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“Phuket Model” to be re-named, expanded to all of Thailand

Maya Taylor

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“Phuket Model” to be re-named, expanded to all of Thailand | Thaiger
PHOTO: Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

A much-talked-about plan to reopen Phuket to international tourists is set for a rebrand and expansion. The plan, formerly known as the “Phuket Model”, is proposed to be re-named “Special Tourist Visa”, and will now cover all of Thailand. But, in its latest incarnation, the model will only allow tourists from “approved countries” to be involved.

Apparently, the Phuket plan encountered some opposition, and a lot of confusion, and so, officials have decided the best solution to all of that is to expand it nationwide.

Tossaporn Sirisamphan, from the National Economic and Social Development Board, says the plan will now be rolled out to the entire country (it’s not clear if the “entire country” wants it or will be involved in the decision).

“The Phuket Model has caused confusion and opposition… Therefore, we’ve adjusted the plan to allow foreign tourists to travel at large, since some of the provinces such as Bangkok have the capability to handle foreign tourists.”

Prior to this, the scheme was aimed at Phuket only, as a pilot model in a controlled environment, with tourists having to carry out an additional 7 days’ quarantine on top of the mandatory 14, if they wished to travel beyond the province. That requirement appears to have been scrapped, at least for today.

Tossaporn says the revised plan has the backing of Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, adding that foreign tourists admitted under the scheme will be subject to the same health restrictions as repatriating Thai nationals.

“They will undergo the same measures as Thais returning from overseas. After spending 14 days in quarantine and being cleared of the virus, they can go anywhere they wish.”

The government has yet to decide which countries these hotly-anticipated tourists will come from, with Tossaporn saying the Tourism and Finance Ministries will work together to come up with a list of qualifying countries.

Meanwhile, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, says the Kingdom must accept the possibility of new Covid cases once the borders are re-opened, insisting the impact can be minimised through proper risk management.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tourist number one

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    “Qualifying countries” oh boy. If everyone has to quarantine why only certain countries can come. If you reopen completely you can have a decent amount of tourist willing to quarantine. Limiting the tourist pool just makes the plan less likely to succeed.

    • Avatar

      Kondababu

      Friday, September 11, 2020 at 11:53 pm

      Yes,this may help to boost the tourism economy

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Great, tourists can choose to be confined to a hotel room for 14 days at great expense all over Thailand now, not just Phuket.
    The Thais are becoming desperate now . . .
    They say that the Phuket model caused some confusion.
    Naw, there is no confusion. It is a rip off unneeded deal from a arrogant deluded government.

    • Avatar

      Patrick Jacquemyn

      Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 7:59 pm

      What does matter if country of origin is high or low risk when mandatory test and 2 weeks quarantaine?

  3. Avatar

    Mike

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    If I’m willing to pay and quarantine for 14 days what difference does it matter what country im coming from.
    Most countries are lying about numbers reported anyway just to look good

  4. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Tossaporn perhaps ought to point out to decision-makers that tourists aren’t very likely to spend lots of money up front (several thousand dollars) for 2 weeks locked up in a room (not really much different from being locked up in a room at home), when they can’t even be sure that they can get back home and get paid for 2 weeks on their return… the total duration of a normal 2 week holiday effectively becomes 6 weeks, with 4 weeks locked up… the total cost of a holiday is effectively doubled or even tripled, at a time when many people are even more price sensitive than usual.

    • Avatar

      Mike Frenchie

      Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      Absolutely! This is completely nuts…

  5. Avatar

    Ray W.

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    well its a step in the right direction, only 120 days too late. The Country of origin constraints seem a bit dumb. After a 14 day quarantine you should know if the tourist has covid or not. Why should we care where they’re from if they don’t have covid let them in, we need the capital flow and it would be nice to not seem like a bunch of isolationist bigots.

  6. Avatar

    Lance

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    So let me guess …. America is not going to be an approved country right ? Sigh!

    • Avatar

      Perceville Smithers

      Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      Nope! People forget there’s not a large American presence but still a presence and, some have a Thai wife and child.

    • Avatar

      ada

      Friday, September 11, 2020 at 11:33 am

      I really hope they will not allow Americans.

      • Avatar

        Dave

        Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:00 am

        Why? If I quarantine for 14 days and test negative what difference will it make? If I am not allowed my fiance and I cannot get married. We would have gotten married before I left but the marriage authority was closed. Now I am being treated like a tourist when I am not. I cannot even get permission with a elite visa.

  7. Avatar

    Mark

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    I concur 14 days quarantine in Bangkok is fine why complicate matters on a 90 day visa that’s ok

  8. Avatar

    Bobby m

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Well if its true, then it’s green shoots and that’s good. However, just like any rice crop it can grow or fail.

