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Thailand’s Health Minister optimistic about admitting business travellers

Maya Taylor

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Thailand’s Health Minister optimistic about admitting business travellers | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, admits Thailand is caught between a rock and a hard place and can’t go on locking all foreigners out forever, in an effort to prevent a resurgence of the Covid-19 virus.

“We will either die of the disease or of hunger, so we have to face the challenge.”

He adds that the Kingdom has sufficient medical equipment and supplies, as well as adequate PPE, and the government is now looking at other ways to fend off the virus, including research into potential treatments and investment in vaccine development. The health minister remains optimistic about a future vaccine and the robust nature of Thailand’s public health system.

“When the first batch of vaccines is successfully developed, I believe Thailand will be among the first countries to benefit.”

Anutin maintains that, in the absence of foreign tourists, domestic tourism is key, adding that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has advised state bodies to look beyond Bangkok when planning seminars and other gatherings, in order to generate income for the provinces.

“It is too late to wait for international tourists. The first movers to boost tourism are Thais.”

Meanwhile, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has come up with a proposal it hopes might boost the events and exhibitions industry in the Kingdom. TCEB president, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, hopes to persuade the government’s Covid-19 task force to agree to admit foreign business travellers without the 14 day quarantine requirement.

Visitors would be required to test negative for the virus no more than 72 hours before travel, as well as submitting to a further test on arrival, followed by 6 – 8 hours in quarantine while waiting for the result.

“Travellers would need to be accompanied by an escort team and use the government tracking app to record their movements.”

Chiruit says the TCEB is willing to work with the Public Health Ministry to ensure safety and hygiene measures, including social distancing, are complied with. He admits that while local residents may be wary of the plan, something has to be done to save the exhibitions sector, which is heavily reliant on foreign attendees.

“If we can begin the scheme to let business travellers into the country, we can manage the situation and business can move forward.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Genevieve Hawkins

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Why bother with vaccines if only 50% or less will take them? Most research should be on finding treatments for Covid-19, as has always been the case. And nobody mentions whether the disease has decreased in lethaility over time.

    • Avatar

      Michael Lewis

      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Hi Genevieve, there were reports a month or more ago that covid 19 has become more contagious since it originally arrived in Thailand. That refers to the version currently romping around the globe. More/less lethal, don’t know.

  2. Avatar

    Alan

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I visited Thailand Chiang Mai every winter 2012 to 2017. I had amazing experiences. I met a medical massage therapist who fixed my whole body. I was recognized by a master/teacher Naga Yogi who was my double, we recognized each other, he told the people ‘he’s a Naga Yogi’, and gave me the Tiger apparel. I interpreted dreams of Thai people that didn’t speak a word of English and had never left Thailand. I still correspond with the therapist who calls me, uncle. Everything in the Spirit Mediums house, his alters, reminded me of my own cabin in the forest of Yukon T. Canada. What a beautiful culture.

  3. Avatar

    Michael Lewis

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    If they want tourists to come back they need to remove the quarantine burden from the tourists and place this burden on the Thailand hosts. Test the tourists before and upon entry into Thailand. Lock off the target tourist area in say Phuket such that it contains a variety of beaches, hotels, resorts, tourist attractions, shops, restaurants, nite life and medical facilities etc.
    Give the tourists free reign in this zone for say one month or more. Then when all the tourists have departed shut off the complete zone and host occupants for 14 days quarantine/tests before the next guests arrive.

  4. Avatar

    Newfie

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Hey Alan…LSD is good for you!

  5. Avatar

    rinky stingpiece

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Is this the guy who was insulting farang for being dirty etc…?
    If so, why would farang listen to him? Do these lot want to lock the gates to Thailand, kick all the foreigners out, and become a province of China?

