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Travel bubbles for foreign travel to be discussed on Wednesday

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Travel bubbles for foreign travel to be discussed on Wednesday | The Thaiger

More information has emerged today about the proposed travel-bubble arrangements for foreigners coming to Thailand in the short term. Travel-bubble tourism will include limits on destinations and visitor numbers. There will also be restrictions on the origins of the inbound flights. The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has addressed the issue with media this morning.

The travel bubbles would be reciprocal arrangements between cities and countries with a shared low-risk Covid 19 status.

The PM confirmed that the government is still deciding on the areas of the country where visitors and tourists will be allowed to go and how much flexibility they will have on their travel arrangements. He said that areas available for a tourist or foreign traveller reboot will have to have strict policies in place with their businesses to ensure adherence to social distancing.

“Tourists will not be able to roam, but to go only to places that are opened to them and have disease control capabilities. This is the guideline for the reception of foreign tourists. I think it is safe and better than liberalised tourism.”

“There must be regulations for this before international tourism resumes. We will do it in a step-by-step manner. We will see if the countries that cooperate with us also have collaboration at a city-to-city level.”

“Tourists must also have health certificates.”

“Travellers would continue to face strict examination at border entry checkpoints.”

The PM says the government was still deliberating which areas visitors would be allowed to go to when the ban on tourism is lifted. A meeting to decide on the future of travel bubbles, the restrictions imposed on foreign visitors, and the countries considered ‘safe’, will be discussed this Wednesday.

No dates for a resumption of any foreign inbound travel has been announced. But a ban on inbound travel remains in play until at least the end of June. Repatriation flights for Thai citizens continues this month.

The PM also alluded to ‘cities’ rather than ‘countries’ for the proposed travel bubbles.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Expats

Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up

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Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up | The Thaiger

In a nightmarish scenario, a deceased Phuket expat’s body is stuck in a Thai hospital as his step‐daughter claims hospital administrators won’t release the body due to a passport mix‐up.

Gemma Swift, the step‐daughter of 75 year old David Donoghue, who died 2 weeks ago, says she is pleading with embassy staff in Thailand to resolve, what she says, is purely an administrative issue after Donoghue’s passport number at the hospital was from that of an expired one.

Donoghue’s current passport was on file with the British Embassy, but because it did not match what the hospital had, his body has remained at the hospital. Swift says it was something that could easily be corrected and the situation was “horrendous” for the family.

“The British Embassy over in Bangkok, they said that because [the number] was from his current passport, they were unable to change the letter. They have said that they won’t reissue a letter with the passport number that he’s got in the hospital with him.”

She said her family planned to arrange a funeral for him in Thailand, then bring his ashes back to the UK. As he retired to Phuket 15 years ago, her family would then take his ashes back to Thailand, as per his wishes, to scatter them.

However, none of his family members were able to travel to Thailand to be with Donoghue in his final days, as the mandatory 14 day quarantine period upon entering Thailand, would not have allowed them to see him.

“I thought this was a basic human right to be able to give somebody a funeral and I accept that there is always going to be red tape…but please just issue a letter and let us bring him home.”

She said before Covid-19, family members travelled often to Phuket to visit Donoghue, who once worked for the Thai tourist police. She says the entire ordeal has been heartbreaking as her family was unable to say goodbye.

“That on its own was heart breaking, and now to get this two weeks later, to find out we can’t give him a funeral, or get his ashes back, it’s just horrendous.”

“It’s like being on autopilot… once we know we have done everything we can, we can start the grieving process, but at the minute we can’t.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said they are assisting Donoghue’s family during the difficult time.

“Our staff are in contact with the local hospital and funeral director to help his family obtain the necessary paperwork to ensure his body is treated in line with their wishes.”

If the situation isn’t fixed, Donoghue’s body will join a mass cremation at the hospital.

SOURCE: BBC News

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Government crackdown on foreigners teaching without work permits

Maya Taylor

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Government crackdown on foreigners teaching without work permits | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s Ministry of Labour is cracking down on foreign teachers who may be working in the Kingdom without valid work permits. The ministry has instructed the Department of Employment to apply stricter criteria when issuing work permits to foreign teachers. According to department figures, Thailand currently has 6,129 foreigners teaching in 922 private and public schools. Of those, 2,667 are from the Philippines, 558 from the UK, 465 from the US, 237 from China, and 160 from South Africa. The remainder are from other countries.

The Bangkok Post reports that authorities discovered 8 foreign teachers not in possession of work permits or working in reserved professions. Of those, 3 failed to notify government employment officials of their employer, place of work, and duties within 15 days of taking up employment. Officials also discovered a school that was hiring foreign teachers without work permits, as well as hiring foreigners to carry out work they were not permitted to do. A further 20 schools are accused of not providing the names, nationalities, and duties performed by foreign teachers within 15 days of them beginning work.

Officials say foreign teachers must be in possession of a non-immigrant visa, not a tourist or transit visa and should apply for a work permit at their local employment office. Foreigners teaching without work permits may face fines of 5,000 – 50,000 baht and deportation. Schools or other academic institutions that hire foreign teachers illegally face fines of between 10,000 and 100,000 baht for each illegal worker, with those responsible also facing potential jail terms.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Koh Samui

British man arrested on Koh Samui for alleged meth-fuelled shooting spree on speedboat

Maya Taylor

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British man arrested on Koh Samui for alleged meth-fuelled shooting spree on speedboat | The Thaiger
PHOTO: ViralPress

A 33 year old British man has been arrested on the holiday island of Samui for allegedly firing gunshots from a speedboat while high on drugs. According to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail, Benjamin Robert Simpson, a cryptocurrency trader, allegedly fired a handgun several times, in the direction of the Four Seasons Hotel, where he was a guest. He allegedly fired the gun while on a speedboat with the boat’s driver, Geerati Glinubol, after both men had taken meth.

It’s understood the boat belongs to Simpson, who had hired Geerati as his driver. Simpon originally arrived in the Kingdom as a tourist, but then began trading cryptocurrency. According to Chatchewin Nakmoosik from the local police force, both men took meth before embarking on a speedboat cruise around the island. It’s understood that Simpson then fired several gunshots towards the Four Seasons Hotel, where terrified staff called the police. Police were waiting at the hotel when Simpson returned from his speedboat trip and he was immediately arrested, along with Geerati.

Police say Geerati has confessed to taking drugs with Simpson, telling police that the Briton then bragged about how many guns he had and fired several rounds into the sea, frightening people on nearby beaches. Officer Chatchewin says that in a subsequent search of Simpson’s room, police found a 9mm Beretta pistol and 31 bullets, as well as a revolver with 49 bullets. Officers also seized a plastic bag containing nearly 7 grams of methamphetamine, as well as several meth pipes.

“Hotel staff heard guns being fired so they called the police. They said the gunshots were near the hotel and they were scared. We arrested Benjamin Robert Simpson in the hotel room and found 2 guns and methamphetamine. We put him in handcuffs and kept him at the police station while we investigate and check CCTV.”

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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