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PM: Nightlife stays open for business

Greeley Pulitzer

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PM: Nightlife stays open for business | The Thaiger
PHOTO: - Bangkok Post
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Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-cha announced he has rejected, for the time being, the suggestion from Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to temporarily close the country’s massive nightlife industry. Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday the suggestion was one of several measures he and the Ministry of Public Health would bring up with the PM tomorrow.

But as social media exploded, fiercely divided both for and against the move, Prayut addressed reporters saying he did “not feel it [is] needed at this time.” But he added the situation will be reassessed at a later date if it worsens, and asked for the cooperation of business owners to take proper precautions to protect their customers and staff.

Many netizens expressed concern that closing the industry would mean tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people not only being laid off, but returning to their homes in rural Thailand, exposing the country’s significant (and especially vulnerable) elderly population to the disease, which is so far mainly in rural areas. The majority of workers in Thailand’s tens of thousands of nightclubs, bars, live music venues, massage parlours, karaoke clubs, pubs and other entertainment sites survive paycheck to paycheck, and would almost certainly be forced to return home to their families. Many are from Issan, in the rural Northeast of Thailand, which is the country’s poorest area and home to largest number of the vulnerable elderly.

Several venues, particularly in Bangkok, have been closed both due to suspected cases and as a precaution by owners. Many others have been shuttered by the downturn in business due to lack of tourists.

Other measures suggested by the Anutin and other ministry officials, such as moving Songkran later in the year to avoid hundreds of thousands of people returning home in April, further travel restrictions and stopping more private and sporting events, will be discussed at regular meetings tomorrow.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai Immigration seek visa relief for stranded foreigners

Sean Kelly

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Thai Immigration seek visa relief for stranded foreigners | The Thaiger
Foreigners queue in long lines at the Immigration Bureau's office in Chaeng Watthana Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

Thailand’s Immigration Chief Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, is seeking cabinet approval for new measures to help foreigners in Thailand affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The proposal will be submitted to the cabinet for approval this week, he said.

Cabinet meets each Tuesday.

The proposals follow a difficult week for foreigners and immigration officials coping with long queues of panicking visitors trying to sort out their visas in a very non-social distancing environment. Long queues and frustrated tourists have been the norm at immigration offices around Thailand is recent weeks.

The measures will focus on three groups of foreigners…

  • Foreigners with resident visas who normally reside in Thailand but cannot return due to the Covid-19 crisis
  • Foreign tourists who are unable to depart Thailand due to the crisis
  • Visitors from neighbouring countries who hold a temporary border pass and got stuck in Thailand after the borders were shut

Foreigners in the first group are typically required to return to Thailand within a year of their departure, however since they can not fly at this time, immigration will propose extending their compulsory deadline until after the pandemic subsides.

The extension of the return period would not affect any immigration rights and benefits they usually receive when strictly following the one-year return period requirement though they are advised to return to Thailand as soon as possible after the crisis concludes.

Foreigners who have been unable to leave and have reported to immigration authorities for a 30-day extension after their visas expired on March 26 or thereafter; their visas will be automatically renewed every 30 days until the pandemic subsides.

Under the government’s social distancing policy, these tourists will no longer have to visit the immigration bureau if the policy is adopted, which would eliminate the risk of contracting the virus in a crowd, Pol Lt Gen Sompong said.

This proposed measure, however, does not apply to those foreigners who are working and or have family in Thailand. They will still be required to report to immigration authorities regularly.

Foreigners from neighbouring countries will be allowed to stay in Thailand until the borders are re-opened. They will be required to leave Thailand within seven days after the borders reopen.

Other foreigners who are now in Thailand and affected by the Covid-19 crisis, but aren’t covered in the above three categories are advised to adhere to the usual laws.

SOURCE: Chang Rai Times

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UPDATE: Ban on arriving flights lifts at midnight tonight

Sean Kelly

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UPDATE: Ban on arriving flights lifts at midnight tonight | The Thaiger

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s three day flight arrival ban will end at midnight tonight. The ban on all aircraft from entering Thailand for three days came into effect when some 152 returning Thai nationals landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Friday evening and refused quarantine orders, saying they had not been informed of the requirement and demanding to return to their homes.

Chaos followed and eventually the presiding army officer, (who has since been recalled), allowed them to leave the premises to self-quarantine at home.

The CAAT issued the order a few hours after the Friday incident. The order, signed by CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop cites Sections 27 and 28 of the Air Navigation Act to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

According to the order, all aircraft carrying passengers were prohibited from entering Thailand with the exceptions of state or military aircraft, emergency landings, humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights, repatriation flights and cargo aircraft.

The order is effective until midnight tonight and stipulates that all passengers who embarked before the order came into must be follow restrictions regarding communicable disease prevention and must be held in quarantine for no less than 14 days.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Prachuap Khiri Khan locks down ‘until further notice’

The Thaiger

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Prachuap Khiri Khan locks down ‘until further notice’ | The Thaiger

The Prachuap Khiri Khan municipality, 240 kilometres south of Bangkok, has locked down the province from April 3 to combat the spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19, ” with immediate effect until further notice”. The announcement includes Prachuap Khiri Khan’s main seaside town Hua Hin.

The announcement, included on the Thailand Tourism Authority website, says there are now screening measures at all points of entry and exit to the province.

  1. Screening measures at the points of entry and exit. Any person deemed at risk will be isolated and transferred to a designated hospital for quarantine or treatment.
  2. Strict enforcement of restrictions on gatherings.
  3. Closure of all types of hotels and similar establishments, which have permits according to the Hotel Act 2004, with the exception of hotels designated as hospitals and emergency venues. Hotels currently occupied, which are to be closed after the last guests have checked out, must report the details of all guests to the local authorities. Any guest deemed at risk will be isolated and transferred to a designated hospital for quarantine or treatment.
  4. All residents must wear surgery or cloth masks when leaving their residence.
  5. All incoming boats are banned from docking in the province, except for emergency reasons. Fishing boats must receive a permit from the local district head.

SOURCE: TAT

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  • Thailand Coronavirus (CoVid-19) Statistics

    • Total Cases: 2258
    • Active Cases: 1407
    • Recovered: 824
    • Deaths: 27
    • Last Updated: 2020-04-07 at 17:15
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