabyte..Don’t bother, I already know the answer to that question..

  13. Avatar

    Richard Renwick

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    What happens if you don’t have a smartphone? Will you not be allowed past immigration? I just use my 10 year old Nokia when I’m on holiday.

  14. Avatar

    Don R

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Tourism in Asia is finished, at least for me. Sad. It was once a very pleasant place.

    Hello, Mexico.

  15. Avatar

    Ynwaps

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Only thing missing is the david star as app logo

  16. Avatar

    Michael

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    What happened to the GPS anklets, and smartwatches with GPS?

  17. Avatar

    Syphn

    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Since I started coming to Thailand i always carry 2 phones so whatever tracking they want to install on a phone really is pointless unless i get covid which thailand doesn’t have. Strange to need to track if you have no covid and still have to quarantine

  18. Avatar

    zig

    Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 12:47 am

    Good friggin luck…I will never return there under these conditions…and even if I did the phone would stay in my room

  19. Avatar

    Strider

    Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Like it or not, technology has created this New Norman not just for Thailand but all over the world and We, the population, have embraced it with open arms. We have fed the monster. We are complacent in its spread. We are nothing more than slaves to its sirens song. Technology has seeped deep into the marrow of our being and is incorporated into everything that contains a microchip. There’s no escaping it, it’s all pervasive. Society as we know it would collapse without it. We are under its complete control and the organizations which control it. We have given ourselves both mental and physical, which is what was intended.
    Like it or not, welcome our dystopian society…

  20. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:23 am

    The deafness of the Thai government cannot be overstated. In what kind of country would visitors be monitored 24/7? An authoritarian one, like North Korea, Russia, Belarus, and Thailand’s new master, China.

    Kiss 20%+ of your GDP goodbye, Thailand. Concentrate on OTOP…that is something you understand.

  21. Avatar

    Mr Jones

    Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:43 am

    This app will probably only work on Android phones. This is since Apple has rules and restrictions to follow, and each app needs to pass tests at Apple before it’s released into their App Store.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 9:53 am

      No, it works on Apple OS too.

    • Avatar

      Ynwaps

      Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      Apple just extended the possibility of instagram taking sneaky pictures of your face to monitor expressions based on content they are serving you. Maybe next year it will be better. Maybe not.

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Hong Kong partially locks down, forcing thousands to undergo Covid screening

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Hong Kong partially locks down, forcing thousands to undergo Covid screening | The Thaiger

Hong Kong’s government is forcing a partial lockdown until 10,000 residents of an area in the Kowloon peninsula, complete a Covid-19 test. The 2 day lockdown in the city’s poorest neighbourhood of Jordan, comes after a new strain of the coronavirus was identified, making it the 1st lockdown that the city has seen.

The area, which features many deteriorating buildings and 150 stacked housing blocks, has confirmed 162 confirmed cases of Covid-19 this month, with the ratio of virus detected in sewage samples from buildings there was higher than that of other areas.

Over the last 2 months the city has been hit by a 4th wave of infections with authorities struggling to bring the daily numbers down. Such clusters have hit the low-income neighbourhoods the most, which are notorious for cramped conditions in districts such as Yau Tsim Mong.

In recent days, health officials began mandatory testing in some 70 buildings in the area but the government has now decided to test everyone much to the confusion of local residents. As rumours of a lockdown were leaked to the local media, the government didn’t officially announce the measure until this morning. The area is also home to many ethnic minorities, mainly South Asian Hong Kongers, a community that often faces discrimination and poverty.

Earlier in the week a senior health official was criticised when he suggested ethnic minority residents might be spreading the virus more readily because “they like to share food, smoke, drink alcohol and chat together.”

The health official’s comments also came as a video was released of predominantly white migrants dancing at a packed brunch on the more affluent Hong Kong Island. But those who agreed with the health official pointed to cramped conditions, not race or culture, as being the cause of the virus spreading more easily.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Phuket wants Bangkok arrivals to skip quarantine to help tourism revenue

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Phuket wants Bangkok arrivals to skip quarantine to help tourism revenue | The Thaiger

Phuket’s tourism representatives are calling for an end to the mandatory quarantine levied at tourists arriving to the province from Bangkok. The tourism delegation have also told Phuket’s provincial government to be prepared to start receiving international tourists starting in October.

According to The Phuket News, such a plan would include a requirement for all international travellers to Thailand to have the Covid-19 vaccine. By that time, it is expected that Phuket will have 70% of its population vaccinated, with the timeline possibly being sped up by the province planning to buy the vaccines with its own funds. Such a move would bypass the national government’s timeline with the hopes of innoculating registered residents quicker. Governor Narong says such quarantine measures in place currently are preventing the province from profitting off domestic tourism.

“Phuket has been hit hard by the 2nd epidemic. Thai tourists do not come because they do not want to quarantine and follow the difficult steps to enter the province, not to mention there are no foreign tourists at this time.”

In a meeting, the PTA President Bhummikitti, said the Covid-19 vaccine was “the last ticket and the last hope” for Phuket tourism, “because Phuket tourism has no way out at this time.”

“Thai people are unable to travel due to the second outbreak, and foreign tourists are not to be mentioned at all. Vaccines are the hope of the Phuket tourism sector.”

“The private sector wants to get clarity from the government whether we can follow this plan or not, because if it is left like this – open, close, lockdown and so on, as in the past – local businesses are all dead.”

Bhummikitti pointed out that the government had promised to work with local industry on all matters related to Covid-19 and keeping the local economy alive. He said that the move would “allow tourism and the Phuket economy to be able to walk once more from having fewer Thai tourists.”

Governor Narong said tracking systems will be in place when tourists do come back to the province.

“In order to ensure tourists that Phuket citizens as well as incoming tourists are safe from the Covid-19 virus, there will be a tracking system, and a fund established to be used as a remedy [sic] to help those affected if there is an infection from incoming tourists.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Eastern provinces growing impatient with safety measures as Covid cases decrease

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Eastern provinces growing impatient with safety measures as Covid cases decrease | The Thaiger

Thailand’s eastern provinces are growing impatient as local businesses and residents await a relaxation in Covid-19 safety measures after seeing a drop in cases. Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Trat and Rayong are under a “highly controlled” status set by the CCSA (Samut Sakhon, south west of Bangkok, also falls into the same category at this time). These provinces, along with Samut Sakhon and Samut Prakarn, are under the strictest control measures in the country.

The cause of such tough measures levied upon the provinces was due to a spike in Covid cases after illegal gambling operations in Rayong and Chonburi were found to feature participants with the Covid-19 virus. But now, those areas are reporting very few cases of the virus leaving residents frustrated as they are unable to make a living or travel.

There has been only 1 case in the past 2 days in all 4 of the Eastern provinces. That case was in Rayong, with all other cases being in the low single digits. On top of the low cases, any new cases have been promptly dealt with by requiring contact-tracing, tracking and quarantine. But any hopes of the measures relaxing has been pushed back to the end of the month, with many questioning such a delay.

Bangkok, which has seen more cases reported than all 4 eastern provinces combined, is now easing restrictions by allowing 13 types of businessesto reopen. The move has baffled the eastern provinces as such businesses are still ordered to shutter. The government has responded, somewhat, by offering a 3,500 baht handout for 2 months, but registration for the handout doesn’t start until the end of this month. When the money actually hits residents’ pockets is also unknown as it could take weeks.

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