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Government’s economic task force meets to discuss job creation, “Phuket Model”



PHOTO: William Rouse on Unsplash

The government’s Covid-19 economic management team meets today, with a number of stimulus measures expected to be announced. Nation Thailand reports that officials plan to discuss job creation for graduates, along with yet more talks on how to safely welcome international tourists.

Deputy PM and Energy Minister, Supattanapong Punmeechaow, says any measures announced are expected to be short-term. The government is considering a financial incentive scheme for companies that hire new graduates. Supatthanapong says the various “plans” for re-opening Thailand’s borders will also be discussed, adding that more information will be forthcoming following the talks (there has been no shortage of ‘plans’ and ‘models’ bandied around over the past 2 weeks).

Government spokesman, Anucha Burapachaisri, confirms that various ministries will put forward their proposals, pointing out that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha remains concerned about striking a balance between re-vitalising the Thai economy and continuing to keep the Covid-19 situation contained. In particular, officials are concerned about illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries, such as Myanmar, which is currently experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases in Rakhine state.

The Tourism and Sports Minister, Pipat Ratchakijprakan, says Thailand must re-open to foreign tourists in order to revive the country’s battered economy, adding that he can’t understand why some health officials are against the idea, while not opposing the entry of migrant workers. Pipat points out that many of those coming in from Myanmar are doing so illegally, without going through any health checks or quarantine, meaning they pose a far greater threat than tourists who would follow a strict entry process.

Together with the National Economic and Social Development Council, Pipat’s ministry will present a proposal for a safe re-opening to foreign tourists. The government has already approved a plan to allow 200 long-stay visitors from Australia and New Zealand to enter Phuket from next month. Officials say all arrivals will be tested for Covid-19 prior to departure and again on arrival. They will be required to carry out a 14 day quarantine period, after which they may travel around Phuket. After a 21 day quarantine, they will be free to travel around the rest of the country. Visitors will be granted 90 day visas, which can then be extended by 180 days.

The government says it plans to gauge the reaction of locals before admitting any additional tourists. If all goes well, they say future arrivals may not be confined to their rooms but permitted to walk around their hotel for between 4 and 7 days prior to wandering outside.

Unfortunately, what appears to have been forgotten in this plan, is that Australian citizens are currently not allowed to leave their country, with few exceptions, while the government of New Zealand advises its citizens not to travel overseas at this time.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Todd

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 11:20 am

    First time I’ve heard only NZ and Australians are targeted for October. WTF?

  2. Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 11:55 am

    The graduates should forget their big ambitions, and go for fishing and farming quick, before the ex tuc tuc drivers grab all the jobs.
    However there are opportunities in the construction industries – not big money but a worker can live in the building being constructed.
    Think of all the rent saved. Good honest work. The graduates will develop muscles like Swazernegger.

  3. Epicwin

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Go fuck these Thais, fuck their economy

  4. Bobby M

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    When will you accept that tourists are not going to jump through hoops to come to Thailand and pay 80.000 bht for 14 days quarantine. Let alone the cost of the multiple inaccurate test you are insisting on.

    We just will not do it, we are the customer’s

    Here is an idea for you that could work and would be reasonable for both

    30 day minimum stay (recommendation to extend free entry visa to 45 days) this would open the ability to more people whilst making it worth while for a vacation.

    Sanitised taxi transfer or hire car to hotel or rented condo anywhere up to and including the family home in rural Thailand.

    Must remain with track and trace in hotel room, apartment/condo or room at family home for 14 days. Any symptoms must be immediately reported to a given department.

    Allowed to be joined by one person fiancé/ girlfriend family member etc, who will be allowed out to get food/shopping. They must wear face covering at all times outside the room.

    No hoops to jump through

    No tests, they are expensive and all but pointless as they are not accurate

    14 days self quarantine with no symptoms is enough, after which the visitors are allowed out of the room.

    Yes there will be some infections, but I it’s far more manageable to cope with several small fires than a totally out of control forest fire called Phuket.

    This will help your travel industry start to obtain an income
    Provide jobs
    Allow airlines to start to trust you and build schedules knowing they can sell tickets and fly full aircraft
    Start to rebuild your economy and show the rest of the world you are now opening for business.
    You have to start somewhere and I feel this idea would be a good balanced approach.

    Ok you must trust people to do the right thing and quarantine properly and you must check. But that’s not difficult and would also create jobs. Anybody found breaking the quarantine regulations could be expelled and banned from future visits for measured period. I think that is enough incentive to obey the rules and keep everybody as safe as possible.

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