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Foreign Ministry to work with Tourism Authority to speed up entry paperwork for foreigners

Maya Taylor

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Foreign Ministry to work with Tourism Authority to speed up entry paperwork for foreigners | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand News

Foreign Ministry officials plan to coordinate with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to make the processing of international arrivals more efficient. The Bangkok Post reports that hundreds of foreigners are awaiting approval to enter the Kingdom, whether through the Special Tourist Visa scheme or as Elite Card holders, or one of the other handfuls of visa-type allowed to return to Thailand at this time. Thapanee Kiatphaibool from the TAT says the increased demand (and no doubt, the onerous paperwork involved) is slowing things down.

“Thailand is allowing more groups to cross the border, so more documents need to be approved by the Foreign Ministry to grant a certificate of eligibility to tourists. We will do our best to help facilitate foreigners.”

The Thai penchant for red tape and paperwork is hampering the processing of travellers wishing to come to Thailand at this time.

14 Elite Card members have arrived in Thailand and completed the 14 day quarantine. 34 are still in quarantine. 4 additional members have just been granted their COE and are now waiting for flights. It’s understood none of the current STV applicants have received the certificate of eligibility (despite a week of claims of “imminent arrival” from various spokespeople).

A group of 120 Chinese visitors expected to land at Phuket Airport yesterday have had their visit postponed so as to not clash with the province’s Vegetarian Festival. It’s understood officials did not want to deter anxious Thais from travelling to the festival over fears of a resurgence of Covid-19.

Thapanee says officials are also working on enticing foreign investors to Thailand, with property developers being asked to throw in Elite Card membership as part of real estate sales. Foreigners with a minimum of US$1 million to invest in the Kingdom may also be granted work permits.

Meanwhile, the TAT is hopeful domestic tourism will remain strong for the last quarter of the year. 62 million domestic trips were recorded between January and September. Proudputh Liptapanlop who runs Proud Real Estate, with hotels in Phuket and Hua Hin, says the extra holidays, coupled with the government’s stimulus campaign, have boosted occupancy rates. The 2 Hua Hin hotels operated by the group fared best, recording 50% occupancy, as opposed to the Phuket hotel, which had a 20% occupancy rate.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Lance

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 10:23 am

    Just because I’m from the United States doesn’t mean I have the virus I have not seen my girlfriend for over 7 months I would love to be able to see her again!

    #LoveIsNotTourism

    • Avatar

      Perceville Smithers

      Friday, October 9, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Should look to see if you guys can meet somewhere like Cambodia.

      The current administration’s response to COVID-19 has alienated Americans and caused problems for those Americans who work overseas.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Friday, October 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm

        Cambodia doesn’t currently let tourists in at all, Percy, only diplomats and “sponsored” businessmen, and even they have to put down a deposit of $2,000 on arrival and have Covid insurance from the one insurance company authorised and self-isolate for 14 days. If one person tests positive on any flight, which apparently happens as often as not, then the whole flight is quarantined in a “state facility” for 14 days, followed by another 14 days of self-quarantine if everyone tests negative at the end of their first 14 days; if one person tests positive again, then the whole process starts again, and its another 14 days in the “state facility”, etc.

        If you think Thailand’s policy is unpleasant, it’s a lot more pleasant, clearer and potentially cheaper than Cambodia’s!

        Why single out Thailand? Japan’s border restrictionbs are just as draconian and more restrictive, as is nearly all SEA.

    • Avatar

      RR

      Friday, October 9, 2020 at 2:50 pm

      It would be more convenient, also under an economoy viewpoint, if you meet in another country, for example Turkey. Nice and cheap country, free entry, no test, no quarantine, good food, beautiful landscape. Thailand is not economically viable at the moment to go and to stay.

    • Avatar

      Patrick Wahle

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Buy her a ticket for Istanbul and meet her there. Why do you have to go to Thailand? She can go to the Emirates with a PCR test and a tourist visa. We have done it in August. There are plenty of opportunities to leave Thailand. She might be able to get a Schengen visa.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Lance, my sympathy.

    There should be no differentiation between high and low risk countries – the blanket 14 day quarantine period means there’s no need for it.

    Similarly, I can’t see any reason for charter flights for tourists, but regular flights for businessmen, residents and Thais – that makes no sense to me.

    The rules could certainly do with simplifying, though.

    The restrictions should simply be a test within 72 hours of flying, three tests here (on arrival, and during and on completion of quarantine), 14 days quarantine, and adequate medical insurance.

    All visas should be valid, with the STV as a bonus.

