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Thailand to introduce 300 baht “tourism fee” to insure foreign visitors, manage tourist destinations

Maya Taylor

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Thailand to introduce 300 baht “tourism fee” to insure foreign visitors, manage tourist destinations | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s Tourism Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, has confirmed a proposal to charge foreign tourists a fee of 300 baht per visit. The fee will be used to develop tourist destinations as well as providing visitors with insurance benefits while in the Kingdom. The proposal has been approved by the National Tourism Policy Committee and is set to be announced in the Royal Gazette once it goes into effect.

Phiphat, who’s expecting around 10 million people to visit Thailand this year, says the fee will ensure anyone who gets sick or is injured can receive medical treatment. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, 34 baht of the 300 baht fee will go towards insurance coverage. Chote Trachu from the Tourism Ministry says the fee was supposed to be implemented last year, but the Covid-19 pandemic meant it was postponed and will now begin this year.

Despite the introduction of the Special Tourist Visa, Thailand has struggled to regain much of its lost international tourism. The mandatory 14-day quarantine is thought to play a large part in people’s reluctance to visit, particularly if paired with quarantine or self-isolation restrictions in their home countries. In addition, a surging second or third wave in many places around the world has resulted in strict lockdowns, meaning it will be at least the second half of this year before international tourists start to arrive in any meaningful numbers.

Given the downturn, the TAT has until recently been pinning its hopes on the domestic market. However, the resurgence of Covid-19 within the Kingdom has had a significant impact on homegrown tourism. While the TAT previously predicted 100 million domestic trips last year, this forecast has been revised down to 95 million.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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55 Comments

55 Comments

  1. Avatar

    B.T.

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Mr.Pipat ,day without your miscarriage idea is lost day.Instead of encourage tourist to come and spend money in clean ,safe ,corruption and dual price free environment another brilliant idea.

    • Avatar

      Nipral

      Friday, January 15, 2021 at 12:28 pm

      “Amazing Thailand” !

    • Avatar

      Latecomer

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 9:24 pm

      This guy should introduce and promote a manual how to comorehensively destroy an entire industry. Could be called something like “Annihilation”. And for what? A respiratory disease which is 10th or 15th cause of mortality, with total of victims on a par with one weekend on Thai roads

  2. Avatar

    J West

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:39 am

    By comparison to past proposals, mildly comical, given that “ tourists” already purchase two separate “mandatory” insurance policies, one international and one issued by Thai companies.

  3. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Is it still 1,000 baht to leave Bangkok airports for international flights, I can’t remember.. to leave Sydney on a international flight it cost you $128.62 Ozzie dollars, (economy) about 3,200 baht. The best one in that price is the hidden noise pollution tax, (believe that -that is true) for you too fly from (Perth) Australia to London in business class return , the hidden tax on that flight is $455.00 Ozzie dollars, around 10,000 baht.
    (Such is life) Ned Kelly, ?

  4. Avatar

    Kim

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:52 am

    I generally support the mandatory health insurance requirement for any foreign visitors to Thailand, which for Thai nationals, is reciprocal for all EU/Schengen countries and the US, Australia, however, the idea of now charging foreigners an additional thb 300 where only 11.5pct goes towards insurance contribution is outright deranged and crazy and im sure it will have the adverse effect of what was wished for.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, January 15, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      What reciprocal health insurance for all EU/Schengen countries and the US, Australia???

      • Avatar

        Kim

        Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 12:51 pm

        Crazy Isaan John. All Thai nationals need health insurance prior to being granted a schengen visa, us and Aussie visa,

        • Avatar

          Jack

          Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 10:59 pm

          My Thai girlfriend was NOT required to have insurance to travel to Australia and has been travelling to and from for the past 5 years (although we have not been travelling since March last year)

          • Avatar

            Andre

            Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 3:32 am

            In which bar did you meet her? Maybe I know her.

  5. Avatar

    dave

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Like it says in the article, the mandatory 14 day quarantine jail sentence that we get to pay 50 thousand baht for is what is keeping the real money out of Thailand. Time to change or go broke.

    • Avatar

      Tom

      Friday, January 15, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      All these stupid foreigners commenting on what there country has to do. Some comments mind boggling. Like stop ASQ. Fly to Australia and try to walk in.Also hotels are 35k and if you don’t have money stay home. Go knock your own country. Your all unemployed bored people. Your the ones that give us a bad name. Hiding behind phones.