    Unless it’s a world away from the Phuket model I believe it will fail. Tourists do not want to spend 14 days in prison, nor do they want continual expensive testing regimes, inflated flight prices, or any demand to buy local insurances.

    14 days Quarantine needs to be replaced by minimising contact, strict social distancing. Mask wearing, track and trace. etc.

    Tests are becoming pretty pointless and pretty much valid for the the moment in time they are taken, with false positives and false negatives. Temperature checks on departure, arrival and maybe daily by the visitor, reporting any significant rise to an agreed department. I would certainly be checking mine and would not wait if it suddenly went up.

    International insurance that covers Covid is quite sufficient.

    Just a suggestion

    Extend 30 day free visa to 45 days
    Sanitised taxi from airport to destination or car hire (Booked in advance if not local to arrival point)
    Strict social distancing for 14 days at whatever accommodation you are staying, hotel, apartment of family home.
    Normal social distancing thereafter.

    Unless something like this is put in place and costs are kept down. 90% of the tourists you seek just will not come. It’s much easier and far less expensive to go to other countries. A friend returned recently because of business ownership and it cost 180.000 Bht.

    It’s good you recognise that there will be some cases. It’s inevitable and those will have to be managed carefully, but you have already proved your ability to do that.

    I really hope the green shoots start to grow. How much and how well is up to you.

  9. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    NOBODY except – maybe – retired returnees will come! Who in his/her right mind will come to be jailed for 14 days at his/her costs? This is totally delusional.
    Banks have massive loan exposure towards the service/tourism sector… expect the uncollectable loans to skyrocket soon wiping out more than half of the bank’s capital.
    Then, they will reopen like there is no tomorrow.

  10. Avatar

    Jase

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    I’m so keen to holiday I’ll take the 14 days quarantine. I’ll stay on for a further 2 months to make it worth while. It’s not an ideal scenario but it’s not going to change to suit me any time soon so I’ll take what I can get. Bit of a bummer to have to quarantine again when I return but that’s on me. Want the holiday then pay the piper. Also helps being from New Zealand so I like to think I’m a starter.

  11. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Thailand just admitted two people from France into Phuket, a country going thought a huge spike and high numbers. Is that the bar Thailand will be using to decided what counties will be allowed in or not? Some consistency would be nice but of course not to be expected.

  12. Avatar

    Jason

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    I have this feeling that by the time peak season comes around (November to March),there will be no quarantine requirement at all. As long as you tested negative before departure and tested negative on arrival (maybe with a brief quarantine until the test result is available and negative), you will be able to tour and stay as it was before the pandemic. That is both sensible and prudent and acceptable to foreigners. Thailand will have to determine low risk countries it deems are a safe risk.In the world, we have been so focussed on those who have the virus. But remember….the majority of the worlds’ population don’t have the virus.

    As long as the screening is thorough, all will be well. So get your testing regime in place and have a quick turnaround on tests and results. Then we can all get back to a real normal.

  13. Avatar

    james

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    I know, let’s have a plan, in order to have a plan, which we can change and then plan again, then we can plan again and then rename the plan and by the time we have got around to opening Phuket it will be a year from now and the virus will have been ‘cured’ anyway.

    Then we can have a new plan.

  14. Avatar

    Geoff

    Friday, September 11, 2020 at 10:20 am

    The 14 day quarantine at hotels of their choice was quoted last week, to cost between 100,000 and 200,000bt. (7000+ per day! That’s a helluva lot per day, on top of everything else. No normal tourist, retired or not, can afford that. I suspect, as someone else has said, that these requirements won’t be popular, and will be drastically pruned in the next couple of months.

  15. Avatar

    Gary Stephens

    Friday, September 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    What happened to the 1KM rule on the Phuket model where from day 1 quanantine you could go with 1km of the hotel

  16. Avatar

    Politenessman

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    They don’t seem to get it, there is nowhere in Thailand that I want to go badly enough to be locked in a hotel for 14 days, I can lock myself in my home for free.

    I get that they are trying to find a zero risk way to get tourism back on, but this is a waste of time and effort.

  17. Avatar

    Dave

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:04 am

    I wonder what their excuse will be when people have taken the vaccine? I am wondering if there are other agendas than just Covid-19.

  18. Avatar

    Kevin

    Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 12:41 am

    There is a huge disconnect between what people commenting here are discussing and what the Thai government is trying to achieve.
    The Thai government is trying to bring in retired Europeans for multiple-month medical tourism. This isn’t about Phuket or any other “tourist” spot. This is about recasting Thailand as the “Safe” sanctuary with top notch medical facilities. And as of right now that is exactly what Thailand is.
    My medical care here in Thailand is so far superior to my care in the USA that I almost can’t call them the same thing. And if you’re coming here to stay safe away from Covid you’re not going to mind the quarantine.

