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Busy in BKK – dust off the planes, Thais are travelling again! VIDEO

Tim Newton

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Busy in BKK – dust off the planes, Thais are travelling again! VIDEO | Thaiger

BKK is busy, well, compared to the last 10 months in Thailand. Bangkok’s two airports were closed as part of the 2020 ‘lockdown’ and only reopened at the end of May after about 8 weeks, and only to domestic traffic (with some limited international repatriation, cargo, and a few passenger flights). Over the past 10 months Tim has been flying weekly and was surprised today to see a major uptick in passengers moving around the airport.

Next week is Songkran and the traffic will be even busier with bumper passenger movement expected for this year’s extended Songkran (Thai New Year) holidays.

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    Thierry

    Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Well, we all have seen this airport in busier times, yet it is a far cry from the loneliness I, amongst the few who travelled, experienced in late July 2020. Misses a few Farangs suitcases and faces though! Great that we are slowly moving towards (hopefully!) better times!

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

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Thailand News Today | Tour bus disaster, Covid infections drop slightly | April 13

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Thailand News Today | Tour bus disaster, Covid infections drop slightly | April 13 | Thaiger

A sad start to Songkran day after 5 people have perished, including 2 children, and another 12 seriously injured after a double-decker interprovincial bus caught fire near Khon Kaen. It was heading to Bangkok. The bus erupted into flames just after midnight on the Mitrapap highway. There were 33 passengers on board. The bus driver was also injured.

965 people have been detected as infected with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The daily total is the first drop in daily numbers for 13 days. 28,288 people have fully recovered. The total deaths remains at 97 people since the start of the pandemic in Thailand. 6,190 people remain under hospital care or are being monitored.

2 senior police officers in Bangkok’s trendy Thonglor district have been transferred pending an investigation into a Covid-19 cluster linked to pubs and clubs in the area. The superintendent of Thonglor police station and the inspector for suppression affairs were side-lined to the operations centre of the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s 5th Division yesterday.

Despite vaccines being rolled out, the world health organisation is warning that the Covid-19 pandemic has reached a “critical level” in South Asia as infections keep rising. The virus has already taken 2.9 million lives worldwide, infecting 137 million and the WHO says the “trajectory of this pandemic is now growing…exponentially.”

US/Canadian media company Vice has removed Photoshopped photographs of Khmer Rouge victims from its website after a furious backlash. The grim photos, originally taken before the victims were tortured and methodically killed, had been colourised and, in some cases, had smiles added.

The Burmese junta has shut down Wi-Fi, Internet and mobile data to a stage whereby it’s nearly impossible to access online services or data in most parts of the country. In some parts they still allow a short window each day to use the internet.

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Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority announces health and safety regulations

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Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority announces health and safety regulations | Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand says airlines must continue to follow health and safety regulations as the country has seen a 3rd wave of the Covid-19 virus. Its the third time the CAAT have introduced restrictions on in-flight services since airlines were grounded in April last year.

The authority says new guidelines to take effect today include…

• Maintaining social distancing practises on passenger services at all levels of operations, from check-in and boarding and disembarking.

• Passengers are required to wear masks at all times during the flight, while using hand sanitiser and washing hands.

• Food and drinks cannot be served or consumed on board. Crews may offer drinking water to passengers in predetermined social distancing areas in the aircraft.

• Newspapers, magazines, or brochures provided on board are prohibited except for safety cards or pamphlets.

• Pilots are required to wear masks, while all cabin crew must wear both masks and gloves at all times when on duty.

• Flights longer than 90 minutes must set aside seats in the last 2 rows in case someone falls sick on board.

Today, Thailand has reported 965 people as infected with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The daily total is the first drop in daily numbers for 13 days. 28,288 people have fully recovered. The total deaths remains at 97 people since the start of the pandemic in Thailand. 6,190 people remain under hospital care or are being monitored. 654 of today’s cases are local community infections.

The country recently has seen a 3rd wave of the virus, with Bangkok entertainment venues being considered the epicentre. Thong Lor district in Bangkok has also seen the UK variant B117 in many of its infections. Now, it is the most prominent strain of Covid-19 in the UK.

Studies showed that the B117 strain is more deadly, with 1 study showing deaths from UK variant infections were 30 to 100% higher than earlier variants. The strain also has at least 23 mutations identified so far. However, a new study by The Lancet indicates that even though the strain has a higher reproductive and transmission rate, it is not more severe.

SOURCE: TAT News

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Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers

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Thailand looks at proposal to make it easier for expats and long-termers | Thaiger
Stock photo via Thailand Work Permit & Visa

Thailand is looking to make it easier for expats and long-term visa holders to stay in the country. The Immigration Bureau is hoping to boost investments and the economy once the pandemic is over. The proposed changes could do away with 90 day reporting requirements which have been well-received by expats.

Recently, the online website to report 90 day check-ins has been down, citing maintenance issues. Hotel staff have also been dealing with the TM-30 reporting system being down. Chayotid Kridakorn, a former head of JP Morgan Securities Thailand, told the Bangkok Post that immigration hoops are a key pain point for foreigners working in Thailand.

“We want to make it easier for foreigners to live and work in Thailand.”

Meanwhile, plans to help Thailand recover economically have been detailed in a framework to be proposed to the government’s economic panel in the next month. Improvements to immigration regulations, work permits for foreign experts, and visa applications are on the framework list. Relaxing location reporting requirements for foreign workers which is done through the 90 day reporting, is also slated to be amended.

The framework also will include inducements for foreign investors such as corporate income-tax cuts, relaxed property-holding rules and incentives for retirees and start-up companies. An adviser to Thailand’s Deputy PM, says he aims to bring in 1 million retirees or pensioners over the next few years. He says expats could collectively contribute as much as 1.2 trillion baht to the economy each year. But Thailand’s gross domestic product growth won’t return to pre-Covid levels until the 3rd quarter of 2022, according to the Bank of Thailand.

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