      • Avatar

        jono

        Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 10:46 am

        At least learn to spell first before bagging us ‘stupid foreigners’

      • Avatar

        BuriramJoe

        Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 4:38 pm

        If it’s got to be done, add it as an additional tax to a flight ticket. Stop unnecessary queues and filthy paws getting a cut of that pie.
        Do not apply to land border crossings – support backpackers and “bad guys” on their border runs. Also promotes carbon neutral travel that way.

  6. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Why should tourists pay to develop tourist destinations in thailand.perhaps the thai government should pay to develop them after all they are in their country.
    Also be very interested to see the policy documents for the 34 baht insurance to see what level of cover is provided.

    • Avatar

      Tom

      Friday, January 15, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      Luckily it’s not your country. So Thais can run there own country and desperates will be weeded out. It’s good news.

      • Avatar

        Mr cynic

        Friday, January 15, 2021 at 8:04 pm

        not your country either khun tom,every body is welcome to their opinion,even you.

    • Avatar

      J West

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 5:19 pm

      I thought the reason for double pricing farang at all ‘tourist venues’ for the past thirty five years was to manage and maintain the sites for underprivileged Thai. What will happen to double price practice now that the Central Government collects the tax for itself , ostensively developing and maintaining’ ? What’s happened to the “ double pricing tourist revenue that’s already been collected?” There must be an accounting for the billions of baht already collected.

    • Avatar

      Fred Johnson

      Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 4:16 am

      bandage for the wounds

  7. Avatar

    Nipral

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    10M international tourists ???????????? Amazing Thailand !

    • Avatar

      Latecomer

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 9:28 pm

      yeah. More like 10 (ten) altogether. Ten Chinese

  8. Avatar

    Kuhnarthur

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    I remember the good old days. Back then, the depature tax had to be paid in cash.
    Most of the money disappeared and could not be found.

    I remember the times when many still came to Thailand. The huge queues in front of immigration spoke cords about Thai hosipitality. I can well imagine the long queues at the new counters. After all, everything at the airport is cluttered with shops, so there is not enough space for new counters.

    But that won’t bother the greedy Thai.

    I see, Mr. Anutin said that hospitals are starving because farangs are footing their bill. Now the farang are missing and all these hospitals should actually be in the black.

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

  9. Avatar

    Tom

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    What a bunch of scum bags you have following you. Pure fucking scum

    • Avatar

      MichaelBKK

      Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 12:15 am

      You seem very angry Mr Tom ?

      • Avatar

        Thomas

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 7:03 am

        He seems to forget the us tourists are half of the entire Thai GDP. Without us Thais go very hungry. Our opinion is much more important than his.

        • The Thaiger

          The Thaiger

          Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 9:57 am

          Half of the Thai GDP? 15-20%, directly and indirectly, and many of those tourists are Thai?

          • Avatar

            J West

            Monday, January 18, 2021 at 5:22 pm

            I thought the reason for double pricing farang at all ‘tourist venues’ for the past thirty five years was to manage and maintain the sites for underprivileged Thai. What will happen to double price practice now that the Central Government collects the tax for itself , ostensively developing and maintaining’ ? What’s happened to the “ double pricing tourist revenue that’s already been collected?” There must be an accounting for the billions of baht already collected.

          • Avatar

            J West

            Monday, January 18, 2021 at 5:41 pm

            Agree that the official numbers estimate tourism at 22.2 % of GDP. But….how accurate are those numbers? In G7 economies where statistics are managed by politicians and suspect because, it’s hard to imagine how my neighborhood in Bangkok and the food lines at our local temple could only resemble 22% when the lines of beggars look 1000% longer than two years ago.

  10. Avatar

    Khao Lak

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    10 Million tourists this year – all of them going to quarantine – jail?
    where will they come from?

  11. Avatar

    MIke

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    All arriving tourist have to have 3M Covid insurance which includes other basic accident insurance for at lest the ones I have seen!
    So duplicate “Tourism Insurance” with most tourists travel with insurance anyway even before Covid, and given flight changes with little notice, who would travel with no insurance in the new normal?

    I am ok with the Tourism tax if 100% goes to protection of reefs, clearing beaches and reducing and policing of pollution and over fishing etc. But I cant see the duplicate insurance which is taking such a large slice of the pie helping

    Amazing Thailand indeed!

