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Permanent residency, changes to quarantine period – Government mulls strategies to revive economy

Maya Taylor

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Permanent residency, changes to quarantine period – Government mulls strategies to revive economy | The Thaiger
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“The government is considering offering permanent residency to those buying condos in the Kingdom.”

Energy minister and deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow has outlined a number of strategies the government hopes will help the Thai economy recover from the Covid-19 fallout. Permanent residency for some condo purchases, changes to the mandatory quarantine and incentives for foreign investment are all under discussion.

The Eastern Economic Corridor, the special economic zone covering the eastern provinces of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao, continues to eye foreign investors with a number of large infrastructure projects in the pipeline.

One of those is a high-speed rail link between the 3 closest airports to Bangkok – U-Tapao, Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports. Also in the works is a 290 billion baht project to develop U-Tapao Airport, with plans for a new, third terminal, and an aviation training centre, among other facilities. Last year Airbus pulled out of a multi billion baht joint project with Thai Airways to develop a maintenance hub for the region.

Supattanapong adds that the Board of Investment is considering a range of incentives to encourage foreign investors to purchase property in Thailand. The government is considering offering permanent residency to those buying condos in the Kingdom, provided they don’t mortgage, transfer, or sell the units within 5 years of purchase.

In relation to foreign arrivals, he says the government will clarify its plans on any further re-opening to tourists and investors, in addition to any potential reduction in quarantine. He adds that if the current 14 day quarantine period is to be reduced, this would only apply to those coming from countries considered “low risk” for Covid-19. It’s understood the Public Health Ministry is working on categorising countries into low, medium, and high risk, in order to determine the new mandatory quarantine period for international arrivals.

Officials are also considering how foreigners can be encouraged to up their spending from the current average of 50,000 baht per person to 100,000 baht. Since the closure of Thailand’s borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s tourism sector, once welcoming around 40 million visitors a year and generating 3 trillion baht in revenue, has been decimated.

Meanwhile, the government continues to target domestic tourists and residents through a number of stimulus measures, including a recently announced co-payment scheme aimed at boosting spending.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Avatar

    EdwardV

    October 26, 2020 at 11:47 am

    “ permanent residency to those buying condos ” – that is very interesting. As for the quarantine, just about any number will depress tourism. Even just 7 days will discourage the typical 2-4 week tourist, the backbone of revenue. How do you target higher spending tourists? Good question.

  2. Avatar

    Wijnschenk

    October 26, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    But how about the ones who allready live there with a house??!!
    Money again what a brainless people!!

    • Avatar

      Al

      October 26, 2020 at 11:00 pm

      Totally agree with you Wijnschenk! And especially those who have a wife and/or a family.

  3. Avatar

    Maarten Brusselers

    October 26, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    A first requirement to reboot foreign tourism successfully would be to do away with double pricing in national parks, temples, etc.

    • Avatar

      Seattle2k

      October 27, 2020 at 12:00 am

      @Maarten Brusselers That might be your personal agenda. I’m sure most foreigners don’t base their decision about where they’re going to travel, based on whether or not their is dual pricing.

      Dual pricing… Is it different than USA or Europe? Yes, it’s different. Is it wrong? Not necessarily. What’s wrong with giving the local, native people a discount? I hope you understand that many Thai people live very meager lives and can barely afford to travel at all.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 26, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I just can’t see permanent residency for those buying condos given the tight restrictions on permanent residency permits now, the ever-increasing requirements for retirees, and the cost of Elite cards.

    It could also backfire badly on the very sector its intended to support, as instead of paying for hotels tourists might AirBnB-it instead in foreign-owned condos with the money going abroad instead of into the Thai economy.

    As for getting tourists to spend more, the only countries earning more overall from tourists (USA, Spain and France) have twice as many tourists, and those coming to Thailand already spend nearly twice as much per head as those going to Spain or France.

    The only country where tourists spend more money per head per day in those sort of numbers is Macau, which is in the top 10 in terms of tourist revenue as a gambling hub for the Chinese. I recall rumours of a plan to have a “gambling zone” centred on U-Tapao and the Ambassador Hotel a while ago, but nothing came of it.

