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Despite delay, Tourism ministry says travellers are coming this month

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Despite delay, Tourism ministry says travellers are coming this month | Thaiger

Despite a delay in the first group of long-stay travellers arriving under the newly-formed Special Tourist Visa, the Tourism and Sports Ministry says it is vowing to bring in 1,200 tourists this month. The Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the slight delay was due to some entry processes being muddled.

“The first two groups from China had a prospective schedule of October 8, but as we need to settle some entry processes, those itineraries have to be rescheduled to another date in October.”

Thailand’s new STV is the first ‘general tourism’ visa which is hoped to be a start to a gradual re-opening of Thailand’s tourist machinery.

The cabinet approved the STV on September 15, and it was officially Gazetted on September 29. Minister Phiphat says, however, that since the visa type is new, authorities needed more time to iron out kinks in the process at the originating location of the incoming tourists. The ministry says they are closely monitoring the first month of the scheme operating before deciding to proceed with a proposal to reduce the mandatory quarantine period time from 14 to 7 days.

“The so-called 14-7-6 formula [for 14-day, 6-day and 6-hour quarantines] is on the radar, but we need to see how it goes step by step. The most important factor is that nobody in local communities will be happy to let foreign tourists visit their towns without quarantine.”

Despite the alternative quarantine hotel facilities being available in other provinces, long-stay travellers would have to enter the country through either Bangkok and Phuket, yet another restriction on the long list of guidelines. However, he added that those destinations do not have to be the only places that tourists can visit.

So far, Phuket and Bangkok are the only places with ALSQ facilities, but hotels in Samui are now also awaiting certification.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Maag

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Is he the winner of 2020 joke award ?

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    So the tourists that were told they can arrive on the 8th are now told, no you can’t.
    I wonder how many cancelations they will have, or have the Thais already taken payment to ensure they do not?
    Great publicity Thai tourism. Prospective tourists take note.

  3. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    I can’t really criticise the caution being exercised by the Thai Government. My own Government closed our borders and won’t permit us to travel to other countries and returnees must undergo a 14 hotel quarantine at their own expense (initially it was paid for by the government). Our citizens are having trouble getting home due to limitations on the available quarantine hotels here. That together with limited flights, has seen still thousands of our citizens,still overseas and waiting to come home.

    The dilemma faced by Thailand and many countries, including my own, is when to open up, how to open up and what safeguards need to be in place to protect the native population and the tourists. The first countries to successfully resume tourism will be those with a low level of cases. Quite simply these countries need to get talking to establish reciprocal recognition of testing regimes, quarantine periods, return protocols to country of origin and so on. This can become a framework for other countries to build on once they reach the same low Covid conditions. It is in the best interests of these countries to unite in their purpose for mutual prosperity. It’s time to lead the world out of this pandemic to a new normal.

  4. Avatar

    Paul

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    This still means that your holiday will have to be extended by 7 days (if the amendment is passed) while under quarantine. When I go on holiday, I want to be able to walk around and enjoy myself – not spend 7 days locked up before I can do anything. The idea of “Come to Thailand for a two week holiday (but spend the first 7 days locked up in quarantine)” doesn’t seem much of a holiday to me.

  5. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    I would also suggest that any proposal a low risk country makes on it’s own, is doomed fail. It needs to be done in concert with other low risk countries to work. Sadly Thailand’s latest policy won’t do much because it has been devised in isolation. It is doomed to the same fate as “The Phuket Model”.

  6. Avatar

    Bob Ume

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Nice try, but… Chinese group tourism, whom will that benefit? Correct Chinese own hotels and Chinese own restaurants.

    None of these tourists money will end up in Bangla roads bars 😉 or other local businesses needed the injection of “rich tourists” spendings.

  7. Avatar

    Glenn

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    like the mysterious scam virus that nobody is dying from, you will now be seeing the mysterious tourists that spend no money and only exist in news reports from the govt.

    • Avatar

      James

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:25 pm

      “scam Virus that nobody is dying from”

      My mother-in-law died from it a few months ago. She was OK, then felt ill, then tested positive for the virus and then died two weeks later, (UK).

      Let’s hope you are not hit and killed by a car that nobody is dying from or a heart attack that does not really exist!

      But I am trying to use logic, I am wasting my time as only an insane person would say all the governments of the world have somehow colluded and made this virus up.

  8. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Fancy words but the fact remains, less than -001 will die from this virus, yet the government are using this tiny threat to prevent an election, and allow massive corruption who profit from this tiny threat.
    Such as Thai approved airlines. Thais approved insurance and commission paying Thai quarantine hotels.
    Shun these rules and let Thailand die from poverty.
    No more fat Thais.

  9. Avatar

    Open Up To all

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Just because I am from the US does not mean I have covid! I miss my gf it’s been over 7 months….

    #LoveIsNotTourism

    • Avatar

      DD

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 11:27 am

      The same here. I miss my fiance and it has only been 5 months. I am worried that even a vaccine will not be enough. I have the sinking feeling the Thai “government” only wants to selectively open for tourists they consider “acceptable”.

  10. Avatar

    Nipral

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1:14 am

    Just a bunch of dishonest morons !
    By the way : who wants to stay in Thailand in October apart from umbrellas retailers ???!!!