  12. Avatar

    DAVID

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Oh no
    Even there’s no assurance that how many tourists will be coming to Thailand in this year.
    Peoples have not enough money to spends in this year.
    Mr. Minister- your earlier predictions were failed, STV GOLF ASQ, 14 DAYS ASQ quarantine all failed.
    Please do not reach in a final decision just depends on idea.

    Please do not implement 300 THB ($10).
    Better provide some Hotel discount coupons and Meal coupons and BTS coupons (free vouchers) at the air port arrivals.
    Really peoples are pretty smart in this digital era, 300 thb planning will sure not encourage but discourage tourists.

    Thank you

    • Avatar

      Martin

      Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:57 pm

      Usual insanity. Bleed tourists dry at any opportunity. The corrupt have obviously been suffering terribly during Covid.

  13. Avatar

    Jason

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Let’s contrast this to The Seychelles. Today they announced quarantine free entry to all people who have had both doses of the Covid Vaccine and have a negative PCR Test. Hmmm….Seychelles or Thailand?? You decide….

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, January 15, 2021 at 4:25 pm

      Tourists have already decided, Jason, as the Seychelles has been open to tourists for some time depending on where they’re coming from.

      The decision? … neither.

      • Avatar

        Stephen Westrip

        Friday, January 15, 2021 at 5:14 pm

        Issan John – another trolling comment as almost no one in the world has had the second vaccine dose which is why the Seychelles has currently had no tourists.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, January 15, 2021 at 6:55 pm

          Which part of “the Seychelles has been open to tourists for some time depending on where they’re coming from” do you not understand?

    • Avatar

      London Al

      Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 2:13 am

      Will be intersting to see how many Seychelles visitors who have had both doses and a negative PCR test turn out to have Covid, my guess is none

    • Avatar

      Latecomer

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 9:32 pm

      you need only PCR for Dubai and Dominican Republic and Maldives

    • Avatar

      Andre

      Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 3:52 am

      Lets contrast Mexico or Costa Rica vs Thailand: 180 day visa on arrival, only requirement is to fill in a electronic form with flight number, seat and check a box “I am not sick” and you’re done. The form is mandatory but you’re lucky if someone ask to see it. Now one could ask if it’s so smart to not have an insurance of some sort in place, but hey they make it up to you – just don’t expect any medical help if you don’t have the cash at hand.

      They have learned to live with the virus already. People die – from diabetes, age, road accidents, cartel shootouts, pure old darwinism and now covid. They celebrate death – skulls and remains of deceased family members are kept and taken out for display when they celebrate the day of the dead. They are not scared to death like thais – now why are thais that will be reborn so scared of death? Maybe they really don’t buy into that shit after all? It’s not B for Buddhism but B for Baht.

      It is estimated by random sampling of the population that almost 25% have or have had covid in Mexico – that is about 30 million people. Of course officialy the numbers are not quite there yet…

  14. Avatar

    chupapi

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Wait, does this mean there is no need to buy a travel/health insurance to enter Thailand anymore? That would be good, 300 baht are not a big issue.

  15. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Doesn’t the Thai government require full health coverage, including Covid-19 coverage to the tune of USD100,000 in coverage already?

    300 baht is a brain dead idea. Again, screw the farang anyway you can because you can’t manage your own finances.

    Well, it could be like Malaysia, where you pay an additional 10RM every night you stay in a hotel, which is on top of any sales or service tax you already pay. What am I saying? They’ll try that next.

    • Avatar

      Hitchhiker

      Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 11:21 pm

      That $100k insurance cover is another ripoff into the bargain. I just checked around the Web and average costs for a 6-day inpatient care for Covid-19 is $38,228 for private insurance and only $10,561 for Medicare. Even those with no insurance cover at all only have to pay $73,000 acccording to BusinessInsider.com

      Given that Thai healthcare is reputed to be a third of the cost of healthcare in the US demanding $100,000 coverage for foreigners is a prime example of ripping visitors off just because they’re foreigners.

      If Thais, or any foreign nationals for that matter who want to visit the EU/Schengen zone insurance coverage amounting to 30,000 euros is required for a 90-day period. That’s nowhere near $100,000.

