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Thai Airways launching direct flights to Phuket for “Safe & Sealed” campaign

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways launching direct flights to Phuket for “Safe & Sealed” campaign | Thaiger
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Thai Airways is dusting off its fleet and getting ready to relaunch international travel, with direct flights to Phuket from 6 countries planned to take off in the next few months. It’s all designed to co-incide with the announced “safe & sealed” campaign which the Thai government hope will re-boot tourism for the beleaguered island.

Thai Airways flights have been grounded since the start of April with aircraft only being used for limited charter and repatriation flight. In other words, barely at all.

The charter flights will fly direct from Denmark, Germany, England, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong to Phuket International Airport. Thai Airways is set to start the flights by the end of November, although the start of the Safe & Sealed campaign is meant to start on October 1.

Thailand’s borders still have tight restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Civil Aviation Authority has banned almost all inbound and outbound international flights since April. Many of the previously scheduled international flights have reverted to carrying freight instead.

Thai Airways says health and safety of both passengers and employees is a top priority and they’ve put coronavirus prevention measures in place. The cabin crew will need to wear protective suits, medical masks and gloves while providing services. The cabin, as well as the cockpits will be sterilised.

They also say social distancing will be applied to “every aspect” of the flight such as seating arrangements and queues for check in. Meals during the flight will be boxed to avoid physical contact, they say. Whether the promised social distancing in the seating arrangements actually transpires is yet to be seen, otherwise the tickets will end up hideously expensive.

The airline says they also teamed up with Royal Orchid Holidays which has alternative state quarantine accommodations prepared for tourists. Members of Royal Orchid Plus can redeem miles for Thai Airways.

A limited number of Phuket hotels have so far been selected to participate in the Safe and Sealed program although new hotels are being added each day. The Thaiger will pubish a full list of registered hotels in coming days.

SOURCES: THAI Airways |Phuket News

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Luigi

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    End of november ?

  2. Avatar

    Tony T

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    Good luck with that, there will be alot of empty seats.

  3. Avatar

    Mark Dryburgh

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    How about thai airways firstly reimburess all their members and customers who already paid to travel to Thailand early this year but couldn’t last I heard they were asking the thai government to bail them out.

  4. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    They will apply social distancing in the plane? Expect the plane ticket to be 1500 USD or more (you buy at least two seats)… End of November, few returnees will make zero difference, massive layoffs and bakruptcies to be expected! My money is on an emergency reopening early 2021 (when Thai banks will close the accounting year with massive provisions for uncollectible loans).

  5. Avatar

    Geoff

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Ah well, it’s a start, but I think very expensive.

  6. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    This is what? 3rd or 4th time TA has given a new start date?

    Also have authorities not made clear under safe & sealed flights will have to come into BKK?

    Also interesting Emirates is today claiming to be starting Sept 1 flights TO BKK.

    Reality is untill CAAT says something all are just blowing hot air hoping people will book even if flights never happen, airlines have the money already

  7. Avatar

    Roger Elliot

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Why would you take the risk of booking a flight on an airline that is in Bankruptcy.

  8. Avatar

    Thomas

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    why should I, as a tourist, put myself through this ordeal? It has nothing to do with holidays. Then I prefer to avoid Thailand for the time being, until they understand that Corona is not as dangerous as they try to make us believe. At the latest when the tourism industry collapses they will beg for us!

  9. Avatar

    Karl

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    can i pay my ticket after arrival?

  10. Avatar

    Tony T

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    As per Marks comment, pay us back for our earlier bookings first.
    Thai Airways will accept your booking payment for November, December now then cancel the flights so you will chase your money for another year. I for one will no longer subsidise them.

  11. Avatar

    RR

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    I already have a voucher that can allow me to flight for free there, and I suppose many have too. Thai can fail tomorrow

  12. Avatar

    Bobby m

    Friday, August 28, 2020 at 12:50 am

    Q. How do you place an already bankrupt company in a worse situation

    A. Involve them in a crazy Safe and Sealed scheme

  13. Avatar

    Rogier

    Friday, August 28, 2020 at 1:50 am

    Even if I got such a flight and (quarantine) hotel for free, I would decline that offer.