    You want to spend as much time with your g/f as you can here? There should be no reason why she can’t spend your 14 days in quarantine with you.

    Problem solved.

    • Avatar

      Patrick Wahle

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Problem not solved. No insurance companies will deliver an insurance as long as there is a travel advisory for a country. Some countries like Canada have a travel advisory for all travels outside of Canada. Period. Stepping outside of Canada void the insurance automatically.

  3. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    “domestic tourism will remain strong” – actually, domestic tourism is weak and becoming weaker and weaker since Thai have little appetite to travel and spend their saving when they see everybody being laid off or bankrupt!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, October 9, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      I agree with you that it’s weak compared with previous years, which is hardly surprising in view of the global recession and the inevitable affect that’s had on the Thai economy, as well as because of the previous fears of cross-province travel due to Covid, but i’m not so sure it’s “becoming weaker and weaker” – do you have any references for that?

      I’m also a bit dubious about Thais seeing “everybody being laid off or bankrupt” outside of some in the tourism industry. A lot I know working in factories, who make up a lot of the domestic tourism market, have seen their pay drop due to the recession and reduced demand, but very few have been “laid off or bankrupt” and some I know have been taken on at short notice.

      All anecdotal, i know, but again do you have any references or sources for that?

  4. Avatar

    Tom

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Imagine suggesting that foreigners invest significant sums of cash in return for the exact same visas that they are currently refusing entry to! 555

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, October 9, 2020 at 6:23 pm

      I don’t follow that. The only visas requiring anyone to “invest significant sums of cash”, or even any “sums of cash”, are Elite visas which Thailand’s currently admitting entry to.

      Which visas are you talking about?

      If you’re referring to Permanent Residence applications, that’s even more confusing.

      • Avatar

        Joshua

        Friday, October 9, 2020 at 8:28 pm

        He is right. Elite visas are not permitted to entry. They sell them that way but its not true. I hold one ?

        • Avatar

          Paulnou

          Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 1:08 am

          Exactly fake, you pay first & y are left over.. Govermment do not master any news and seems to keep delays, words, ideas,projects, why giving further confidence…

      • Avatar

        Tom

        Friday, October 9, 2020 at 8:33 pm

        Perhaps I should’ve used “until recently”, not “currently” to describe the hoards of people actively trying to gain entry on their expensive Elite visas, and focused on the 50 that have been allowed in after 6 months.

        Thank you for picking up on my mistake – I’ll try to do better next time. I’ll try to be better. ?

  5. Avatar

    west tiger

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 1:22 am

    If farangs don’t have to jump through hoops to get visas they will return, but if they are expected to jump hoops to get a visa they won’t and go to countries where they are welcome

  6. Avatar

    Mel Burn

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 6:18 am

    There will be no real tourists under current requirements. We usually spend several months in Thailand but visa runs are impossible and STV is nonsense – not going to do this quarantine on principle. Turkey is doing it the right way.

  7. Avatar

    Sylvia

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    When on earth are those foreigners who hold retiree visas let return .. many like myself have invested in an expensive property, have private insurance and transfer large sums of money every month to a local bank account; I have been separated from my husband now since over
    2 months; we are both European, and I can’t return not even with quarantine .. it’s insane what’s going on … many of us will sell up and leave when this is over, as it will be one day!

    • Avatar

      lou

      Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 1:24 am

      You are right, till new clear & fair new government

      • Avatar

        Patrick Wahle

        Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 1:21 pm

        … and get rid of the corruption, the immigration system, the army and the police. Another major hurdle is to teach Thai people to respect and treat foreigners as benefactors and not as second class human beings. That’s a lot of conditions.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Investigations of Covid-19 infected elite rule-breakers demanded

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Investigations of Covid-19 infected elite rule-breakers demanded | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: VIP clubs and their wealthy customers may have violated rules and led to Covid-19 outbreaks

Investigations are being demanded by a corruption watchdog into Thai politicians infected with Covid-19 after allegedly attending venues in the Thong Lor entertainment venues in Bangkok that have now emerged as the ground zero for the Coronavirus third wave in the Kingdom.

The Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand are being asked to investigate the latest Covid-19 outbreak, noting in a Facebook post that the second wave was also linked to illegal activities, spreading through illegal migrants and other visiting gambling dens. This third wave is also angering those who see the wealthy elite and powerful politicians frequenting high-end bars and not following Covid-19 safety protocols.