  16. Avatar

    luca

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    I remember that the first times I came to Thailand on departure you had to pay 500 bhat in a machine, so I would not make a drama for 300 bhat, as well as the insurance I buy at home to be able to choose the best hospitals.
    What the minister says is just propaganda to make citizens believe that the government is capable of acting, the reality is very different and the 10 million international tourists in 2021 are a dream, as it will also be in 2022 and probably after the tourism in thailand will never return like in 2019

  17. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    this dick is meant to be encouraging tourists to cum…………

  18. Avatar

    Ben

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    The 300 baht is 10 bucks and is no big deal. Every country/County/City charges “special tourist taxes” on everything from airline tickets, rental cars and hotels. Look at your bill next time. Soaking travelers is normal. It’s not a plot to screw the Farang as it applies to everybody including the Chinese. If it eliminates the need for us to buy travel medical insurance then it’s positive. That insurance is $200+ and represents real friction for travelers. Don’t need to create drama over $10 if you don’t have to buy travel insurance.

    Comparing Thailand to the Seychelles is a dog that doesn’t hunt. Why would I go to Seychelles when I can go to Hawaii? The Seychelles doesn’t have what Thailand has, period and end of story. Neither does Mexico or the Caribbean.

    Later this year when Thailand is well into vaccinating its population they’ll decide the right time to lift the quarantine requirements. It’s clear they won’t have any chance hitting their targets with a quarantine.

    In the meantime going to Thailand is for those that have time, money and the desire to really be there for an extended period. Those that go will have a relatively COVID free environment when compared to their home country if you’re from the west and cheaper hotels and services once out of quarantine plus less crowds. Something worth considering if you’ve received the vaccine or will shortly.

    • Avatar

      Kim

      Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 1:09 pm

      Ben, where does it say that this additional thb 300 eliminates the mandatory health insurance? How do you know that the number of people in Thailand infected with the China virus is correct when there has hardly been any testing? It’s pretty logical that the numbers are low when testing is almost none existent. Having said that, then I’m a supporter of the 14 days mandatory quarantine and you are correct that Thailand is only for the few which wants to burn a lot of cash on quarantine hotels and don’t need to worry about how many days they spend in quarantine, so Thailand is in a way concentrating on a new tourist segment which filters out all the “holiday millionaires”.

  19. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 1:26 am

    The problem with this proposal is not so much the amount, but that it centers on the old time-tested Thai idea of “charging foreigners because they are….foreigners”. So while 300 baht is not a big deal to foreigners, to the average Thai is lunch + dinner, with change to spare. This would be the equivalent of the US, EU, Australia charging $100 pp to all foreign tourists on arrival to “develop tourist destinations”.

    At this point, the Thai Tourism Ministry should be worried about how many of those projected arrivals may actually switch to Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, when the borders reopen in the region. After all, it’s not like Thailand doesn’t face competition.

    • Avatar

      Crispy

      Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:16 pm

      Unfortunately, Thainstone has become synonymous with Meaness

  20. Avatar

    Crispy

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    It is hardly the time to take money out of the tourist industry.
    Thai people receive 3,500b monthly from a limited budget (first come, first served). They can withdraw 150b max a day (to discourage gambling and drinking). There are many soup kitchens. The people turn to begging.
    The hope for reopening the economy (tourism is at least 20pc) lies with the vaccines. Recognising a visitor’s vaccination passport and vaccinating the Thai population.
    All other measures are a futile waste that create nothing but bureaucracy and annoyance.
    Best to stop talking and planning ways to scam, just get on with improving the offer (ie the infrastructure on offer to potential tourists), and roll out the vaccine (take care not to cut corners or try and be clever).
    Just do it, if you have to think, think about your reputation and stop thinking you can hoodwink the world.

  21. Avatar

    BuriramJoe

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    If it’s got to be done, add it as an additional tax to a flight ticket. Stop unnecessary queues and filthy paws getting a cut of that pie.
    Do not apply to land border crossings – support backpackers and “bad guys” on their border runs. Also promotes carbon neutral travel that way.

    • Avatar

      BeSafeFeelComfortable

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      Everyone, Be safe and feel comfortable.
      All are in troubles now. Don’t waste your energy.

      If they charge 300฿/10$, It is okey. This is their policy. They can charge 300$ also.

      Simple, Not come and go(find) other alternative place.

      Example, I like Georgia, 1 year free visa. Good priced better quality Wine,beers,chacha(confusing.. azer?),Vodka and liquors. This is fantastic place for retirement… Batumi, Kazbegi… skis, hike, trekking, food… casino.

