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Visa amnesty extension “very likely”. Decision this week.

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Visa amnesty extension “very likely”. Decision this week. | The Thaiger
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Only 11 days to go until we reach the end of the current visa amnesty, which has allowed people with expired visas to remain in the Kingdom during the midst of Thailand’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak. But even today Immigration officials say that a proposal to extend the visa amnesty, or some similar alternative, is before the government for consideration.

The cabinet meets each Tuesday and it is understood the proposal will be discussed then.

NO FORMAL DECISION HAS YET BEEN MADE.

Immigration Bureau spokesperson, Chengron Rimpadee, says that the proposed extension, framed as a ‘grace period’, could last up to September 26 and was “very likely”. He noted that there was still many countries with borders closed and was impractical to force ‘overstaying’ foreigners to leave Thailand at this stage.

As of today, Thailand’s borders remain largely closed to any foreign traffic, with the exceptions of some particular categories who have to go through a lot of red tape as well a mandatory 14 day quarantine, at their expense. Many other countries also have border closures in place, or are restricting their citizens to repatriate at this time.

In response a number of Embassies have said they will provide letters explaining the situation of their citizens to Thai Immigration, including Australia. Other Embassies, notably the US and UK, have already said they will not provide these supporting letters.

The current visa amnesty, that has been extended since April, ends on Friday, July 31, and the extension could be approved as soon as Tuesday, when the cabinet convenes its weekly meeting.

It is understood that the ‘grace period’ would mean an amnesty would continue (up to September 26) but people would need to apply formerly for the additional extension. Details of the paperwork or any fees, have not yet been announced. One way or the other, Thai Immigration will be keen to avoid a repeat of the huge queues of confused foreigners who fronted up at offices around the country just before Thailand’s borders closed in March.

SOURCE: Coconuts.co

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    David

    Monday, July 20, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    What will the ‘grace period’ mean for people who will fly out of the country in August or September rather than July 31st?

    I looked at flights exiting to my home country this month. They are impossible for me to take, since they all require transit between two airports in Tokyo – a feat only Japanese citizens (or those with permanent residence) are eligible to do.

  2. Avatar

    james

    Monday, July 20, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    It is confusing regarding visa support letters from The British Office as this is the reply I received when asking about a visa letter from them.

    “Foreign & Commonwealth Office – Consular Service

    Thank you for your enquiry of 15/07/2020 19:53 .
    The Thai government has announced that visas of all types expiring on or after 26 March 2020 will be granted a further automatic extension until 31 July.

    You do not need a supporting letter from your Embassy. Interpretation of the law may vary in different areas. You are therefore strongly advised to check with your local immigration office that your visa will be automatically extended.

    There has been no formal request from Thai Immigration Bureau for Embassies to issue visa extension letters to support the extension of visas after 31st July. We are awaiting further announcements from Immigration Bureau with regard to automatic visa extensions after 31st July. “

  3. Avatar

    rinky stingpiece

    Monday, July 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I don’t understand why they make something that should be so simple, so difficult.

    Surely it makes sense to have a whitelist of reliable, credible countries whose citizens are lot easier to deal with, than clump everyone together and have massive queues of people.

    In the UK you have the concept of “Indefinite Leave to Remain”, which means that people don’t have to come back to these offices again and again to complete administrative procedures that seem to have no effect on anything.

    Why not just make all or many VoA countries on a “one-off” long-stay assessment list?
    If they are all from countries with modern admin systems for tax and id, they should be easy to trace in a more cooperative way, and free up staff to deal with the “less consistent” countries’ visitors.

    Really, Thailand and countries like the UK, Canada, Australia, NZ, and even the USA would both benefit from a new Amity Treaty to make life simpler for their citizens in Thailand, and Thai citizen in those countries.

    Moreover, it’s bound to have trade and knowledge transfer benefits.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light

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Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light | The Thaiger

Phuket is rehearsing procedures to ready themselves for the Covid‐19 vaccine administration green light. A rehearsal at Vachira Hospital’s Lan Muang Khao open area was held late yesterday to iron out any kinks in the administration process. Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong watched over the procedures along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

“The government recognises the importance of the affected areas of the economy where the epidemic situation of COVID-19 must be stopped and has allocated the COVID-19 vaccine to Phuket Province to build herd immunity, restore the economy, return a smile to Thailand.”