Mana Nimitmongkol, secretary-general of ACT argues that the ministers visiting these clubs did not behave “ethically”, and it’s part of a larger problem. He is pushing for legal action against not only club owners, but against police, public health officials, and even the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration for failing to enforce laws to protect against Covid-19.

Investigations into whether the code of ethics had been violated were requested to be carried out by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ombudsman and the committee on ethical standards.

As entertainment venues have been ordered closed for at least 2 weeks, Mana proposes that along with restrictions, a hotline to report rule-breakers should be set up, and all people should be held to the same standard without exception.

The president of the Rural Doctors Society agreed, saying that especially important is the need for Covid-19 infected public officials to disclose their personal timelines to reassure the public and assist in contract tracing. It is feared that little or no action will be taken to investigate and punish powerful rulebreakers.

One controversial infection was that of Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, rumoured to be infected from Thong Lor nightclubs, but later shown to be in another province at the time. The entertainment venue outbreak was not completely innocent though, as details emerged that the minister’s infection was in fact passed to him via an aide who had frequented clubs in Thong Lor.

Chuvit Kamolvisit, a former massage parlour owner turned activist, has been outspoken on the issue, calling for investigations into high-society VIP clubs like Krystal Club and Emerald Club, who allegedly flaunted restrictions and ended up with dozens of Covid-19 infected staff members.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau chief had said that legal action was pending against these clubs for the virus spreading.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand Covid UPDATE: 967 new infections announced Sunday

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Thailand Covid UPDATE: 967 new infections announced Sunday | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thais start their Songkran travel - Pinoy Thaiyo

Thailand’s CCSA have announced 967 new Covid-19 infections today during their daily briefings. The number is another day of gradual increases that has grown. Thailand’s national total has now reached 32,625 total infections, of which 28,214 people have fully recovered. 4,314 people are currently under hospital supervision in Thailand following positive Covid tests.

9 new cases were revealed in Phuket today, but aren’t included in today’s national tally.

The CCSA also reported that 485,957 people have now received their first vaccine – 69,439 are now fully vaccinated. The daily average of new people being vaccinated over the past month has grown from around 10,000 people each day to 15,556 yesterday.

Around the world, both the daily infection rates and death rates from Covid-19 are increasing again after dipping at the start of 2021.

All the latest news from Thailand related to Covid-19 HERE.

Thailand Covid UPDATE: 967 new infections announced Sunday | News by Thaiger

Total cases for Thailand from Worldometers.info…

Thailand Covid UPDATE: 967 new infections announced Sunday | News by ThaigerWorld totals as of Sunday, April 11 from Worldometers.info

Thailand Covid UPDATE: 967 new infections announced Sunday | News by ThaigerThailand Covid UPDATE: 967 new infections announced Sunday | News by Thaiger

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Pattaya police warn restaurants not to act like bars

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Pattaya police warn restaurants not to act like bars | Thaiger
PHOTO: Police warn selling chips at your bar doesn't make you a restaurant

Following the closure of entertainment venues in 41 provinces for 2 weeks, Pattaya police warn that bars acting as restaurants and restaurants acting as bars would be punished. In Pattaya, police patrolled heavily to check in on venues and remind them of the penalties and fines for breaking shut-down rules. The current outbreak of Covid-19 throughout Thailand has been disproportionately spread by nightclubs and bars, including many pubs in Chon Buri and Bangkok. While the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has called for a 2-week closure, the Chon Buri edict is open-dated, expected to be in effect until conditions improve. One warning Pattaya police stressed was that, while restaurants are allowed to stay open and sell alcohol, abusing that exception will be punished.

In previous entertainment venue shutdowns during the pandemic, many businesses took advantage of the restaurant loophole. As there’s no exact wording in the law saying people have to order food and not only drinks, many restaurants served drinks and allowed dancing and socializing without any social distancing. Some bars were even seen hastily adding a quick food menu of easy snacks in an attempt to skirt the rules and operate as a restaurant serving alcohol. But this time Pattaya police warn that restaurants using these sneaky tricks won’t be tolerated. Even businesses with multi licenses will need to take measures to make it clear they are not operating more like a bar as police will have the discretion to make judgement calls on venues.

The 2-week closure of entertainment venues went into effect yesterday and banquet halls, movie theatres, saunas and soapies are all closed. Restaurants are allowed to stay open, but with a 10 pm curfew on dine-in services. Takeaway food is allowed after 10 pm until 5 in the morning. Officials hope this shutdown on Covid-19 spreading entertainment venues will slow the outbreak enough to avoid the dreaded full lockdowns, travel restrictions, and domestic quarantines.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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