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Thai government considers easing restrictions for foreign business travellers

Maya Taylor

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Thai government considers easing restrictions for foreign business travellers | Thaiger
PHOTO: Hunters Race on Unsplash

The Thai government is considering further easing entry restrictions for foreign travellers coming to conduct business in the Kingdom. Currently, around 11,000 businesspeople and work permit holders have been granted entry by the Centre for Covid-19 Administration Situation since they started allowing some foreigners back into the country after July.

All arrivals have to submit to a mandatory 14 day quarantine, as does anyone arriving from overseas at the moment. They will have also undergone extensive Covid-19 testing, prior to departing their country of origin, again on arrival in Thailand, and several times while in quarantine and before being released from quarantine.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri says making life easier for foreigners trying to enter Thailand for business or investment purposes is “vital to economic survival”. Thailand’s economy has been decimated by the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many arguing that it is now time to re-open the borders.

The government has signed off on the new Special Tourist Visa, which was formally Gazetted last week, to allow long-stay tourists to enter the Kingdom on specially chartered flights, although there is still some confusion as to when the first group might arrive. Meanwhile, the STV has been criticised by some for the onerous requirements attached to it and the fact that it simply does not go far enough in addressing the economic crisis caused by the closure of Thailand’s borders.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Geoff

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:38 am

    My business has collapsed because I cannot travel from Thailand and return safely to my family.

    I earn forex for Thailand.

    Just saying

    • Avatar

      Jilted John

      Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 11:26 am

      Sounds like your Government couldn’t give a XXXX…

  2. Avatar

    Ryan Lih

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:41 am

    “Considering easing” is not enough. It’s all talk and no real & concrete action plan. 3 months will pass by in a blink of an eye and by that time, cry about spilt milk? Major protests/uprising are in the works by you know who. More citizens will join because no results shown. It’s all about considering, talking, thinking, recommending, etc. After the meeting, no accountability, no follow-up, no tracking of progress & results.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      “Major protests/uprising are in the works by you know who.”

      Quite possibly, but they’re not about opening the borders as you seem to suggest.

      All the surveys, even that in Phuket which has been hit as badly as anywhere if not worse, show very clearly that most Thais do NOT want the borders open despite the damage to the tourist industry.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:29 am

        Rubbish. These surveys, are they the ones that consult 1450 persons?
        I keep seeing them and they are always anti foreigner.
        I suspect they are paid false surveys.
        Survey the Phuket citizens lining up in the street for free food.
        Survey the business owners that have closed down due to lack of foreign visitors.

        • Avatar

          Jilted John

          Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 11:31 am

          Spot on, i was thinking myself who exactly are these people answering these surveys

  3. Avatar

    Nipral

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Another joke ! Any business in Thailand ? I remember in the past they had some
    tourism. The greedy and corrupt government killed it. Nothing left but starving
    people. The good news is that PM and crew have food on their table and roofs over their empty head.

  4. Avatar

    harry1

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    indeed a complex situation,but not thoroughly thought thru collectively ? local and country business are devastated and it reliant on tourism. people are becoming more desperate.not sure why the hold up of the experiment of letting some back.perhap airline wont operate until more passengers are flying, until there a clear message from the powers that be

  5. Avatar

    Gigitour

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    how many covid tests are done in thailand every day?

    • Avatar

      RR

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Aside from the mandatory ones of the forced quarantine, none, because they are expensive, and must be paid by the user. People buy food, not tests. Thailand has one of the lowest test/population ratio in the world, not surprising the number of detected cases is so low.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 7:43 pm

        “Thailand has one of the lowest test/population ratio in the world, not surprising the number of detected cases is so low.”

        Not only untrue, but the conclusion is nonsense.

        If the number of cases were markedly higher, the number of overall deaths would also be higher. It isn’t. QED.

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:22 am

          How do you know that is not true. You have the proven figures.
          YOUR conclusion is nonsense.

  6. Avatar

    Neelam Mehta

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    ROYAL THAI EMBASSY IN MUMBAI INDIA SAYS WE ARE NOT ISSUING BUSSINESS VISA.
    I JUST DON’T GET THE POINT
    IF ANY ONE IS WILLING TO SET UP A BUSSINESS IN SUCH DIFFICULT TIMES
    THEY SHOULD BE MORE THAN WELCOME.