    … probably more chance of that than permanent residency for condo owners, though …

    • Avatar

      EdwardV

      October 26, 2020 at 7:54 pm

      Isn’t that what happens now with the Chinese? There was an article on this site about Chiang Mai and how most of the independent Chinese tourists stay in Chinese owned condos and rental homes. Even so, I can’t see it being as prevalent with Farang. Chinese buy a lot of investment properties, farang like to stay in hotels. Al least that’s my impression. As for increasing spending. Most locations that have higher tourist spending levels have higher cost of living for the population. Still its an interesting problem to try and overcome

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        October 27, 2020 at 6:00 pm

        Agreed 100% – plenty of Chinese, but I’m very dubious about how much of what they spend actually goes into the Thai economy and how much goes to other Chinese back in China.

  5. Avatar

    willem H

    October 26, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Just let me back in. I do spend enough in Thailand and i have a valid NON O retirement visa.

    Just let all the longstay visa holders back and they will be reunited with their friends and loved once, their belongings which are still in Thailand and spend their money in Thailand. Its a win-win. But maybe i think to logical.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      Willem, I agree with you – subject to a 14 day quarantine and testing, I think all should be allowed back.

      A very, very few might still have a false negative after three tests and 14 days quarantine but the numbers would be very, very small indeed and certainly a lot less than the chances of a truck driver from Myanmar or any number of illegals transmitting the disease.

      I honestly can’t see the problem there, and I’m as sceptical as they come about opening the borders.

      • Avatar

        42nd Battalion

        October 26, 2020 at 10:32 pm

        A very very few might erroneously test negative? Thats not alright. This person could the superspreader! It could doom every living and non-living thing in the kingdom. We’ve always been at war with the ‘rona.

  6. Avatar

    James Pate

    October 26, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Foreigners double their spending from 50000 to 100000? Per week? Month? What? And for what? Bought condo in 2006. Paid off in 2011. Can I qualify? This report looks more like just bureaucratic brainstorming than anything concrete. I doubt any of this will come to fruition.

  7. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    October 26, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    “from the current average of 50,000 baht per person to 100,000 baht.”

    Except the bulk of tourists are chinese and thier spend is average of $900 (28000). Westerners are on average around 50-60k.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      October 26, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      Would suggest to you that the amounts you are quoting are total spend. On a per day basis, the Chinese have proven to be the biggest spenders but their average stay is 3-4 days, not a few weeks, as in the case of some western visitors.

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        October 26, 2020 at 10:23 pm

        Isn’t a larger portion of Chinese spending also have a smaller economic multiplier? Spending through and with Chinese own businesses, and on imported products (imported to both China and Thailand). If Thailand wants to increase per tourist spending, it might be wise to once again warm to the western tourist.

  8. Avatar

    Damage

    October 26, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Nice i purchased a condo in Jan and haven’t stood a foot in the place as I’m not allowed in the country. Wish I never bought the place now.

  9. Avatar

    Wijnschenk

    October 26, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Again.
    The world helped thailand when there was a tsunami.
    The world helped thailand when children were stuck in a cave.
    The world helped gave millions.
    NOW thailand can DO!! Something back!!!!!.
    Help stranded peopke get back to their loved ones.

    But NO they want more money.
    Not verybhuddist like………

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 26, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      It’s not about “more money”.

      This is absurd.

      It’s about people’s lives.

      What about some consideration for those here?

      • Avatar

        Thomas

        October 26, 2020 at 7:36 pm

        I am willing to go into the quarantine, I am willing to do all the tests, I am willing to pay for all the other bullshit. The only thing in return is that I can see my family again. Thai families and children are also not considered while one partners is forced to stay away. Mental health has also a value. Where is the Problem? What is/are the excuse(s). Other countries manage incoming travel well and nobody dies. Unless of course you don’t trust your own systems.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          October 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm

          Agreed, Thomas, but to be fair aren’t those whao are married and have a Thai family here currently allowed back in?

          I may be wrong, but I thought that was one of the categories allowed.

