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Thailand News Today | 427 new C19 infections, Pattaya countdown cancelled, Elite Visa update | Dec 22

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Plenty of talk around today about future lockdowns, but NOTHING IS CONFIRMED at this stage. The Thaiger will keep you up to date with the latest.

Possibility of an “end of year travel boost” has been shattered

As if things weren’t already bad enough for Thailand’s tourism sector, the events in Samut Sakhon in the past week have just made them a lot worse. Just as the few hotels open in Thailand’s major tourist hot spots were hoping for a bounce in traffic over Christmas and New Year, the hopes have been largely dashed by the outbreak in Samut Sakhon and threats of impending lockdowns and restrictions as the outbreak extends beyond the provincial borders.

5 people in Bangkok are among 427 new Covid-19 infections reported today by the CCSA. 397 of the new cases are migrant workers while 14 of the new cases were detected in quarantine from people arriving from overseas. Many of the local cases are link to the seafood market in Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok, a Covid-19 hotspot where over 1,000 have now tested positive for the virus over the weekend.

3 shops in Bangkok’s popular Siam Square have now been closed due to links to the Samut Sakhon outbreak. Officials are holding back on any additional lockdowns at this stage. We’ll have all the latest details on the matter at thethaiger.com

Pattaya cancels end of years countdown celebrations

Pattaya officials have cancelled all public gatherings planned over the next few weeks. A Chonburi provincial order has banned the events, including the 3 day Pattaya New Year Countdown Music Festival. All other provincial countdowns have also been cancelled as a precaution against the current outbreak in Samut Sakhon which is now spreading to neighbouring provinces, including Bangkok.

The cancellation of the events is a huge disappointment to Pattaya’s tourism industry. Many of the hotels were nearly fully booked for the event. 

Crowd gatherings are now also banned at temples, mosques and churches in Chon Buri. 

The Chon Buri officials have also announced restrictions on fresh markets, indoor shopping malls, merchant shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, and pubs and bars.

Amnesty International campaign urges PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to drop charges pressed on protesters

The human rights group Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to drop charges pressed on a number of activists for their role in the pro-democracy movement and protests. They’re also asking for the repeal, or at least amendment, of Thailand’s draconian lèse majesté law which carries a punishment of 3 to 15 years in prison for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy. 

According to the campaign, at least 220 people, including minors, face criminal charges relating to their actions in the pro-democracy protests. Activists have been calling on both government reform and reform in the role of the Thai monarchy, raising issues considered taboo and unprecedented in Thai society.

30 property developers expected to sign up to Elite visa incentive scheme

The president of Thailand Privilege Card, which runs the Elite Visa scheme, says around 30 real-estate developers have already expressed interest in offering foreign buyers 5 year visas in return for investing at least 10 million baht in Thai property. The scheme, known as the Elite Flexible One launches on January 1.

Already developer Raimon Land has joined the scheme with 3 luxury condo developments and expects to hand out at least 200 Elite cards. A further 30 developers say they’re also interested in joining the scheme.

Elite privilege cards are currently priced from 500,000 baht up to 2 million baht, although the lower price membership is set to increase to 600,000 baht from January 1.

  

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