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“Low-risk” tourists could see quarantine period cut in half upon arrival

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“Low-risk” tourists could see quarantine period cut in half upon arrival | The Thaiger
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Low-risk tourists entering Thailand under the Special Tourist Visa could see mandatory quarantine period cut in half down to 7 days, according to the Public Health Ministry. Tanarak Plipat, the deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control under the ministry says the current quarantine system, however, must be “redesigned” if such measures are in place.

“Seven-day quarantine is possible in the case of areas with very low infections. But it doesn’t mean that we will no longer have additional controls. If we do it, we have must redesign the quarantine system, together with measures to monitor those people to make sure the country is safe from the outbreak.”

Those travellers whose home countries are considered to have low infection rates are those with 0.2 positive infections per 100,000 visitors.

But each country varies in their infection rates from 5 per 10,000 visitors from China and 8 per 100 visitors from Saudi Arabia. The department also found that 99% of infectious patients would show symptoms within 12 days, going down to 50% within 6 days.

Such normally tourism-heavy provinces as Phuket are ready to welcome tourists under the new visa, but have since been marred with complications due to various reasons. The first batch of tourists under the visa was postponed due to administrative and procedural issues, but the ministry has since promised the arrival of 1,200 tourists each month. Phuket governor Narong Wunsiew says some locals fear that if foreigners are allowed into the province, before this month’s annual vegetarian festival, domestic tourists may not come.

“At this stage there are no foreign tourists in the province because Thailand has yet to reopen. As for visitors under the Special Tourist Visa scheme, provincial authorities have not been informed of any arrivals by the Interior Ministry.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Avatar

    EdwardV

    October 10, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Tourists from low risk counties are very soon going to become a highly desirable commodity. Every country in the world will be wooing them and not requiring a quarantine. To expect them to come to Thailand and quarantine for 7 days will be next to impossible. As it is counties like Singapore and Japan are already talking about dropping the quarantine completely. Replacing it with multiple tests and tracking. Thailand needs to figure out how to get ahead of the curve, not new ways to stay behind it. At least if they really do want to save their economy.

    • Avatar

      Davidnicholls

      October 11, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      Cut the bullshit and tell the truth most people can’t afford a hotel for 14 days and then travel around Thailand just open the risk of cov19 is low test before you arrive and then at airport if ok use trace app before it to late only the thai people will suffer not the government . JUST OPEN I miss my family in Thailand

      • Avatar

        Luke

        October 12, 2020 at 8:42 pm

        Totally agree. These STV regulations are absurd and the Minister who spends his time dreaming them up could instead prepare protocols for the delivery of necessities.

  2. Avatar

    patty

    October 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    all talk, they not going to cut nothing in half. Cant believe anything that comes from the government or anyone associated with them. all liars

    • Avatar

      dk

      October 10, 2020 at 9:12 pm

      I agree. Ministry is saying this to save face as few would believe what they say.

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    October 10, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    How ’bout we wait just a little longer until the quarantine period is cut to zero days.

  4. Avatar

    Francis

    October 10, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Will the Thai government ever decide one thing and stick to it? Most likely not we know that now. And there are not such thing as lo risk or save tourists. COVID test and another follow up COVID test is the only way, the rest is like playing the lottery.

  5. Avatar

    Maverick

    October 10, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Any form or quarantine will deter most tourists accept a few who plan long term stays a more sensible step would be to welcome package tours from Asia where virus is under control – package tours are controlled in terms of where they visit and stay so tracing in the event of a mishap becomes easier. Allowing Thai retirees and those with families and homes here to return and self isolate would also be a positive step.

  6. Avatar

    Jason

    October 10, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Any government trying to stipulate guidelines alone without reciprocal arrangements with the governments of the tourist’s countries of origin (ie low risk countries) is doomed to fail. Governments with low Covid numbers have had months to talk and work out reciprocal arrangements, that recognise each other’s testing regimes, negating the need for quarantine. Tourism has always been a matter of mutual trust and obligation between countries. If you want a resumption of tourism to recover the collapse of your tourism industry, spend less time trying to come up with “The Phuket Model 3.0” and start talking with the governments of low risk countries to formulate joint strategies and partnerships.

  7. Avatar

    Daily Reader

    October 10, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    I have been stuck in the UK since March and been reading articles in the Thaiger daily with great diligence waiting for some good news. Sorry I have to say some of your headlines build my hopes up too much. I then read the associated article to find it is the the pipedream of some backroom wannabee who rarely warrant a name. Please give us news not speculation.

    • Avatar

      toldyou

      October 11, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      Agree 100%!

