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

Maya Taylor

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

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Todd

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 11:20 am

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

  2. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    Epicwin

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Go fuck these Thais, fuck their economy

  4. Avatar

    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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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge

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Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge | Thaiger
PHOTO: Hotels and other tourism business are hoping the July 1st reopening goal can still be achieved.

A hotel information blog is claiming that, despite growing Covid-19 numbers, Phuket should stick to its schedule in reopening to travellers without quarantine in July. That’s only 2 and a half months away.

In an interview with the Director of Travel and Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, they stressed that while it is crucial to reign in the spread of Covid-19 and the B117 strain now manacing Thailand, the risk must not overshadow the need teo push forward with vaccinations and the march towards eliminating the quarantine by July in order to save the tourism industry and all those dependent on it.

“The Phuket pilot program is essential in creating a path towards economic recovery for Thailand, a country heavily dependent on tourism. More than 17% of Thailand’s gross domestic product is attributed to tourism and the Covid-19 pandemic has lead to the worst economic free-fall in over 20 years”

The blog acknowledges the inherent risk and possible appearance of foolishness to prioritise the plans to reopen and carry on with the same rollout schedule. But they urge Thai authorities to consider that July 1 is still 2 and a half months away, leaving ample time to recover and make progress towards the approaching Phuket reopening. A vital aspect of the reopening plan lies in vaccinating over 70% of Phuket’s provincial residents, a sizable task, but one that brings great benefit with or without the scheduled reopening.

“Pushing ahead to achieve this goal puts Phuket on track to welcome back tourists, perhaps in a “bio-bubble”, and restart the economy. The economy is desperate with household debt growing, pushing the government to enact emergency decrees to provide relief. These households need the return of tourism and the influx of cash international tourists will bring.”

The blog hopes that Thai authorities can balance the necessary Covid-19 safety measures in Phuket to protect the Thai population with the economic need to bring back tourism. They believe that with sufficient measures in place, vaccinated locals could welcome vaccinated international tourists back to Phuket reopening safely in July.

SOURCE: Hotel News Resource

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Chon Buri

Chon Buri adds 99 new Covid-19 infections today

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Chon Buri adds 99 new Covid-19 infections today | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Covid-19 cases continue to be identified from entertainment venues across Thailand.

The Chon Buri Covid-19 cluster is spreading with the Chon Buri Provincial Public Health Office confirming 99 new cases today. The province, which contains Pattaya, seems to be following a growing infection trend. The Pattaya area saw 47 new cases, and Mueang Chon Buri had 41 cases, with other districts having less than 5 each. 2 people infected with Covid-19 were brought from outside Chon Buri for treatment locally. The new cases bring the total number of Covid-19 infections in the province up to 710 people.

While infections are on the rise, officials advise that the numbers are not showing a severe or exponential increase and are in line with daily averages. They say the growing numbers are more likely due to “diligent testing throughout the community”, especially in nightlife venues and popular entertainment districts. 984 cautionary tests were administered today along with 342 people suspected to have been in close contact with Covid-19 infected people.

Within the new infections, 41 people are still being investigated to find the source of the virus, while 29 people were family members or close contacts of other infected people.

The sources of new infections are…

  • PATTAYA
    • 3 infections at The Box 69 Pattaya
    • 3 infections at Cetus Pattaya
    • 3 infections at Garden 168
    • 1 infection at Bone Pattaya
    • 1 infection at Insomnia Pattaya
  • OTHER AREAS IN CHON BURI
    • 5 infections at Flintstone’s Pub in Meung Chon Buri, the source of 137 cases total.
    • 4 infections at Infinity Siracha
    • 3 infections at 2.7 Replay Bang Saen
  • FROM OUTSIDE CHON BURI
    • 4 infections at Entertainment venues in Bangkok

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Northern Thai provinces starting Covid restrictions as 3rd wave spreads

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Northern Thai provinces starting Covid restrictions as 3rd wave spreads | Thaiger
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Thailand’s northern provinces are starting to impose more self-quarantines or travel restrictions to combat the recent Covid-19 outbreak that has spread quickly throughout northern Thailand. Phichit and Lampang provinces are the latest in northern Thailand to impose a variety of covid-19 restrictions on people entering.

A Thailand Interior Ministry told Chiang Rai Times that the longer list emphasises the seriousness of the 3rd wave of the coronavirus. The new wave originated in nightlife venues in Bangkok and has spread to 74 out of Thailand’s 77 provinces, as of yesterday. Health inspectors believe the new and more contagious UK strain of Covid-19, named B117, arrived in Thailand from Cambodia through migrants.

But as the CCSA has largely placed restrictions in the hands of each provincial government, many are confused about what guidelines they must follow upon entering certain provinces. Northern Thailand’s Lampang province, for example, orders visitors from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom and Chiang Mai to report immediately to local health authorities or officials, but it does not require them to undergo quarantine for 2 weeks if test results are negative.

Visitors are advised to check updated information at moicovid.com as the rules are different in each province. So far, 42 provinces have imposed self-quarantine. Phichit, Lampang and Ubon Ratchathani were the latest to join 39 other provinces imposing a variety of restrictions on people entering their provinces.

Visitors to the website posted multiple questions, mostly on whether they needed to be quarantined.

Provinces that impose self-quarantine or other requirements on travellers:

NORTH

  • Chiang Mai
  • Kamphaeng Phet
  • Lampang
  • Lamphun
  • Nan
  • Phayao
  • Phetchabun
  • Phichit
  • Phitsanulok
  • Phrae
  • Tak
  • Uttaradit

NORTHEAST

  • Amnat Charoen
  • Bung Kan
  • Buri Ram
  • Chaiyaphum
  • Khon Kaen
  • Maha Sarakham
  • Mukdahan
  • Nakhon Phanom
  • Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Nong Bua Lam Phu
  • Nong Khai
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani
  • Yasothon

CENTAL AND EAST

  • Chai Nat
  • Lop Buri
  • Nakhon Sawan
  • Sa Kaeo
  • Saraburi
  • Sing Buri
  • Uthai Thani

SOUTH

  • Chumphon
  • Narathiwat
  • Pattani
  • Phangnga
  • Ranong
  • Satun
  • Songkhla
  • Trang

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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