  22. Avatar

    Cultural Observer

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    I’m fine with the 300 baht tax if some of it is used to clean up the trash. I stayed on Ko Samet and the surrounding ocean is a soup of floating plastic debris. There are big piles of garbage in the forest in back of the resorts. The local Thais don’t seem to care. Amazing Thailand.

  23. Avatar

    Andre

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 3:30 am

    There is actually only a few questions to ask regarding this: Who owns the insurance companies eligible to take part of this scheme? Which government officials decide, and how big will the kickbacks be? Could we see some real investigative journalism about this? It would be interesting to know which one of the usual suspects that are looking forward to drink some serious amount of tea.

    The insurance part is a joke and only there to enrich some few companies that will be part of the scheme – and of course those administering the scheme. Amazing Thailand!

  24. Avatar

    DRJ

    Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    It is strange ( or maybe it isn’t ) how the Authorities are looking at ways to make more money from tourists before they are even allowed or willing to be back in Thailand !!
    Who are these decision makers ?

  25. Avatar

    Don

    Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 8:19 am

    OK if South America and America turkey and many other countries can live on with that quarantine and just doing all the testing of Covid and now the vaccine is out. Then Asia can fxxx off with their fxxxxxxx quarantine they want you to spend money more on their dumb ass country and stay in salutation this is bullshit it’s been a year get over it. Do you want to do the extra testing when they finally arrive in your stupid Thailand country fine but there’s no reason for freaking quarantine anymore it’s bullshit it’s a way to get more money out of you even though USA is constantly saying Asia money which is bullshit anyways they should starve if they don’t want tourists there than they should starve.

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Vaccines have arrived, roll out from Monday | Feb 24

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Vaccines have arrived, roll out from Monday | Feb 24 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today, the government is at least now talking about lifting the mandatory quarantine, the first Covid vaccines will start in Thailand next Monday, and protesters change gears and go after alleged corruption in the Thai police force. We’ve also got a special report about the latest in the Thai Airways saga, all on our YouTube Channel. Let’s get started….

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government would now consider waiving the mandatory 14 day quarantine for tourists with proof of a Covid-19 vaccination. For months now, the government has stuck to its stance that vaccinated foreign arrivals would still need to be quarantined, given that it’s too early to say if vaccines prevent transmission. But with industry leaders warning that the economy is on the brink of collapse, the only hope appears to be reviving the tourism sector, a major economic contributor prior to Covid-19.

Even the Thai central bank says the uncertainty facing the tourism sector is a major threat to medium term economic growth. The bank Governor says it would be very difficult for the economy to recover to pre-pandemic levels without the return of international tourism.

Tourism officials have been pushing for Thailand to introduce a vaccine passport policy that would allow tourists to return from countries where mass vaccination programs are now underway.

Meanwhile, Thailand took delivery of its first doses of Covid-19 vaccine today, with the arrival of doses of the Chinese Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines. A Thai Airways International plane carrying the vaccine from Beijing landed at the airport at 10.05 this morning.

The shipment included 2 million doses, valued around 1.2 billion baht, the government ordered from Sinovac Life Sciences of China. Those 200,000 doses will be stored and checked in a warehouse until Friday.

The national inoculation program is expected to get underway next week, with frontline medical workers and other vulnerable groups first in the queue.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will also be manufactured locally by Siam Bioscience, with production expected to begin in June. The government says vaccines from other manufacturers may also be registered for use in the Kingdom, with private hospitals allowed to administer them. The PM says a number of other manufacturers have expressed interest in having their vaccines approved for use in the Kingdom.

He said… “Many companies have shown interest to register but their documents are not completed yet. It is good that we will have more vaccines than the 65 million doses planned by the government now.”

The CCSA says 4 of Thailand’s major tourism destinations are to be prioritised in the distribution of vaccines. They are Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. In addition, a further 9 provinces with significant infection numbers are being prioritised in the rollout of the first vaccine doses.

70,000 doses will go to the hard-hit “highest control” area of Samut Sakhon, where Thailand’s second outbreak cluster was first detected on December 20 last year. 8,000 doses are being set aside for medical officials in the central province, along with 6,000 for frontline healthcare workers, 46,000 doses for seriously ill patients, and 10,000 doses for migrant workers and local residents.