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        October 28, 2020 at 11:48 pm

        It’s not about that many people’s lives, it’s more about avoiding increasing investment in public health. Those vulnerable to this virus are a tiny minority and vulnerable to a wide range of causes of death already anyway. Trashing economies all around the world, and ramping up debt will increase the risk of being unable to pay for managing the virus anyway. The policies around the world are economically unsustainable, and they tend not to work anyway.
        It’s not widely known that during the Spanish Flu epidemic, there wer e other epidemics in parallel, such as E. Lethargica, which added further strain on inadeqate public health provision. The steadfast refusal to accept that public health is as much a priority as environment, is a Dodo-like insular attitude that is self-destructive. Accept risk, and increase investment to manage it, and take national economies off the respirator before the electric bill gets out of control. It is so frustrating to hear bleeding-heart left-wingers driving the narrative and pushing to run up national credit cards, that kind of short-term denial of the realities of nature will be more devastating than any amount of viral spread amongst the approximate 4% of vulnerable (i.e.: unhealthy) people.
        As you say – it’s about people’s lives, and they are being sacrificed for short-term (and failing) protection of a tiny minority, instead of just accepting the need for more public health resources, staff, and rational disease containment that doesn’t kill the “patient” (i.e.: national economy)… this applies to many countries, whose economic freeze is just prompting public rioting and undermining the very thing it’s trying to achieve.

  10. Avatar

    willem H

    October 26, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    There are still many thousands of Thais who did not get there social security money. Even though they got it approved. The SSO did invest a enormous amount of Thai Baht in a real estate project. Not releasing Covid or any other disaster can come and they might need the cash. So give all the Thais the money they are waiting for and it will help the economy also.

    • Avatar

      SG666

      October 26, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      For what you need a permant residency in LOS ? Any visa agent can organize visas long and short stay for a bit tea money which for sure will be less than the losses you will face buying a low quality overpriced condo with promissed yields which never will happen.

  11. Avatar

    Gary

    October 26, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    I own a condo in Jomtien and have a non o retirement visa valid until next June ,yet cannot get back . Cannot understand why

  12. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 26, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    I’m not sure what you mean by “The SSO did invest a enormous amount of Thai Baht in a real estate project.”, but AFAIK the 3 x 5,000 baht “social security” payments were made some time ago after some initial confusion and changes to eligibility. There are others under discussion / in the pipeline, but which are you referring to?

    • Avatar

      42nd Battalion

      October 26, 2020 at 10:43 pm

      “Im willing to do all the tests. Im willing to pay for all the other bulls**t” lol .Anyways thats not good enough. You have to really believe in the doom virus – right down in the pit of your stomach. Only then can you begin to consider your pivitol role in controlling the ‘rona. It is the single greatest threat to mankinds existence ever.

    • Avatar

      willem H

      October 27, 2020 at 12:59 am

      Social Security office. The 3 x 5000 baht was for Thais who did not pay a monthly fee to the SSO. Thais who have a job, pay taxes and pay monthly for social security have a right for unemployment payment. Not the 3 x 5000 you refer to.

      https://thethaiger.com/news/phuket/calls-for-social-security-office-to-explain-investment-in-phuket-resort-trust-fund-as-land-rights-questioned

      Due to lack of money in the SSO many Thais waiting 6 months already to get their legitimate unemployment benefit.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        October 27, 2020 at 6:06 pm

        Thanks, Willem – I wasn’t aware of the hold-up there.

  13. Avatar

    Mike

    October 26, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    It’s too late. Most are resigned to the fact that Thailand is off limits. Even if quarantine lengths are reduced it won’t matter – if it’s covid that the Thais fear then they should keep the borders closed – covid is getting worse by the day – the Americans have all but given up on trying to stop it. People are too worried about their family, jobs and future to think about a holiday now plus they still have to quarantine when they come back!

  14. Avatar

    James

    October 27, 2020 at 2:23 am

    Is it a sort of punishment in that you have to buy a condo to get a permanent visa?

    Who would want to live in a condo on a permanent basis?

    They are probably OK for holidays but It would be like living in a small jail on a permanent basis.

    Why not include houses too?

    Why would we want to vastly reduce our living standards by living in a box?

    Oh yes, I forgot, farangs are not allowed to buy houses, well they are not allowed to buy the land they are built on, they do of course set up companies to buy the house and land but that is illegal if you live in it and it would become a worry.

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Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay

The Thaiger

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Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay | The Thaiger

The Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more than its original budget of US$13 billion, after it has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Olympic organisers say they will decide on the increased budget for the Games after communicating with Japan’s government and Tokyo. The Games were postponed by 1 year after Covid-19 spread worldwide, with its opening date set to July 23, 2021. Of all the events postposed because of Covid-19, the Olympics was the biggest and most complex to postpone.

