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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ryan

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 10:01 am

    why from china? low risk.. ok. well who cares if its low risk if they have to quarantine and have insurance. why does it have to be ‘low risk’ countries…

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Now go to your room Wong and don’t come out until we say.

  3. Avatar

    Maag

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    The big rush is starting…time to reopen hotels and discos to welcome these 10000000000000000…… of tourists !

  4. Avatar

    Ron

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Will not be going to Thailand so long as Chinese are permitted. Thai people have sold their souls

  5. Avatar

    patty

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    From what I hear, China is not letting citizens travel abroad yet. If this is true, then these “tourists” are not actually tourists but more like investors or liquidators looking to take advantage of struggling businesses in Phuket. Logically speaking, if they were real tourists then the number would not be 120 as I’m sure authorities can handle more than that at one time. It’s obvious that Prayut had planned this all along. Part of the kiss China’s ass scheme, led by the Junta himself.

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      I have heard people say these are not real tourists, but supported by the Chinese government.

    • Avatar

      murika

      Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      actually make sense, i was wondering how can Chinese tourist who usually have less than two weeks holydays are interested in spending 2 weeks in jail quarantine, because they are not tourists, but deep pockets investors, i guess both sides sellers and investors will be surprised when they meet, thai thinking that their business still hold some form of value and Chinese who might offer 10 % of the former price to them, both side might end up disappointed

  6. Avatar

    Nick

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    So a two week holiday has to be extended to four weeks to allow quarantine. This has to be a joke.

  7. Avatar

    Malcolm R.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Hahahaha — ready to carry out ‘a dress rehearsal’. 🙂

    It’s a virus that is now being proven to kill fewer than .75% of people that contract it, and those mainly the elderly with pre-existing conditions who would have probably died in a few months anyway.

    Meanwhile, the Thai economy is collapsing and the government are ordering ‘dress rehearsals’ for 120 Chinese tourists who will spend very little money when they even get to Phuket. Meanwhile, the other 40 million tourists are still banned.

    That the Thai government is panic-stricken beyond believe is pretty evident. That they are also complicit in ruining Thailand’s economic future for at least the next 10 years will also become quite evident to most Thais sooner than later.

    Meanwhile, enjoying the laugh if nothing else 🙂 You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    • Avatar

      Jase Reid

      Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 4:57 pm

      Agreed. I feel sorry for the next PM to take odffice. What a sorry state of a country this poor fella will be facing.

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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

Tim Newton

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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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