  8. Avatar

    dk

    October 10, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Bureaucrats have little at stake or concern for people who suffer due to lack of tourists, in my opinion.

  9. Avatar

    Graham Walker

    October 11, 2020 at 1:59 am

    What’s wrong with test before departure, test on arrival, track and trace ?

    • Avatar

      Luke

      October 12, 2020 at 8:44 pm

      There’s nothing wrong with this. Except how-to verifyobservance oftheprotocol. Itisasensibleway forward that should be planned with the WHO mediatinginternational cooperation.

  10. Avatar

    Eddie

    October 11, 2020 at 10:34 am

    I only have 490000 baht asset. I am a cheap charlie. I do not deserve a trip?

  11. Avatar

    Per_fect

    October 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Track and Travel is also something they need to be clear on. How Long do they expect me to allow Them to Travel everystep I take? 3 days, 1 week? The rest of My life. I would probably be more intersted in a quarantine then I am in letting Thailand Trace My Steps ..

    • Avatar

      Per_fect

      October 11, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Trace, not Travel.

  12. Avatar

    Luke

    October 12, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    The Thai economy is destroyed, but then open the borders and no matter how strict the controls, covid will creep in then rip through and destroy the economy. Thailand is between the hammer and the anvil. Damned if it let’s them in, damned if it doesn’t.

    I would say however that those outside the country with assets to manage in Thailand should be allowed to return. This is a point of international law, irrespective of nationality.

  13. Avatar

    simon

    October 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Since the infection rate is spiking in many places i think Thailand should remain closed to foreigners. This is unprecedented in my lifetime and I’m developing a morbid fascination with it and the devastating effects. I just want to see what will happen to a country like Thailand when its borders are completely closed.

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Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26

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Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26 | The Thaiger

Today’s latest news from The Thaiger, looking at the latest in the protests, a surge of crowds in Pattaya and the latest proposals from the Thai government to increase a new stream of revenue.

Permanent residency, changes to quarantine period – Government mulls strategies to revive economy

Thailand’s energy minister has outlined a number of new strategies the government is discussing tohelp the Thai economy recover from the fallout of Covid-19 fallout.

Permanent residency for some condo purchases, changes to the mandatory quarantine and incentives for foreign investment are all under discussion.

The Eastern Economic Corridor, the special economic zone covering the eastern provinces of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao, continues to eye foreign investors with a number of large infrastructure projects in the pipeline.

Of particular interest in the topics for discussion are that the government is considering offering permanent residency to people buying condos in the Kingdom, provided they don’t mortgage, transfer, or sell the units within 5 years of purchase.

In relation to foreign arrivals, he says the government will clarify its plans on any further reduction in quarantine time. He says that if the current 14 day quarantine period is to be reduced, this would only apply to those coming from countries considered “low risk” for Covid-19. It’s understood the Public Health Ministry is working on categorising countries into low, medium, and high risk.

Parliament in the middle of a 2 day session to discuss political impasse

An opposition spokesperson opened the special joint session of parliament today with a call for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down, as anti-government protesters continued to keep up their pressure.

Mr Sompong also called for the release of detained protesters as a goodwill gesture to try and end the current impasse. “ He said… The prime minister should be open-minded to the young protesters’demands, and stop delaying the process of writing of a new constitution.”

Meanwhile a Palang Pracharath Party MP Paiboon Nititawan defended the PM saying the country needed his leadership to get through the economic crisis and to protect the institution of the monarchy, which was under attack by protesters.

Protesters march on German Embassy in Sathorn Road

Meanwhile protesters gathered at the Sam Yan intersection today at 5pm, near Chulalongkorn University, and marched to the Germany embassy on Sathorn Road, to submit a controversial petition.

Protesters are asking German authorities to look into whether His Majesty the King had violated German sovereignty by exercising his power from German soil. It is the first time a foreign government has been targeted by the anti-governmentprotesters.

Protesters say the intention is to push for the restoration a “truly” constitutional monarchy in Thailand, under law.

A ‘spoiler’ rally is also underway by government supporters and ‘royalists’ at Lumpini Park, right in the middle of the march route to the German Embassy.

Protesters massed at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok last night

Last night crowds gathered at the Ratchprasong intersection, one of the promised locations for a rally in response to Saturday night’s refusal of the Thai PM to resign. Thousands gathered, mostly along the Ratchadamri Road, to hear speeches and musical performances.

Messages on some of the banners read “We are the people”, “Everyone is a leader”, “Thailand is for the people”, “Police should protect the people”.

Whilst blocking the intersection for 3 hours, with little police presence, the protesters disbanded peacefully just after sunset.