  11. Avatar

    peterpan

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 10:23 am

    for your information. german citizen are not allowed to enter with the stv visa.according to thai official germany is not a low risk country.how can they mesure risk only on a simple statistik from who? many test mewns high risk coz more results and less test means low risk coz less cases? funny

  12. Avatar

    Ryan Lih

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    Sorry to burst your bubble Tourism Minister but the China government has limited its Chinese citizens to travel locally ONLY. During this GOLDEN WEEK of long holiday which ends on 8th, 6 million Chinese citizens flooded its domestic travel spots and spending their money inside of China. The Chinese people are quite obedient towards their government. There will NOT be any 120 Guangzhou tourists coming to Phuket in this year much less to say in October. Furthermore, Chinese people are super mathematicians and will be very good at calculating your STV conditions especially with the 14 day ASQ. Good Luck!

    • Avatar

      Ryan Lih

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      I would like to invite the Tourism Minister to be the 1st to welcome the “Guangzhou tourist” when they arrived at Phuket airport with Live FB and an actual media crew. Interview the tourists with an interpreter and ask the “Guangzhou tourists” how they feel about this STV? Interview a few of them while they’re walking out of the plane and towards the immigration counter. That’s if they are really coming. It’s one thing to flip-flop but it’s entirely a another level to play up this “Guangzhou tourist” episode to gain back “face” to show to your boss. Good Luck!

  13. Avatar

    RR

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Yeah yeah, for sure…. LOL

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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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Thailand

Thailand News Today | 1,335 new infections, provinces adding travel restrictions | April 14

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Thailand News Today | 1,335 new infections, provinces adding travel restrictions | April 14 | Thaiger

Thailand’s CCSA has announced 1,335 new infections today, after a slight dip in the 13 day surge yesterday. 1,326 of those new infections are local, not imported, and mostly from Bangkok. Today’s tally takes the national total to 35,910 since January 2020 when the first case outside China was detected in Thailand on January 13.

The new infections have mostly emerged in Bangkok with 351 cases. Surrounding provinces report an additional 115 infections today. In other provinces, 877 people.

It’s also been reported today that 36 people are currently in a serious condition and 9 people are on ventilators.

Meanwhile, Prachuap Khiri Khan officials have ordered the closure of “high risk venues” such as pubs, bars, water parks, children’s playgrounds, gyms, cinemas, game shops. The Governor says restaurants can open “but no alcohol can be served”. This includes the seaside town of Hua Hin.

In Krabi there is now a total of 11 infections, 6 new ones yesterday. In Chon Buri, which includes Pattaya, there were 99 new confirmed infections of Covid today … a similar number to the past few days.

Meanwhile 42 out of Thailand’s 77 provinces are now imposing restrictions on entry… either self-quarantine, Covid tests or other requirements. Phichit, Lampang and Ubon Ratchathani are the latest to join the growing list.

At this stage, the various provinces are coming up with their own measures, adding to the general confusion as people travel around the country for Songkran.

Many of the provinces currently require quarantine for people who travelled from the 3 hot zone districts in Bangkok at the centre of the current cluster.

The latest information is being added to this website… moicovid.com but it’s in Thai.

Here’s a list of provinces current imposing restrictions on entry as you travel. You can scroll through if you’re not interested.

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

Thailand rang in another Lunar New Year, or Songkran, without its normal noise and celebration yesterday, highlighting the impact that the current Covid outbreak is having. For the 2nd year, the biggest Thai holiday was subdued without water-splashing, parties, and concerts.

There were few official events, compared to the pre-Covid days… Thailand’s Culture Minister led officials in what was called a “New Normal, Preserving Thai Culture” event at Wat Arun in Bangkok.

The temple was open while others were partially closed because of the pandemic. Other normally bustling areas of Bangkok were also silent, as Songkran was cancelled due to what’s being described as a 3rd wave of Covid hitting the country in some media.

Police in Bangkok are on the hunt for the owners of 2 nightclubs considered ground zero for the current clusters currently spreading around the country. The Krystal Club and Emerald Thonglor 13, in the capital’s fashionable Thonglor district, are currently closed. However, officials are now attempting to track down the real owners of both establishments.

Authorities are examining ownership and shareholding documentation related to the 2 venues, after the Bangkok police chief confirmed a cluster of Covid-19 infections is believed to have spread from these clubs. The managers of both venues have been charged with violating the emergency decree and disease prevention regulations.

3 nightlife venues in Phuket, thought to be behind a resurgence of Covid-19 in the southern province have been closed as part of a wider temporary shutdown of nightlife on the island. It is not yet known if the owners will face prosecution.

The Illuzion and Shelter nightclubs in Patong, along with the Café del Mar beach club in Kamala all held big parties during the weekend of April 2- 4, with invited guests travelling from as far as Bangkok.

A top UN official is warning that Myanmar could follow the path of Syria in terms of descending into a bloody civil war, unless the violence subsides. The UN high commissioner for human rights is calling on all countries with influence to apply concerted pressure on the ruling military junta to end its campaign of repression and the slaughtering of its people. She says neighbouring countries are especially being called upon… obviously that includes Thailand.

She says the military has committed, what amounts to, crimes against humanity, and the human rights violations must be stopped.

The country’s armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, attacked civilians last weekend with rocket-propelled grenades and mortar fire, killing at least 82 people. Credible reports also indicate that people are fighting back by using makeshift or primitive weapons with clashes between the military and ethnic armed groups in Kayn, Shan, and Kachin states are picking up steam.

At least 3,080 people currently detained, there are reports that 23 people have been sentenced to death following secret trials

Aung San Suu Kyi has not been seen since her arrest, and is now facing even more trumped up charges that could see her barred from political office or worse. The junta military has been killing innocent civilians and peaceful protesters since the coup began, censoring the media, and shutting down the internet.

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