  14. Avatar

    Joe

    Friday, August 28, 2020 at 8:15 am

    The high number of tourists that came last year has gone to their heads, do they really think that people are going to pay big bucks to be stuck in one place for 2 weeks?

  15. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, August 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    It seems that Thai airways are the only airline who will serve this new deal.
    They have a monopoly. Why?
    Another Thai scam?
    It will become worse if Thai Airways take the fares and then does not fly.
    At the moment Thai Airway owe B24 billion to passengers who did not fly.
    They have had no refund, just credit. Credit on an airline that is about to go bankrupt!
    Karl makes a good point: Can I pay after arrival?
    Well why not?
    But then Karl you have to fly home . . .

  16. Avatar

    Ian Butler

    Friday, August 28, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    What a joke how many tourists will be prepared to lose 21 days of thier holiday stuck in phuket paying for expensive flights hotelsxwe didn’t want and locked in a 1km zone Thailand get real you are not looming at the rest of the world you are blinkered your country is going under and you just turn a blind eye I’m so sorry for the Thai people having to put up with this stupid dictatorship the king lives a life of luxury while the people suffer rise up Thailand and fight for your beutiful country and yes we are all still waiting for our money from my flight in march

  17. Avatar

    Ian Butler

    Friday, August 28, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Yes Toby and Karl i agree we aren’t all pensioners or retired some have to come home to earn that lovely money to keep your country afloat once again the thai government not thinking a plan through just open up the country do tests in your own country then tests on arrival in Thailand then all should be fine talk about total caution they who hesitate lise think on Thailand your not the only desirable country around Vietnam philipines are ready to take your tourists I’m sure

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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Cambodia threatens jail for Covid-19 quarantine violations

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Cambodia threatens jail for Covid-19 quarantine violations | Thaiger
PHOTO: PM Hun Sen imposes harsh Covid-19 restrictions

In the face of expanding Covid-19 infections in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned that violators of quarantine may face prison sentences, and government workers could be fired if they don’t get vaccines. More than 1,000 new Coronavirus cases were diagnosed in the last 2 days along, nearly 25% of the total cases since the pandemic began. The government has forbidden out-of-province travel and implemented evening curfews in the main city of Phnom Penh. They even shut down all the tourist attractions including the world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex.

Face masks are already mandatory now in Phnom Penh, with fines up to US $250 for anyone caught violating the order. But PM Hun Sen, himself having had a close brush with Covid-19 months ago, has imposed a 2-week quarantine and has made it clear that punishment for any rule-breakers will be harsh and swift. The government has already enacted a strict bill to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Cambodia, with prison terms of up to 20 years for serious violators. In an address broadcast on state-run television, he promised a “quick trial’.

“People who break Covid measures must be sentenced, I accept being called a dictator, but I will also be admired for protecting my people’s lives.”

Cambodia began Covid-19 vaccination in February, with a million citizens already receiving at least their first of two injections. In a country of 16 million, that 6% is a healthy start for their vaccination programme. The Prime Minister also declared vaccination mandatory for all state officials and members of the military. He asserted that their job was on the line if they failed to comply.

Cambodia had done well with low Covid-19 infection numbers during the pandemic, but in February, the virus tore through the Chinese ex-pat community, with the outbreak causing a surge in infections proliferating across the country. The situation is worsening now, as hospitals in Phnom Penh are running out of beds and the government is converting large halls and local schools into medical centres for mildly afflicted patients.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Nightlife plays major role in Covid-19 third wave

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Nightlife plays major role in Covid-19 third wave | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Krystal Club Thonglor25 is one of many high-end clubs where Covid-19 spread

The current surge in Covid-19 infections now looks to be spread in large part by Thailand’s colourful nightlife, with more than 500 people contracting the more contagious UK variant (B117) of the Coronavirus. The government responded by closing all bars and entertainment venues in 41 provinces, but it may be too late to prevent a third wave of the pandemic. Many people now are critical, pointing to the first and second wave as harbingers of how the party nightlife can so easily transmit Covid-19.

At the beginning of the pandemic, partiers in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area began testing positive for Covid-19 last March. The Public Health Ministry instructed everyone to follow safety measures to prevent a big outbreak. The area is well known to be a hotspot for Bangkok’s wealthy elite and powerful with its multitude of high-end luxury clubs and bars.