Pattaya springs back to life over the long weekend, more to come

Pattaya, struggling along for the past 7 months with a handful of domestic tourists and Bangkok weekenders, has had its busiest weekend for a long time, albeit a long weekend created by the public holiday in commemoration of King Chulongkorn.

Much of the increased traffic were Thai faces, a big change to the city’s old demographic of international tourists and expats.

Tourists flocked to the city for the long weekend which included the Eastern Colorful Food, Culture and Music festival stretching along the Beach Road foreshore.

The focus of the weekend’s events was the Beach Road which was visibly busy with locals and tourists joining in the foreshore festival, talent shows, music concerts and local food.

Schools advised to improve online learning in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Thailand schools are told to get ready for a possible second wave of Covid-19 and prepare to for lockdown measures, just in case, to make sure all children have equal access to education.

A Thai economist warns that the education gap between rich children in urban areas and poor children in rural areas could widen if schools are shut down again and resort to the same online learning measures tried out months ago.

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Expert says all rail crossings should be upgraded after fatal train-bus collision

Caitlin Ashworth

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Expert says all rail crossings should be upgraded after fatal train-bus collision | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: @pr8riew

After the fatal freight train-charter bus collision earlier this month, authorities are looking into ways to make the rail crossings safer and to prevent potentially deadly incidents from happening in the future.

An expert in rail engineering says all rail crossings need to upgraded, urgently, while unofficial or illegal crossings should either be permanently closed off or upgraded with the proper safety equipment. Unofficial crossings are those that are used by locals, but are not approved by the State Railways of Thailand.

Chairperson of the Rail Engineering Committee at the Engineering Institute of Thailand, Rattapoohm Parichatprecha, gave suggestions about how to improve the rail crossings after an incident in Chachoengsao. On October 10, a train collided with a charter bus crossing the railway, killing 18 and injuring 44 who were on their way to a merit-making ceremony. Officials say the signal was broken and the crossing didn’t have a barrier gate to block traffic.

Then, a passenger train collided with a car, killing a woman and injuring 2 others at a railway crossing in Phetchaburi’s Khao Yai district on October 15.

The State Railway of Thailand says an average of 77 railway crossing incidents happen each year, killing an average of 28 people yearly and injuring 74. Some crossings are known as “black spots” where accidents occur more frequently, sometimes up to 4 times a year.

Rattapoohm says all legal crossings upgrade the warning signs and barricades, but warns that revamping the crossings could be expensive. In a previous report, Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob acknowledged that the State Railways of Thailand’s budget to install railroad crossing gates has been cut.

The size of the rail crossing as well as the direction also comes into play, according to Rattapoohm.

“The width of the crossing must not be at least three metres. The road should also cut through the rail tracks in a straight line and not in a diagonal direction which would create blind spots.”

He says tree canopies must also be trimmed regularly to prevent branches and leaves from obstructing the view for both train conductors and drivers crossing the railway.

For illegal crossings, Rattapoohm says some can stay put since they are just used by the locals who are familiar with the terrain and know where the blind spots are, but says they should make sure the unofficial crossings stay off Google Maps.

“People outside the areas are unaware of the lurking danger the illegal crossings pose and many just follow directions in Google Map.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Schools advised to improve online learning in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Schools advised to improve online learning in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Equitable Education Fund Facebook

Thailand schools are told to get ready for a possible second wave of Covid-19 and prepare to for lockdown measures – just in case – to make sure all children have equal access to education. An economist warns that the education gap between rich children in urban areas and poor children in rural areas could widen if schools shut down again and resort to the same online learning measures tried out months ago.

In an online seminar called “My school and Covid-19,” human development economist Dilaka Lathapitate stressed that school closures and the switch to online learning during the lockdown period led to an increase in the country’s education disparity. Dilaka, from the education unit of the World Bank in Bangkok, says Thailand’s education system isn’t ready for another outbreak.

“The pandemic denied many children, particularly those in rural areas, learning and self-development opportunities.”

Thailand tried the “distance learning” experiment during the lockdown, but it was deemed a failure. Many in remote areas had problems like the lack of WiFi, faulty reception and limited to no access to working computers. At one point, hundreds of volunteers were sent out by the Equitable Education Fund teach children in remote areas.

Taking students out of the classrooms and moving to online learning hit poor students the hardest, according to chairperson of the Princess Maha Chakri Award Foundation, Krissanapong Kirtikara. He says those students are often the most in need of comprehensive support.

Thailand isn’t ready to implement online learning, Dilaka says. If there was another coronavirus outbreak, the education gap between the rich and the poor would likely widen due to access to technology. Dilaka cited a survey that showed a “digital divide” between children in urban and rural areas.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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