  7. Avatar

    Marc F

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Wishfull thinking or qualified lies?

    Announcing measures with attached conditions rendering them non applicable is bad. Bad for the trust in authorities. Bad because it prevents any planning from any stakeholder. Bad because it prevents effective measures to be discussed.

  8. Avatar

    Che

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Reopen now!

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    … and is that Thailand’s fault, or that of the countries you are unable to travel to?

  10. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Why would that matter?

    If testing the general population, in order to be effective you would need to test the entire population at least every month which would require over 2 million to be tested every day. Even the USA isn’t managing to test half that number.

    • Avatar

      jooseppi

      Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 4:31 am

      yeah but usa is not Finland LOL. those guys has people living in the street while we got ZERO

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 9:42 am

        I’m not sure why Finns hold their country up as a shining example of how to deal with Covid-19.

        You’ve had fifty times as many deaths from Covid-19 as Thailand, with less than a tenth of the population and a fifth of the population density.

        Your borders are closed to visitors from all but a handful of countries, with more restrictions than Thailand, and your fatality rate from Covid-19 is 50% higher than the world average while Thailand’s is 50% lower.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand provinces currently imposing travel restrictions

Tim Newton

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Thailand provinces currently imposing travel restrictions | Thaiger

Here’s a list of Thai provinces current imposing restrictions on entry, by road or air, as you travel at this time. Today is the last day of the Songkran holiday, so there will be a return home for many people although it’s expected that many have also taken the Friday off to merge the Songkran break with the weekend. So there will be a big movement of people on Sunday.

The government is meeting today to examine additional restrictions and possible partial lockdowns, especially in Bangkok and the immediate surrounding provinces.

Some provinces are insisting on negative Covid tests, others are providing an option for voluntary 14 day quarantine (which is not very practical if people are returning home for 2-3 days). The restrictions vary in most of the provinces. Do your homework as the situation is extremely fluid at the moment.

Both the island (province) of Phuket and Pattaya (Chon Buri) are notably absent in this list.

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

CENTRAL AND EAST

Chai Nat

Lop Buri

Nakhon Sawan

Sa Kaeo

Saraburi

Sing Buri

Uthai Thani

SOUTH

Chumphon

Narathiwat

Pattani

Phangnga

Ranong

Satun

Songkhla

Trang

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Partial lockdowns looming for “high-risk” provinces

Maya Taylor

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Partial lockdowns looming for “high-risk” provinces | Thaiger
PHOTO: Connor Williams on Unsplash

Several high-risk provinces may be heading into partial lockdown in order to bring spiraling Covid-19 infections under control. The Thai government is considering imposing the lockdowns in Bangkok and other central provinces, along with Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chon Buri. Yesterday, new infections reached a record daily high since the arrival of the pandemic early last year. 1,335 new cases were reported, only 9 of which were imported.

Meanwhile, Pitakpol Boonyamalik, a public health inspector who oversees a number of southern provinces, is also calling for a lockdown on the southern island of Phuket. Pitakpol says he’s concerned about rising infections in the province, which up until about 10 days ago was preparing for a July re-opening to vaccinated tourists.

“The number of new Covid-19 infections in this health region continues to soar by the day. I must propose that the provincial communicable disease control committee of Phuket, in particular, considers locking down the province after Songkran in order to contain the outbreak situation there.”

Natthapon Nakpanich, chairman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says partial lockdown discussions will be held with the Public Health Ministry today. He believes tough restrictions on certain activities in high-risk areas should be enough, insisting the latest outbreak is still under control.

The Bangkok Post reports that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will hold a virtual CCSA meeting tomorrow, in which the partial lockdown proposal and tougher Covid-19 restrictions will be discussed. Natthapon says several other areas are expected to be designated as “red zones”, with further restrictions being introduced for restaurants and gyms.

“Restaurants might have to close sooner while fitness centres will likely have to limit the number of their patrons at any given time or suspend activities which the ministry considers a Covid-19 risk.”

The Thai Retailers Association and the Thai Shopping Centre Association have issued a joint statement in which they called on members and partners to maximise Covid-19 screening protocols. The TRA and TSCA have also asked their members to close at the earlier time of 9pm from today until further notice.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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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