“We are preparing to COVID-19 mass vaccination to build confidence among the people that they will receive a quality, safe vaccine and to receive follow-up care after it has been administered.”

Pichet says Phuket’s first target groups to receive the vaccine include medical and public health personnel, with others on the frontlines to come next.

Then, workers aged 18-59 years old, people with underlying diseases including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity will follow.

“People with severe neurological conditions and pregnant women should be wary of taking the vaccine, as well as women who are breastfeeding and people with immunodeficiency.”

The procedure to get vaccinated starts by recipients undergoing screening by having their temperatures taken, and then sanitising their hands before entering the administration area. Then, they will move their way through a series of steps, detailed below:

Step 1: Register

Step 2: Record weight and blood pressure

Step 3: Pass the screening process by have their medical history and risk assessment recorded and then signing a consent to receive the vaccine

Step 4: Wait for vaccination

Step 5: Vaccination

Step 6: Rest for 30 minutes, while being observed for symptoms. Then scan the official Line account “หมอพร้อม” (“Doctor Ready”)

Step 7: Pass a final check before receiving a document confirming vaccination

Pichet says health workers will follow up with vaccine recipients after 1,7, and 30 days from being vaccinated to monitor any adverse reactions.

Those who are set to receive their second jab will have appointments made for them. Those who receive the Sinovac vaccine will be scheduled to have their second doses 2 to 4 weeks after the first. AstraZeneca vaccine receivers will be scheduled for their second doses 10 to 12 weeks after the first.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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PM to receive AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday

Maya Taylor

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PM to receive AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha will receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, while Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul will receive the Chinese jab. According to a Bangkok Post report, Sopon Mekthon from the sub-committee on vaccine management says both politicians will receive their vaccines at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. On Monday, the vaccination of priority groups in specific provinces will get underway.

Speaking about the arrival of the long-awaited vaccines yesterday, Anutin said the first batch would be distributed free of charge, with costs covered by the government.

“The vaccines are for Thais and those living in the country. Anyone who charges for the vaccine will face legal action.”

Thailand has taken delivery of 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab and 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The arrival of the AstraZeneca jab took many by surprise, with no mention of its imminent arrival, unlike the PR hoopla surrounding the arrival of its Chinese counterpart. Another 800,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine are expected next month, followed by a further 1 million in April. After that, the rest of Thailand’s vaccines will be from AstraZeneca, with 26 million locally-manufactured doses expected to be available from May to June and another 35 million after that.

Nakorn Premsri from the National Vaccine Institute says the AstraZeneca vaccines arrived this week as a result of a commitment by the pharmaceutical giant to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“The AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived in Thailand must receive a lot release certificate from the Department of Medical Sciences before distribution to priority groups designated by the Department of Disease Control.”

Meanwhile, Thares Karasnairaviwong from the Department of Health Service Support says over 1.5 million village health volunteers are educating local residents about the importance of vaccination and establishing how many people fall into the priority groups who will be first to be inoculated.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Digital Government Development Agency

Foreign tourists travelling to Thailand will need to download the Covid-19 contact tracking mobile application “ThailandPlus” before arriving in Thailand and use it throughout their stay. The app will notify travellers if they have been in close contact with any confirmed cases.

Throughout their trip to Thailand, tourists will need to keep the app “on” and check in and out of various locations by scanning QR codes. The app requires access to the smartphone’s GPS , but the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the information collected will only be used for public health purposes and will not infringe on the tourists’ right to privacy.

Travellers will also need to upload a recent headshot as well as supply their Certificate of Entry number and reference ID from the Royal Thai Embassy.

The app is a spinoff to the “Thai Chana” and “Mor Chana” apps. All use GPS and Bluetooth as well as QR code scanning to detect the users’ locations. The apps sparked controversy and many Thais expressed concerns about their privacy, but the government has assured the public that information will be kept private.

The development of the app is a collaboration between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Digital Government Development Agency.

Click HERE to download the ThailandPlus.

SOURCE: TAT

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