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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Travel bubbles may be postponed “indefinitely”




The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand now says the proposed “travel bubble” scheme, which could have allowed limited numbers of tourist arrivals from designated “low risk” countries, may have to be “postponed indefinitely”, after its 3 target partners – China, Japan and South Korea – experienced new outbreaks of Covid-19.

On Tuesday, the CAAT’s director-general told reporters he expected Thailand to start exchanging tourists in August with countries that had controlled their coronavirus epidemics as Thailand has. But while negotiations have begun, new outbreaks in Beijing, Tokyo and outside Seoul now mean “we probably will have to postpone indefinitely.”

He says the government will monitor outbreaks around the world for the rest of the month.

Although the CAAT is not the agency that will ultimately decide whether talks will be postponed, the director-general’s comments reflect the attitude of Thailand’s leaders, who seem unwilling to accept tourists from any country where even a single case of Covid-19 was found outside of quarantine.

Thailand’s Transport Minister says he can’t  predict what August and September will bring preferring to wait for a “clear policy” from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

As Thailand’s government looks to continue a risk-averse attitude to re-opening its borders, the Immigration department is signalling that an extension of the current visa amnesty is “unlikely”. Not extending the amnesty for people with expired tourist and visitor visas is forcing thousands of foreigners into hasty arrangements to leave the country before the July 31 ‘sunset’ of the current amnesty. The Immigration department has made no official announcement about the visa amnesty at this stage.

(The Thaiger urges foreigners in Thailand, without a current visa to live in Thailand, to contact their Embassy or Consulate in Thailand to register their situation and become familiar with flights leaving the country at this time.)


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  1. Toby Andrews

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Don’t insult our intelligence, as big chief Thailand said.
    The travel bubbles are postponed because there are no takers.
    Who is going to come to amazing Thailand under the amazing restrictions amazing Thailand imposes?

  2. Alan

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    I am hugely relieved! The idea of tourists coming from infected regions with NO quarantine was ludicrous given the dire situation. No travel bubbles + Safe Thailand and healthy Thai people!

  3. Kevin Martyn

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    That is the best decision the Thai Government could make!

  4. Glenn

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    oh yea – who needs tourists – not thailand. who needs foreigners – not thailand. does thailand need to examine the ‘real’ numbers, not the fake cooked up ones (such as in the ussa) – na, not thailand, we believe and never question anything, especially when that info comes from the un and who… fools.

  5. Mike

    Monday, July 13, 2020 at 11:23 am

    There are two choices going forward – everyone gets sick or tourism is no longer part of the economy in Thailand. To keep the country safe you would need a 14 day quarantine for every entrant into the country – forever.
    People from low risk countries are low risk but not no risk and they will come into contact with people from other countries that may be high risk. Americans travel all over the world. Without a 14 day quarantine for ALL visitors there WILL be another outbreak.
    With a 14 day quarantine tourism will be dead. People can’t come for a 1 or 2 week vacation if they spend all the time in quarantine.
    So, pick your bad. Covid or bad economy. Those are the only two long-term options without a vaccine.

  6. vroom

    Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 4:30 am

    2020 is the best year! I used to be optimistic but now I have high hopes for 2021 to be as shitty as 2020.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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