  19. Avatar

    Maag

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Amazing plan . Tourists will rush to Phuket by million .
    Should built fastly more hotels to welcome them !

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Thailand

Is spraying disinfectant on the Thai-Burmese border effective?

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Is spraying disinfectant on the Thai-Burmese border effective? | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Spraying disinfectant has been effective in the community but controversial in forested refugee camps.

Some controversy exists over the Royal Thai Army attempting to sterilize areas of the Thailand-Myanmar border by spraying disinfectant along the border region. The army sprayed areas set up as a temporary holding facility for many Burmese refugees. The move drew condemnation from critics who claimed the disinfectant was not effective and not worth the expense of implementation. A spokesperson for the Royal Thai Army responded to social media ire justifying the action.

The spraying was done after the Burmese refugees had returned across the border to Myanmar, after fleeing temporarily to escape the escalating humanitarian crisis following the February 1 military coup. After the refugees left, disinfectant was sprayed around the area in compliance with Public Health directives designed to slow the Covid-19 spread and maintain safety. The disinfectant was intended to kill any possibly contagious remaining virus or disease in the area.

The spokesperson said the military used existing government equipment they requested from the Ministry of Public Health to efficiently disinfect the area. She asserted that the spraying was not just to help local people, but also to reassure them that it was safe to return to their daily lives in the area, to go to work or do farming, without fear of becoming infected with Covid-19.

While the response online to the spraying disinfectant scheme is still generally negative, it’s worth noting that the same spraying has been used to effectively sterilize 162 schools and 268 other areas since January. The spray is a safety precaution to minimize the spread of Covid-19 and has been used throughout communities in places like bus terminals, marketplaces, temples and other places where people tend to gather.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bang Lamung Hospital is full, province using field hospitals and ASQ hotels

Tim Newton

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Bang Lamung Hospital is full, province using field hospitals and ASQ hotels | Thaiger

A spokesperson from the Bang Lamung Hospital in Pattaya says that all the beds put aside for Covid patients are now full and doctors are now having to refer newly infected people to Sattahip where the Navy have set up a field hospital. They’re also referring some patients to ASQ hotels.

The hospital said they had put aside 30 ward beds and 12 private rooms for Covid-infected patients but the beds had already been taken up following up to 500 people seeking tests at the hospital each day.

Chin Buri has reported another 97 infections today, about the same as the rest of this week. That makes the total in the province to 807 since the start of the month.

Confirmed by the government earlier this week, Thailand hospitalises everyone who tests positive. Or, alternatively they are sent to a field hospital or the government’s quarantine facilities where Thais were given free quarantine when they repatriated back to Thailand over the past year.

But the current upsurge of new infections being discovered in Chon Buri, and the rest of the country, is putting a strain on facilities. Some people who have tested positive are even being sent to ASQ hotels where the hospitals had used up their quota of available beds.

Public health officials in Chon Buri are currently urging people who are not considered ‘at risk’ to avoid hospitals at this time to allow faster processing of people who are considered at risk.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas

Maya Taylor

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Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

Thailand’s Covid-19 infections are still on the rise, with the Kingdom reporting 1,543 new infections in the last 24 hours. Only 3 of those are imported with 1,540 being cases of community transmission. Thailand has now recorded 37,453 infections. 8,973 patients are receiving hospital treatment, 41 of whom have pneumonia.

11 people are currently in a serious condition on ventilators.

1,540 were community cases, most from the hot zone of Bangkok with 409 new infections. Chiang Mai had 278 new cases, Prachuap Khiri Khan 98 and Chon Buri (including Pattaya) 98.

UPDATE: Dr Chawetsan Namwat, the acting director for emergency health at the Department of Disease Control, says that people will need to consider working from home for 2 weeks if they live in a red zone area.

He said that it may be necessary to increase restrictions further to mitigate the upward trajectory of Covid-19 that is expected to rise after Songkran. Those red zone areas include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani and Sa Kaeo.

“To reduce risks, people should work from home after the Songkran festival.”

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | News by ThaigerHere’s the trajectory of the outbreak since April 1…

April 1 – 26 infections
April 2 – 58 infections
April 3 – 84 infections
April 4 – 96 infections
April 5 – 194 infections
April 6 – 250 infections
April 7 – 334 infections
April 8 – 405 infections
April 9 – 559 infections
April 10 – 789 infections
April 11 – 967 infections
April 12 – 985 infections
April 13 – 965 infections
April 14 – 1,335 infections
April 15 – 1,543 infections

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | News by Thaiger

 

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