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Thai Cabinet extends the visa amnesty for foreigners

The Thaiger

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Thai Cabinet extends the visa amnesty for foreigners | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Tieland to Thailand
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The Thai Cabinet has extended the visa amnesty for foreigners so they can remain in Thailand during the Covid-19 global pandemic. This is the second extension to the visa amnesty and will be a huge relief for tens of thousands of people who have been in a visa limbo, some without many other options other than staying in Thailand whilst international flights remain limited.

A government spokeswoman, Traisuree Taisaranakul, says that the automatic visa extension will now be in force until September 26, as rumoured. Mandatory 90 day reporting for resident foreigners with ongoing visas, suspended up to now, will need to be completed before August 31.

At this stage there has not been any additional provisions or paperwork announced, other than a general extension of the current amnesty.

The announcement will assist tourists and visitors who found themselves stranded in Thailand due to travel restrictions, as well as providing extra time for people to make arrangements and take advantage of repatriation flights or opportunities to head home.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Sam Thompson

    July 21, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Well done to the Thai cabinet for a sensible and generous decision…for showing both empathy and common sense, kudos.

    • Avatar

      Michael Lewis

      July 21, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      Well said Sam. It is a very sensible decision considering the complexity of the issue whilst covid is still raging in many countries.

    • Avatar

      kraxlhoover

      July 22, 2020 at 1:19 am

      there some self-rightoes foreigners and Thais as well who look down (Du DOOD) at

      the people in distress with their expired visas occurred during the

      pandemic.( not their fault)

      Mostly the guys from the Establishment, or with work-permits

      residency or ( bought Thai citizenships), SHAME ON YOU

  2. Avatar

    Powers

    July 21, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you Thai Cabinet! Now I can go back to supporting my Thai friends and local businesses! I cut way, way back on that when they started hinting July 31st was the last extension and I’d have only 1 option of returning to the USA – I’m going to ring a few bells tonight on Bangla Road! Let’s go, drinks for all my friends!!

    • Avatar

      Billy

      July 21, 2020 at 5:52 pm

      Please drink one beer for me too!

    • Avatar

      Tatiana Molina

      July 21, 2020 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you Thai Cabinet for you consideration. I fell so blessed because despite of this pandemic situation I fell safe and in harmony with Thai citizens.

  3. Avatar

    Dr Long

    July 21, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    I’ll be taking a holiday to support domestic tourism now I know I’m safe for another few months. Good they made this decision but hopefully next time a bit sooner.

  4. Avatar

    Anthony

    July 21, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Smart move !!! Still keeping the walking ATMs here is good for all…..well done to the Thailand government

  5. Avatar

    Billy

    July 21, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Amazing news for foreigners who love Thailand and want to stay here for a long time.

  6. Avatar

    Frank Lehman

    July 21, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    I just wonder why the rest of us still have to spent money on ONE YEAR VISAS because we are married, living here, having our lifes and families here and get NOTHING for free.
    May be the Thai Authorities giving us half of the money for a ONE YEAR Visa back too or at least dont ask for the 400,000 Baht FIXED money in Bank account.
    Its very nice to see all this “tourists” ppl on ED Visas for Thaiboxing, Thailanguage or Thaicooking getting shit for free and the guys paying the TAX here get a kick in the ass.

    • Avatar

      respectforfarangs

      July 21, 2020 at 11:40 pm

      Thank you for saying that, i have a Thai family as well and i know what you feel, being able to speak Thai i know that all Thai people that i speak to feel ashamed in their patriotism about the difficulties we have as expat to stay here and the way the immigration are talking to us, like they almost do us a favor to let us live here with our families, i think that government and the antic system of corruption and socials privileges they defend is a poison to that country, Thailand need people in power who care for Thais, who choose to simplify administration and open Thailand to the world, they have to get out of the “us and them” and see the humans as their brothers, Thai people are the people living in Thailand because they love it’s culture and ways, it’s not about color or religion, or country. As right now, my only way to stay in my home after the new amnesty is to use those “thai visa service” agents to corrupt an immigration agent by paying 30k, i’ve been living here 12 years and never did wrong with the laws, so i feel like authorities are spiting in my face to not let me renew my visa who expired during the covid, but never mind the time will come to see all those clowns loses their faces or die…

      • Avatar

        Frank Lehman

        July 23, 2020 at 10:52 pm

        exactly

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

A Burmese teenager who lives near the Thai-Myanmar border tested positive for Covid-19. Now, Thai border patrol officers are tightening security even more to make sure Myanmar’s outbreak doesn’t cross the border and cause a second wave in Thailand.

The 17 year old Burmese boy tested positive for Covid-19 last week. Reports say the teen was in Myanmar’s Payatongsu district, about 5 kilometres from the Three Pagodas Pass checkpoint bordering Kanchanaburi. The teen started having symptoms on September 11 and tested positive on September 17.

Only around 13 people were reportedly in close contact with the teen and they are now in quarantine at a district school. Health officials suspect the teen was exposed to the virus from his uncle who had travelled to Moulmein, a large city near Yangon which had a spike in coronavirus cases. The uncle has been tested and is in quarantine, but his test results are still pending.