A normal night has thousands of people roaming the streets into the late hours of the evening. But after infections started spreading, all nightlife was closed until July when Thailand overall had gained some control and contained the Coronavirus more successfully than most countries. In fact, it would be months before any new infections were diagnosed in the area.

While it’s commonly known that the next wave of Covid-19 in Thailand started mainly from migrant workers and low wage market workers, even the second round of infections was proliferated by people enjoying the nightlife around Thailand. There was a case of a woman in the North who went to several bars before knowing that she had contracted the virus in January, and, when the details of her bar-hopping were released, many customers of a bar she attended in Chiang Mai had already contracted Covid-19 as well. Meanwhile, in Bangkok, Techin “DJ Matoom” Ploypetch held a lavish all-night party in a luxury hotel in January. Facing criminal charges for violating Covid-19 restrictions, he has recovered from the virus himself but the party became a spreader event. None of these nightlife outbreaks stopped people from pouring back into the club scene as soon as it reopened in February.

Now Thailand is facing a massive shutdown with the threat of a third wave of Covid-19 inescapable. One major factor in the rapidly spreading infections is trendy evening entertainment venues around Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya among other areas. A 35-year-old man who contracted Covid-19 reported he had been partying in Thong Lor the month before. Testing clubgoers from bars and entertainment venues in the area revealed an outbreak of Covid-19 infections.

Krystal Club Thonglor25 gained attention as powerful politicians and the wealthy elite that frequent the club so often it’s nicknamed “Government House 2”. 1/3 of Thailand’s cabinet ministers are currently self-isolating and it was rumoured that the Transport Minister had gotten C0vid-19 from visiting the infamous Krystal Club, though rumours were later dispelled.

But growing anger has emerged towards the upscale party-going set, with the hashtag #thonglorpub trending across social media since Wednesday, and many people complaining as the country closes down entertainment venues for the next two weeks and maybe facing further lockdown procedures.

The bar and club scene is a hotspot for Covid clusters since social distancing and mask-wearing are rarely enforced, in poorly ventilated rooms with throngs of tightly packed people. A list has emerged of high society hot spots where anyone in attendance in the past few weeks is being requested to get Covid-19 tests right away after customers at each has tested positive for covid.

  • Krystal Club Thonglor25
  • Bar Bar Bar,
  • Ekamai Beer House,
  • Emerald Thonglor13
  • Dirty Bar
  • Bottoms up Thonglor
  • AINU Hokkaido lzakaya & Bar
  • the Cassette Music Bar Ekamai
  • 63 Music House Ekamai

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death

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Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: A surge in new infections as people are tested following nightlife clusters.

789 new Covid-19 infections and 1 death were reported today by the CCSA. The death, a 68 year old Thai man from Nakhon Pathom, had died April 4 but was yesterday confirmed as dying from complications from Coronavirus. Only 8 infections were international arrivals, with 522 local infections and 259 diagnosed today through contact tracing.

The international infections were Thai and foreigners and included 3 arriving from Russia and 1 each from the US, UK, Oman, India, and Canada. 33 former patients are now fully recovered from the virus and discharged in the past 24 hours.

Earlier today 17 new infections were identified in Phuket and will go into tomorrow’s official national count. This brings the island’s total new infections this week to 43, almost all of them a result of an influx of Bangkok party-goers to events last weekend.

This new jump in Covid-19 brings the total infections in Thailand to 31,658 – c28,463 local cases and 3,195 internationally imported cases, 17,000+ of those cases were diagnosed from proactive testing. 28,161 have been released as ‘recovered’ with 2,645 people currently undergoing treatment and 97 total deaths.

Thailand is now 113th on the list of most cases globally, with the USA’s 31.8 million infections still more than the next 3 countries combined – Brazil with 13.37 million, India with 13.2 million, and France with 4.98 million. Russia rounds out the top 5 with 4.62 million infections.

The global total is up almost 800,000 to 135.29 million cases with 23.3 million active cases, just over 100,000 of which are considered in critical condition. 108,86 million have recovered from the virus, and 2.92 million have died, including 13,268 today.

Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation Thailand

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