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Economic ministers to meet next Monday for economic and tourism ‘Council of War’

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Economic ministers to meet next Monday for economic and tourism ‘Council of War’ | The Thaiger
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The council of economic ministers will meet next Monday, on October 7 in Bangkok, to discuss the current economic and tourism situation. Kobsak Pootrakool, the deputy secretary-general to the PM for political affairs, says the meeting will confront obstacles facing the country’s tourism industry.

“The ministers will also discuss the country’s export situation”.

The Nation reports that the Commerce Ministry will present the latest export report to the meeting as well as the measures to boost exports for the rest of 2019.

He added that the council wants to tackle all problems in the tourism sector, which is entering the high season. He said that all issues are up for discussion.

“The meeting will also focus on Thailand’s gross domestic product this year and meeting the target of 3%”.

The next council meetings, scheduled for October 16 and November 1, will discuss ways to help small and medium-sized enterprises survive the economic difficulties and “creative economy” issues.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Covid-19 tests are not required for visa extensions – Phuket Immigration

Caitlin Ashworth

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Covid-19 tests are not required for visa extensions – Phuket Immigration | The Thaiger

No… you don’t need a Covid-19 test to extend your visa or apply for a work permit, according to Phuket Immigration. While multiple Covid-19 tests are required for people arriving in Thailand and undergoing quarantine, foreigners who have been in the country do not need to be tested.

The local immigration deputy chief Nareuwat Putthawiro spoke with Phuket News, debunking some rumours that were shared on social media saying Covid-19 tests could soon be required when extending visas or applying for work permits.

“We do not require any medical documents for an application to renew a visa, because there are few foreigners’ movements outside Phuket. Most of them live and work in Phuket, and have done so before the new wave of Covid-19… So they do not have to worry about it. Everything is still the same.”

Medical exams are required for most work permit applicants. The exams include a brief screening and a blood test for syphilis. At the moment, a Covid-19 test is not required for work permit applicants, although it certainly could be in the future.

“We have not received any notices about Covid-19 requirements for processing applications to renew visas. If we do receive any such orders, we will let the public know.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Tourism

Record number of tourism firms quitting Covid-ravaged sector for good

Maya Taylor

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Record number of tourism firms quitting Covid-ravaged sector for good | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGN

As the devastating economic effects of Covid-19 restrictions persist, a record number of Thai tourism operators are quitting the sector for good. The number of tourism firms surrendering their licences peaked last month, and around 70% of outbound agents have shut up shop indefinitely. The final nail in their collective coffin has been the Covid-19 resurgence, which originated in a seafood market in the central province of Samut Sakhon and has now spread to over 60 provinces.

The president of the Thai Travel Agents Association says around 10% of outbound tour operators have returned their licences to the Tourism Department. Suthiphong Pheunphiphop says 2,598 tourism operators have left the sector for good, unable to survive having no international tourists for nearly a year now. He says the last quarter of 2020 saw the highest number of companies de-registering, at 765. Of those, 293 quit last month.

Suthiphong says domestic tourism may pick up again by April, but this depends on how effective the government is at bringing the second wave of the virus under control. He adds that with the arrival of spring in many parts of the world in the coming months, global infections may fall, but it’s still a waiting game.

“Operators have to wait and see how things turn out in June The outlook for the outbound market is the most difficult to predict as the industry faces highly uncertain factors such as vaccine efficacy and policies in each destination to allow the flow of tourists.”

The TTAA says that in 2019, 11 million Thai tourists spent 430 billion baht on overseas trips. Last year, that plummeted to 1 million spending 50 billion baht. The association has postponed the Thai International Travel Fair, which was due to take place in February. It is now scheduled for August 26 – 29.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn will meet Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin this week, in order to discuss a co-payment scheme to protect those employed in the tourism industry. It’s understood the proposal is to subsidise 50% of monthly salaries, up to a maximum of 7,500 baht per employee.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Government in control of Mor Chana app, says user data will be kept private

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Government in control of Mor Chana app, says user data will be kept private | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai government is taking full control of the Mor Chana application, which is used to trace Covid-19 infections and alert users if they are in a high risk area. The Digital Economy and Society Minister says the government will still be working closely with the app developers, adding that users can be assured that their data will be kept private.

The Mor Chana Volunteer Team, the app developer, made a post on their Facebook page saying the Mor Chana contact tracing application will be 100% under government management and control from now. The team will be responsible only for the open source programme development. The post has prompted public comments about the reason behind the application handover to the government.

Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta says the government will take full responsibility for the application management and control measures, but the collaboration with the app developers will continue. The developer team’s announcement is just to inform the public about the app.

He also says some app functions will be redesigned and adjusted to be more friendly to use and won’t violate users’ data privacy. Personal information such as users’ names and mobile numbers for registration won’t be required anymore.

SOURCE: Post Today

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