    • Avatar

      Ulli Shröder

      Friday, September 4, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      Same pig that call farangs dirty

  6. Avatar

    Chinese Empire fuck the World

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Asia is Chinese territory. Only wealthy Chinese tourists are welcome in Thailand
    Western trash go home and never comes back anymore.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Aviation authority calling for 20,000 vaccine doses for crew, ground staff

Maya Taylor

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Aviation authority calling for 20,000 vaccine doses for crew, ground staff | Thaiger
PHOTO: Christian Junker on Flickr

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is calling for vaccine doses to protect around 20,000 airline crew and ground staff before the country re-opens to international tourists. The CAAT says it’s vital that those working in the aviation industry are protected and has submitted its request to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

According to Suthipong Kongpool from the CAAT, there are around 20,000 airline employees, including crew and ground staff, who will need to be vaccinated. As 2 doses are required, a total of 40,000 doses are needed to fully protect staff. The Bangkok Post reports that the CAAT will meet on Thursday to review the aviation sector’s readiness for when the country re-opens without international arrivals having to quarantine.

Suthipong says they are seeking enough vaccine doses to protect employees of Thai-registered carriers.

“It’s a confidence-building measure for tourists and those providing the services to them.”

From July, the southern island of Phuket will be the first part of the country to waive quarantine for vaccinated international arrivals, subject to 70% of local residents being vaccinated. The “sandbox” project is a pilot programme that will be expanded to other areas if it proves successful. Between October and the end of the year, 5 other provinces – Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Krabi, Chon Buri, and Chiang Mai – are expected to adopt the programme. Officials hope to be able to re-open the country fully from January 2022.

According to the CAAT, the first foreign visitors expected to return to Phuket will be Chinese tourists, given that country’s success in managing the pandemic. Meanwhile, the CAAT says Thailand will see a 7% increase in air traffic this month compared to last, with a total of 36,150 domestic and international flights.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan

Maya Taylor

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Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

Union representatives are questioning changes made to the employment terms of Thai Airways staff as part of the national carrier’s debt-restructuring plan. The labour union claims the changes have removed or diluted several staff entitlements and welfare benefits, pointing the finger at acting president, Chansin Treenuchagron, who signed the orders.

The union is calling on the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare to review the changes to check if they align with a debt-restructuring plan submitted to the Central Bankruptcy Court. According to a Bangkok Post report, the union believes the signed orders may go against the terms of the rehab plan currently being reviewed by creditors. They include an order related to the company’s new organisational structure, as well as the screening of workers who will continue to be employed by the carrier during and after the rehab process.

Union representatives accuse the airline of changing the terms and conditions of employee contracts, meaning weaker welfare benefits. They are asking the DLPW to confirm if the changes comply with the 1940 Bankruptcy Act, the 1975 Labour Relations Act, and the 1998 Labour Protection Act. The union says that if the changes are found to violate the acts, Chansin should be ordered to cancel the orders and draw up new employment terms that comply with the airline’s rehab plan and with employment law.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Leader of Thai cryptocurrency exchange warns regulators about tight restrictions

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Leader of Thai cryptocurrency exchange warns regulators about tight restrictions | Thaiger
Stock photo by André François McKenzie for Unsplash

The co-founder of Thailand’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has slammed regulators for plans to set requirements that would limit who can trade cryptocurrency. Following a drastic spike in domestic crypto trading, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission, decided to look into tighter restrictions and say traders will be soon required to have experience, be educated in trading or pass an exam.

Too many regulations will push some Thais away, according to 33 year old Atichanan Pulges, co-founder and CFO of Bitkub. He warns that too many restrictions might drive amateur traders to unregulated international platforms in other countries.

Atichanan told Bloomberg that these restrictions will do little to stem the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in Thailand. The SEC’s restrictions were proposed in response to an unprecedented surge in crypto trading beginning in November 2020. According to the SEC’s own data, crypto-trading in Thailand jumped six fold from 18 billion baht in November to 124 billion baht in February. Bitkub themselves reported a daily turnover of 4.2 billion baht throughout February, a jump of nearly 40% from the previous month.

Thai authorities continue to struggle with the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, as they strive to balance embracing innovation with protecting investors. The SEC recently walked back potential restrictions which would have limited crypto purchases to those with a minimum income of 1 million baht after public backlash. Instead, they’ve proposed a program to educate potential investors of the risks involved in investing in the notoriously volatile crypto market.

Undeterred by any potential regulations, Bitkub – who claim to host around 90% of crypto trading in Thailand – have announced plans to expand over the coming year, aiming to double their current staff to 500 and introduce their own debit card. The company is also aiming to achieve the coveted ‘unicorn’ status (a private valuation of more than $1 billion) at some point in the near future.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

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