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Welcome home – 17 Surat Thani students return from Hubei, China

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Welcome home – 17 Surat Thani students return from Hubei, China | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Back in Surat Thani after their studies in Hubei - The Nation
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17 electronics students from Surat Thani Technical College in Thailand’s south, who had been studying on a high vocational certificate course at Xingtai Polytechnic College in Hubei, China, have arrived home. They are healthy and happy to back with their families.

The 17 arrived at the Surat Thani International Airport, via Suvarnabhumi, yesterday jus after 9 in the morning.

The group flew with Thai Smile, the budget subsidiary of Thai Airways, after being permitted to travel back to Thailand on January 31. The repatriation was a marathon with a flight from Hubei Province to Beijing, then to Bangkok and finally a short flight to Surat Thani.

They were first tested for the new coronavirus at Beijing Airport and then again at Suvarnabhumi Airport when they arrived in Thailand. None of them tested positive. One of the students, Teshit Hanrattanakon, says that eight students were still having to wait for repatriation from Wuhan by the Thai government as China had already sealed the city before they could fly home.

30 other graduated students in Chongqing, west of Hubei province, had returned before the virus outbreak.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket migrant workers permitted to return home

Sean Kelly

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Phuket migrant workers permitted to return home | The Thaiger

Some migrant workers were allowed to leave Phuket to return to their homes yesterday, as the provincial administration agreed to temporarily lift the travel ban so they could rejoin their families.

One worker who hails from the nearby province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, told Thai PBS that he has been out of work for 2 months, and his family could no longer earn a living in Phuket. His wife was also out of work because the hotel she was employed with was recently ordered closed , along with other hotels on the island, by the governor.

Now both out of work, the unemployed husband and wife asked Phuket administration if they may return to their home province where they would at least have free accommodation and food to eat, plus be back with their families.

Since the provincial administration restricted the movement of people in and out of the province to slow the spread of Covid-19, unemployed migrant workers have not been permitted to leave until now.

Before leaving Phuket yesterday, a senior official explained to the workers about the need to restrict travel, and after their departure, they will not be allowed to return until at least the end of this month. The workers insisted that they was willing to enter mandatory quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility.

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UPDATE: Visa amnesty signed by PM

Greeley Pulitzer

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UPDATE: Visa amnesty signed by PM | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter

UPDATE: PM Prayut Chan-o-cha today signed an executive order granting visa amnesty to foreigners left stranded in Thailand by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The order, released by the Ministry of Interior, grants “special permission for some classes of aliens to stay in the Kingdom.”

It was signed by Prayuth and head of the Ministry of Interior, Anupong Paochinda.

ORIGINAL STORY:
With many flights cancelled, entire fleets grounded and hotels ordered closed, thousands of tourists and expats across Thailand are in a state of limbo… unable to leave, not allowed to stay. To make matters worse, social distancing requirements are creating chaos at crowded immigration offices nationwide, and onerous new requirements have been added for visa extensions. The situation has put foreigners and immigration officials at additional risk.

But the Immigration Bureau has announced that the Cabinet has approved a plan to offer automatic visa extensions for foreigners, though it will not come into effect until it has been signed by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

An immigration spokesman says a set of new rules, which also includes visa amnesty, has been approved by the Ministry of Interior Affairs and is due to be inked by the PM soon. The measure follows complaints of overcrowding and risk of virus infection at immigration offices across the country.

“It will be signed by the PM soon. Please wait for official announcements and don’t fall for online rumours.”

Details of the new rules emerged yesterday after local blogger Richard Barrow wrote on his social media platforms that the bureau has proposed plans to give every foreign national an automatic 30 day stay extension, citing sources within Immigration.

Richard also noted that the 90-day reporting will be temporarily suspended and those who have obtained permanent resident status will not lose their status if they are not able to return to Thailand within a one year period.

Visa amnesty will be granted to every foreigner, but the post did not elaborate on how it will be enforced.

“This is ready to be implemented straight away, but the Immigration Bureau cannot start until it has been signed by the PM. From what I understand, it’s already in the prime minister’s office. They are optimistic he will sign it very soon.”

“I just got off the phone with another Immigration official. So, it looks like the photos that I tweeted of long queues have caught the attention of the right people.”

But immigration officials said that concerned foreigners shouldn’t rely on online rumours…

“Who is he? He is not the Immigration Bureau. How could he come out to say something like that?We will make official announcements when it becomes effective.”

SOURCE: Khaosod English | thaivisa

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Phuket officially announces restricted travel between districts from April 13

Anukul

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Phuket officially announces restricted travel between districts from April 13 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TheThaiger

Phuket prepares to close off every district on April 13, for 14 days. Phuket officials have already ordered the closure of more than 6 sub-districts includes Patong, Kathu, Rawai, Karon, Kata and Pla Klok Districts.

Pakpong Thawiphat, the Phuket Governor has given a live interview on MCOT, explaining in-depth that Phuket will close all the remaining sub-districts from April 13 for 14 days. He stressed that it is not a new curfew as people will still be able to travel within their own district.

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee have also agreed that the remaining sub-districts should be shut down and all 17 districts will have a screening point along roads into their areas.

The reduction of movement from the locals will allow officials to help prevent further spread of the disease.

The announcement say that you are allowed to leave your house for important errands (including shopping for food and supplies, or medical care) but you must follow the 10pm – 4am curfew and not to travel between the districts. The Communicable Disease Committee Phuket say they hope that the situation would have improved by April 30.

🔴 #ด่วน❗️ #ภูเก็ต #ปิดทุกตำบลเริ่ม 13 เม.ย. นี่ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัดภูเก็ต ให้สัมภาษณ์สดช่อง 9 MCOT เมื่อสักครู่ว่า ภูเก็ตมีทั้งหมด 17 ตำบล สั่งปิดไปแล้ว 6 ตำบล อีก 11 ตำบลที่เหลือ จะถูกสั่งปิดทั้งหมด ภายในวันที่ 13 นี้ (วันสงกรานต์คือ วันปิดเกาะโดยสมบูรณ์) เป็นเวลาทั้งสิ้น 14 วัน ผู้คนยังคงออกนอกเคหะสถานได้ แต่ออกนอกเขตตำบลไม่ได้ ให้อยู่แต่ในตำบลของตนเอง และภูเก็ตจะเป็นจังหวัดแรกในประเทศไทย ที่ใช้มาตรการนี้

Posted by เสียงประชาชน คนภูเก็ต Phuket People’s Voice on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

SOURCE: Phuket People’s Voice

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