Such a delay has yielded new costs, from retaining the organising staff, rebooking venues and transportation. Not to mention, the question of if the event can actually proceed safely. But Olympic officials are reaffirming that the Games can, indeed, be held following safety measures.

Such covid safety measures are reportedly another reason why the price of the event has increased, although the new estimated cost doesn’t include such measures. Officials say they are expecting the additional costs to be paid for by the Japanese government. Organisers and officials are reportedly considering a long list of possible virus countermeasures that they hope will make the Games possible, even if a vaccine is not yet available.

A dialed-down, lower-cost Olympics plan was announced in September, with banners, mascots, meals, and athlete welcome ceremonies being scrapped along with fewer free tickets to be offered. A senior official has said that Tokyo Olympics test events will resume in March with a decision on fan attendance to be made in the spring season.

Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee Chief says he is very confident that the Games will have attending fans. However, fan enthusiasm has decreased inside of Japan, with summer polls indicating only 1 in 4 Japanese people wanting the Games to happen, with most wanting them to be postponed or even fully cancelled.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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A Singaporean woman has given birth to a baby with Covid antibodies in its system, giving new clues into whether Covid can be transferred from mother to child. The woman, Celine Ng-Chan, was infected with the virus in March during her pregnancy, and gave birth this month to her Covid-free baby.

“My doctor suspects I have transferred my Covid-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy.”

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Ng-Chan became mildly sick from the virus, but was discharged from the National University Hospital after 2.5 weeks. So far, the World Health Organisation says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery, but this new finding helps researchers with new information. The active virus has not been found in samples of fluid around the fetus in the womb or in breast milk as of now, with Chinese doctors reporting such detection of antibodies in babies born to women, who have been infected with the virus, has been shown to decline over time.

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The positive test on November 27, came after she was out and about, with authorities saying 326 people are suspected of coming in contact with the woman. The woman reportedly visited a mall to eat Japanese shabu, watched a movie, visited a karaoke bar, and used public transportation before her positive diagnosis.

SOURCE: NDTV.com

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai woman tests positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, 72 people found to be in close contact

The Thaiger

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Thai woman tests positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, 72 people found to be in close contact | The Thaiger

A 29 year old female Thai returnee from Myanmar has tested positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, after visiting the hospital with flu-like symptoms. She was the only local case reported, out of 5 other positive tests, with officials saying she is believed to have contracted the virus in Myanmar. The positive test on November 27, came after she was out and about, with authorities saying 326 people are suspected of coming in contact with the woman. The woman reportedly visited a mall to eat Japanese shabu, watched a movie, visited a karaoke bar, and used public transportation before her positive diagnosis.

Of those suspected 326 people who came in contact with the woman, 105 were deemed at high risk of infection with 149 deemed at low risk. Officials said 72 people were in close contact with her. The mall operator says those who were found to be in contact with the woman will proceed to a 14 day quarantine period.

The woman reportedly came down with symptoms on November 23 and went to the Nakornping Hospital the next day to be checked out. Now, the Chiang Mai governor has ordered all affected venues to be disinfected, including the Central Festival Chiangmai mall, which closed at 4 pm for a “big cleaning” yesterday.

Officials from the Disease Control Department have provided the woman’s whereabouts at a briefing on Saturday as part of the contact-tracing exercise. Sopon Liamsirithavorn, director of the Communicable Diseases Division, has presented a timeline of her movements:

  • From October 24 to November 23, the woman was in Myanmar. On November 23, she developed a fever, watery diarrhea, and lost her sense of smell.
  • On November 24, she still had a fever and developed a cough and a headache. Around 5 am on that day, she travelled from Myanmar to the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai by public van.
  • Around 11 am on November 24, she left Chiang Rai for Chiang Mai by bus.
  • At 2.51 pm the same day, the woman arrived at her condominium in a Grab car. That night, she used another Grab car to visit a karaoke bar in the Santitham area with two friends. They smoked a cigarette and shared it.
  • On November 25, she stayed overnight at a condominium with one of the friends who had returned from the entertainment venue around 2 am. Two other friends who lived in the room opposite came to the room to drink alcohol.
  • About noon on November 25, the woman left the condominium in another Grab car. She arrived at her condo building at around 1 pm.
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A full announcement is set to be made by the Chiang Mai governor and Thai public health authorities when more information has been confirmed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Reuters

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