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Onerous new document requirements for stranded foreigners announced

Jack Burton

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Onerous new document requirements for stranded foreigners announced | The Thaiger
PHOTO: thailande-fr.com
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Thailand’s Immigration Bureau announced yesterday that 9 separate documents are now required for foreigners stranded here to extend their stay for up to 30 days. New requirements include land deeds, rental contracts, even selfies of foreigners at their accommodations, even as scenes of chaos and massive queues at immigration continue unabated. A Thai Immigration spokesman defended the inconvenience on the grounds of “national security.”

Countless long queues have been packing immigration offices around Thailand as foreigners scramble to sort out their visa situation and apply for extensions to avoid overstays. The long queues, many in stinking hot conditions around the country at the moment, are putting Thai immigration staff, and the applicants, in a dangerous NON social distancing situation.

Be aware that the same requirements may not be required at every immigration office on every day as the situation remains fluid and immigration officials are working hard to process all the paperwork and adapt to the changes in rules.

“Indeed, we are requiring more documents than usual because there are those who want to exploit the opportunity. We are doing our best to provide the best service, but bearing in mind that national security is our utmost priority.”

The new rules were brought to public attention in a photo posted yesterday by longtime British expat Richard Barrow.

Onerous new document requirements for stranded foreigners announced | News by The Thaiger

Apart from the usual TM7 application form, copies of passports, and applicants’ photos, the new rules require a certificate from their respective embassies, a copy of a rental contract, a document confirming their stay at the accommodation, a copy of the landlord’s ID card and house registration, and a map showing the location of their residence.

The landlord must accompany the applicant in person when submitting the documents (!!!??###!!!???) The applicant must also provide at least four photos of themselves at the accomodation, preferably showing the house or apartment number, to prove their residency.

The spokesman said these new regulations are “in accordance with immigration protocols.”

Speaking by phone, the spokesman also shot down news reports that the Cabinet has approved automatic visa extensions for foreign tourists.

“In fact, the matter is still being deliberated.”

Onerous new document requirements for stranded foreigners announced | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Khaosod English | Twitter/Richard Barrow

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1 Comment

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    Matt

    Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 12:43 am

    Thailand, the rest of the world is both laughing at your total inability to use common sense and logic, and horrified that the these actions by incompetent ministers in charge of immigration policy during the Coronavirus crisis, will no doubt cost the lives of both farangs, as well as Thai nationals. I’m so relieved that after 18 years living in Thailand, I returned to the UK permanently in February with my Thai partner and three children.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions

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111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: PR Surat

Police raided a party in Koh Pha Ngan and arrested 111 on charges of violating Covid-19 disease control measures under the Emergency Decree. Immigration police and tourist police raided the event at Three Sixty Bar, a venue on a hilltop near Mae Haad Beach on the island known for its 360 degree view.

Out of the 111 people arrested, 89 are foreigners and 20 are Thais. Police say 2 other people admitted to organising the party and were charged with colluding in operating an entertainment venue without permission. All 111 people were taken to the police station for legal action.

According to chief of Surat Thani immigration, police heard about party tickets being sold online. The bar wasn’t exactly discrete about hosting an event. Various posts were made on Facebook advertising the “360 Blast & Addict Party” with DJs on 2 dance floors, a music line up until 2am and a “Crazy Market” with clothes, jewelry and food.

Surat Thani Governor also says strict legal action will be taken against the partygoers and breaches of Covid-19 restrictions will not be tolerated.

111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | PR Surat

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Phuket eases restrictions, bars back to late-night hours

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Phuket eases restrictions, bars back to late-night hours | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Culture Trip

Things are getting back to normal in Phuket. The provincial government eased disease control restrictions, allowing restaurants, bars and entertainment venues to go back to their normal operating hours – no more midnight closure order – and lifting the late-night alcohol ban.

While bars can now stay open late and serve alcohol after midnight, dancing is prohibited and venues cannot serve alcohol in containers that will be shared among groups of people.

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee agreed to ease the restrictions yesterday and an order allowing late-night hours and alcohol sales was posted today by the Phuket’s Public Relations Department.

“As the Covid-19 situation in Phuket has improved that there are no more Covid-19 infections found, the committee agreed to cancel the late-night alcohol ban in order to revive the economy of Phuket.”

All businesses related to gathering activities are warned to follow the Covid-19 preventive measures.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers

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Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bloomberg

With the Covid-19 death toll exceeding 100,000 in the United Kingdom, the British government is considering a mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors entering the country. A quarantine system is considered to be an effective way to limit virus transmission and stop new coronavirus variants from spreading into the country.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with senior officials in a meeting yesterday, saying that the government will consider tighter border measures. UK citizens and residents arriving from most of southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal, will have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.

Currently, people arriving in the UK from abroad must show the Covid-19 test results, while direct flights from South Africa, Brazil, and Portugal are banned to prevent the spreading of new variants in the Kingdom.

Hotel quarantine measures have been used in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, and Singapore, but the disease control practice has not been widely used in Europe.

In Thailand, those who enter the country from abroad must quarantine for 14 days at either a state quarantine facility or at an alternative quarantine hotel. Travellers must also be tested for Covid-19 before their flight to Thailand and tested at least another 2 times before they are released from quarantine.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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