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Thailand considering no-quarantine travel bubble with China

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Thai Residents

With no new Special Tourist Visa applications for November, the Thai government is considering a no-quarantine travel bubble plan with China. Officials hope that if approved, the scheme could be put into operation in time for Chinese New Year in February. China currently has 22 low-risk provinces, as they have not recorded a Covid-19 case in over 150 days.

The Bangkok Post reports that the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, will hold talks at the Chinese embassy, where the countries’ foreign ministries will discuss next steps. A joint travel bubble plan would then require final approval from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping.

Thai officials are also turning their attention to Switzerland, hoping to attract long-stay Swiss tourists on non-immigrant O-A retirement visas. Also being discussed is the possibility of using golfing resorts as alternative local state quarantine facilities, thereby providing guests with a golfing holiday while in quarantine. It’s hoped such a move might attract golfers from places like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China, who would normally spend a few of their winter months training in Thailand.

Phiphat says such visitors normally spend around 3,000 baht a day, per person, on golf programmes, without factoring in accommodation and food. He’s hopeful that between 20 and 30 of the 238 golf courses around the country might join the scheme, which it’s hoped could begin by mid-November.

It’s understood there are already 5 golf courses, in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Saraburi, Kanchanaburi, and one in Nakhon Ratchasima, owned by Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, that have been approved as ALSQ facilities. Existing members would need to be transferred to other courses and staff would have to carry out 14 days’ quarantine before they could leave the properties. The proposal still needs to be approved by the government’s Covid-19 task force.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Billy Smarts

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Thats BS for a start. Only 2 months ago it was televised in the UK that Shanghai had an outbreak. Just goes to show how deep routed the communist machine is in the Thai halls of power.You couldn’t make this stuff up about what countries are allowed in bearing in mind their countries figures will have been, lets say, less than honest with the statistics. I only hope Thailand stays on its feet long enough for the real tourists that spend money on the entertainment industry to help them survive before the Junta starves them all out.

  2. Avatar

    Oz

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Oh my gosh, that’s so idiotic — Laos and Vietnam should be destinations, not China…

  3. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:35 am

    The plan only works if China is being truthful about their numbers. It’s one thing to pretend to believe them and still require a quarantine. A completely different one to trust them without a quarantine to back you up. Considering the Chinese have lied about so much and so often when it comes to the virus, it’s a real roll of the dice. Its one thing to roll that dice with a big payoff, but how many Chinese will show up with a quarantine on the return trip and China running it’s own domestic travel program. Big risk, little payoff. Of course with Thailand looking at no STV requests for November, golfers and Swiss potential retirees it seems like they are starting to get desperate.

  4. Avatar

    murika

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:38 am

    there are already 5 golf courses, in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Saraburi, Kanchanaburi, and one in Nakhon Ratchasima, owned by Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, that have been approved as ALSQ facilities.

    too bad he don’t own brothel or the quarantine would have taken place there
    what a joke this government is

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 6, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      Yes, what a fortunate coincidence …

  5. Avatar

    gosport

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Low risk countries are the fountain of economic recovery.
    Wonderful decison.

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    “… staff would have to carry out 14 days’ quarantine before they could leave the properties”

    That could prove a little difficult as it would presumably be 14 days after the last ASQ visitor left, so ongoing indefinitely each time a new ASQ visitor arrived.

    That eould be like an indefinite sentence to an open prison …

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    “Thai officials are also turning their attention to Switzerland, hoping to attract long-stay Swiss tourists on non-immigrant O-A retirement visas.”

    I’m completely lost by that, on all counts.

    Switzerland’s been having a massive spike in Covid cases for the last month, rising to over 21,000 a day. With a population of only 8 million that puts at right at the top of the high risk category.

    … and how do you target retirees from only one country who weren’t previously interested in retiring to Thailand?

    I can see that retirees may be the one category for whom 14 days quarantine may not be an issue, and that a country with minimal Covid-risk would appeal to retirees, but in that case why target only Switzerland?

  8. Avatar

    Jayce

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    They’d be better off doing the no-quarantine bubble with Australia. At least here you know the low to no cases claim is real in sharp contrast with China.

    And Aussies are dying to get out so with limited options at our disposal and with Aussie favourite Bali out of the running, I’m sure Aussies would flock to Thailand in droves!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 6, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      … and New Zealand. Rather embarrasing if Thailand was turned down, though …

    • Avatar

      James

      Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:12 pm

      Jayce

      I suppose they would want to do a deal with a country that has 1.4 billion potential customers rather than a county with a ‘few dozen’ inhabitants.

    • Avatar

      Don R

      Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:52 pm

      Last I heard, Aussies and Kiwis are welcome in Europe, but it’s their own govts that won’t let them leave!

      Thankful to be an American. My govt may suck, but at least I’m not a prisoner to their every whim!