In another case, a 2 year old Burmese child tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Thailand. A report from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Disease Control Department says the child most likely contracted the virus while travelling from Thailand to Myanmar around September 4 to September 10. The family travelled to Mae Sot and entered Myanmar through natural passageways. 2,635 people in Mae Sot tested negative for Covid-19.

Since Myanmar reported a surge in cases, starting mostly in the country’s Rakhine state on the western coast, Thailand has been increasing border patrol to make sure people are not entering Thailand illegally and potentially spreading the virus. Now that there are cases in some Myanmar border towns, Thailand checkpoints are on high alert.

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar continues to rise. The country reported a total of 6,471 cases with 100 deaths and 1,445 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

In some border districts, police have placed barbed wire along the border to prevent people from entering illegally. Security has increased and dozens of migrants have been arrested in the past month for allegedly entering Thailand illegally. Even volunteers have stepped up to patrol the borders. No migrants arrested for allegedly crossing the border have tested positive for the virus.

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Myanmar

Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19 | News by The Thaiger

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar continues to rise. As of September 22, the country reported 6,471 cases with 100 deaths and 1,445 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut

Maya Taylor

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Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TAT News

Airlines in Thailand are being offered a financial lifeline, as the Government Savings Bank announces soft loans for carriers left struggling as a result of the current Covid-19 ‘disruption’. Nation Thailand reports that the GSB is offering the loans over a 60 month period, with an annual interest rate of 2%. Chairman Patchara Anuntasilpa says the proposal will shortly be put to Cabinet for approval.

Airlines have been left financially devastated by the fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with countries closing their borders, passenger numbers plummeting, and carriers forced to slash the number of flights on offer. The services available, including the food services, were also curtailed early on as a preventative measure but that restriction has since been lifted. The effect is being keenly felt by all the airlines in Thailand, with the Kingdom’s borders closed to nearly all international traffic since March.

In a further effort to ease the financial crisis faced by Thai airlines, the Excise Department says it will extend the fuel tax cut for low-cost carriers by another 6 months from the end of this month. Patchara, who also serves as director-general of the Excise Department, says the tax may end up being abolished completely. In normal times, taxation on aviation fuel generates around 1 billion baht a year.

Air Asia has also cut some of its ground costs by using airport buses to ferry passengers from a cheaper aircraft parking area, back to the terminals, foregoing the costs of the airport airbridges. Flights from Phuket to Don Mueang, for example, are now a full ‘bus’ service, sometimes adding an additional 15 minutes at either end for the loading up of the buses and the trip to the planes or the terminal.

It’s understood the excise tax collected since October 2019 totals 503 billion baht, down more than 6.5% on last year’s figure. Most of the income comes from oil or oil products, cars, alcohol, and cigarettes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy

Maya Taylor

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Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy | The Thaiger
Shuttered businesses along Bangla Road in Patong yesterday

The governor of Phuket has likened the southern province to a “patient in a coma”, as he pleads for help to restore its devastated economy. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew was addressing a Public Health Association forum, where he highlighted the economic crisis caused by the ongoing ban on international tourists. The island’s international airport closed in April, shutting off the supply of international tourists, and cutting off the flow of international money flowing into the island’s tourist economy.

The latest figures show that Phuket has lost over 400 billion baht since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The island’s economy is, either directly or indirectly, 90% reliant on a steady flow of international tourists, and has seen a massive tourist infrastructure boom over the past 20 years, including accommodation, tours, tour boats, tours buses and passenger vans, international shows, new roads, restaurants and rentals – all aimed at the many levels of traveller budgets.

Governor Narong predicts the province will face similar hardship next year, and is calling on the government to organise conferences and other events that will attract more visitors to the province.

“So far, the province has invited 15,000 village health volunteers in the south to travel and spend time in the province while today’s seminar is bringing in 10,000 attendees and followers and will relieve some of the hardship.”

Meanwhile, PHA president Prapat Thamwongsa, says the forum gives those attending the opportunity to share knowledge and advice on tackling the spread of disease, with presentations and competitions addressing all public health activities.

Phuket usually receives around 14 million visitors every year, with around 10-11 million arriving from outside Thailand. The airport usually welcomes up to 300 international flights a day but is now only receiving around 80 flights a day, since the ban on foreign flights started in April. Narong says an estimated 40,000 of the island’s workers are now unemployed, while those still employed have taken hefty pay cuts of anything from 20% to a hefty 90%. Less than 30% of the province’s hotels are currently open.

“Phuket is like a patient in a coma in ICU. So, it is necessary for all stakeholders to help restore Phuket as quickly as possible.”

The Cabinet recently approved a long-stay visa (the Special Tourist Visa) for tourists who wish to visit the Kingdom, although critics say the strict requirements, coupled with the extortionate cost of the mandatory 14 day quarantine, make it unworkable. The new visa is also insisting that travellers will have to arrive on restricted charter or private jet flights, adding further cost and restrictions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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