      • Avatar

        Sam C

        Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 10:10 am

        that “freedom” is the very reason the US is losing 1000 citizens a day to Covid and you feel its worth bragging about?

        • Avatar

          Don R

          Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 1:01 pm

          “Give me liberty or give me death.”

          America is about freedom to choose your own destiny. It’s not about mitigating every teeny tiny threat to protect dumb people from falling off their bicycle. If you don’t like it, then don’t go there.

          1957/68 pandemics killed about as many Americans relative to the size of the population. Old people die. Get over it.

  9. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Most people are too worried about job security to spend money on a holiday in thailand that is a nice to have not need to have.the aviation industry world wide has also treated the passengers disgracefull,it’s not just thai.if the restrictions were lifted tommorow few people will travel,trust and confidence have been destroyed for ever.

  10. Avatar

    Wijnschenk

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    China first!!!!
    Europe founded the rescue of their children stuck in a cave.
    Europe gave milliins for help when their was a tsunami.
    What a gratitute they show us now……
    Sham shame shame.
    Money money money

  11. Avatar

    Graham Smith

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Just like that. Money money

  12. Avatar

    Professor Spiffy

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Selfishly, I like the idea. The last two previously unknown viruses that have killed countless people worldwide originated in China. In both cases China knew about the virus long before, but never disclosed it until it spread worldwide. Nothing will be different the next time. While I feel bad that the Thai people are being sold out in this “scheme”, there’s at least some degree of satisfaction knowing their will be an insulator for the rest of the world.

    • Avatar

      Joe

      Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:00 pm

      That’s funny – Anutin just so happens to own a whole bunch of golf courses. So is he the guy responsible for diverting the quarantine people from Phuket to Bangkok (around which the golf courses are) instead?

  13. Avatar

    Lob

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Only let them in when the CCP has started paying compensation to wrecked economies and businesses around the World for covering up their secret plague

    • Avatar

      David Barker

      Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 6:36 am

      Spot on and the only world leader who challenge them on this could be on his way out

      • Avatar

        Sam C

        Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 10:16 am

        Hip hip hooray !!!! 🙂 Party time the world over ….. the only people to lament his passing will be the filthy rich, the southern hicks and other associated heartless morons

        • Avatar

          David Barker

          Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 11:50 pm

          And China gets away Scott free………nice

  14. Avatar

    Don R

    Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Let her rip. It’s likely that many East Asians already have partial immunity.

    What little transmission that will occur will help to develop wider immunity in the region. No one knows when a vaccine will be widely distributed to middle income countries like Thailand, and even when distributed, it’s not likely to be more than 50% effective. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

  15. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 12:44 am

    Thailand still doesn’t get it. A basic business concept is that “before you seek to attract a market, you need to study that market”. They haven’t really studied the Chinese market, probably because they didn’t need to in the past.
    So, for starters, a) As long as the Chinese government requires strict 14-day quarantine for travelers from overseas, even 0-day quarantine is not good enough for that market. Why? Because 99% of Chinese tourists don’t have 14 days to spare. The Chinese have prescribed vacation days (about 20 days total a year), coinciding with Chinese new year, Dragon Boat festival, Mid-Autumn festival etc. Their optional holiday + sick days are minimal, amounting to no more than 5-6 days.
    b) Who are the actual Chinese tourists that one has seen in Thailand over the past 6-7 years, and who are most likely to take advantage of that proposed plan? Primarily young students, traveling together in groups of 4 to 8 people, and the bus groups of the 50-70 y.o. crowd. The young Chinese tourists have a budget of 2000 baht a day (it’s common for them to stay 4 in a hotel room) and the very reason they come to Thailand is because it’s cheaper than traveling within China. The second group of the older crowd might spend more, but they spend it with tour operators in China beforehand and it has been shown that not much trickles down to the local Thai industry.
    Not to mention that the Chinese government itself will limit the number of those tour groups, as they don’t want to see 5 million of them at the Chinese airports waiting for testing and back in quarantine, all at the same time.

  16. Avatar

    Noneya Bidnizz

    Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 2:28 am

    Go Figure , ALL current ASQ golf courses belong to a Government official.

    That should help the average Thai quite a lot , Dont you think ?

    Prayut thinks so , Wonder what his brown envelope (S!) will contain from this current “ Scheme“

    Maybe they should try an actual and WORKABLE PLAN , Not just yet another SCHEME ( Scam ? )

    I Pray for Thailand and Her Wonderful People ( NOT the ones in uniform , They dont count ! )

  17. Avatar

    albert zweistein

    Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 3:33 am

    I Anutin running out of cash ?

  18. Avatar

    albert zweistein

    Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 3:33 am

    Is Anutin running out of cash ?

  19. Avatar

    Tony

    Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    China the official exporter of Corona gets free of quarantine ? The country which does not report cases transparent ? Are you serious ?

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