Another 105,000 doses will be distributed to similar groups in Bangkok, in the central provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkram and Samut Prakan, and in the western province of Ratchaburi and the Mae Sot district of Tak.

14,700 doses will be sent to 4 major tourist destinations, with 4,700 going to the eastern province of Chon Buri, 4,000 to Phuket, 3,500 to the northern province of Chiang Mai, and 2,500 going to the island of Samui in the Surat Thani province.

The pro-democracy group, Ratsadon, held a rally in Bangkok late yesterday, this time with their sights set on Thailand’s police force and the alleged corrupt practices involved in the promotion system. The system, where officers have to pay bribes to senior figures, allegedly including senior politicians, was highlighted in a debate in parliament last week.

Activists met at the Ratchaprasong intersection in the capital around 5pm and stayed there for an hour. But many of the speakers were new faces, with some of the more prominent leaders notably absent, currently languishing in police custody. Those who addressed the crowd called on “honest” police officers to join them in the fight for justice, as they slammed the widespread nepotism and corruption that is allegedly rife in the Thai police force.

Protesters then marched to the nearby headquarters of the Royal Thai Police and sat on the street outside while speeches continued. At one point, an activist read out a letter which the group says was written by a police officer and addressed to his colleagues. In it, the officer calls on his colleagues to decide if they are serving the people or those in power, and asks them if they think they’ve been fairly treated by their bosses or used for political purposes.

Thai Vietjet has announced the flight resumption of its domestic cross-regional service between Phuket and Chiang Rai, in response to the increasing travel demand after the government began relaxing travel measures around the country. The airline will resume the service for four round-trip flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, starting from this Friday.

The airline also announced the resumption of other domestic cross-regional services including the flight between Hat Yai – Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai – Nakhon Si Thammarat from 19 March 2021 onwards.

The airline has launched a special promotion called “Welcome Back to the Sky”, offering special fares from just 99 (not including taxes, fees, surcharges, and add-ons) for Thai Vietjet’s flights between Phuket – Chiang Rai and any flights to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Other domestic carriers are also starting to ramp up the resumption of flights. This weekend, being a long weekend, has seen increased bookings for the sector.

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Phuket

Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The drunk, off-duty police officer in Phuket who has caught on camera shooting and beating a noodle vendor on Bangla Road is now facing attempted murder charges as well as charges of carrying a firearm in public without a necessary reason and firing a weapon in a public area. The commander of the Phuket police station said he ordered investigators to prosecute the officer Pornthep Channarong with every criminal charge that can be applied.

The officer had gotten into an altercation just before dawn yesterday and shot a young vendor who was walking by. Surveillance camera footage show the 25 year old suddenly falling to the ground after being shot. The officer walks up and shoots the vendor at a close range, but it appears the second shot did not hit the vendor. The officer also slapped the vendor in the face, picked him up and shoved him over, and then kicked him as he lay on the ground.

The vendor has a 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son. His wife says normally he works as a motorbike driver, but he was helping his mother selling noodles. He was shot while he was walking back from collecting a noodle bowl, she says. The vendor is in critical condition and being cared for at Vachira Phuket Hospital’s intensive care unit. He’s in need of Type B blood.

“For his condition, the doctor told me that the bullet went through his lung. He lost a lot of blood. We need a lot of Type B blood for him.”

A disciplinary investigation into the incident was launched by police and Pornthep was officially dismissed from the Royal Thai Police force. Region 8 Police Commander Kitrat Panpetch says the incident does not reflect the police force in Phuket.

“The incident was caused by an officer who did something wrong that our organisation does not want. We are a big organisation with more than 200,000 officers under our control. Our officers are not all bad like this.”

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu says he has reminded the police chiefs across the island to discuss reasons for carrying firearms in public.

“Carrying firearms is to prevent any type of crime that may happen, not to commit a crime by themselves like this incident. If I see any police doing such a thing, I will decisively proceed in terms of both officer discipline and criminal charges.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is also set to arrive in Thailand today

Caitlin Ashworth

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AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is also set to arrive in Thailand today | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ Anutin Charnvirakul

While news has been focused on today’s arrival of China’s Sinovac vaccine, it’s now being reported that 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will also arrive in Thailand today. The vaccines will be distributed to 13 provinces, including 9 that are considered the “highest risk” of Covid-19 infection as well as 4 popular tourist destinations that are of “economic significance” such as Phuket and Chiang Mai.

The delivery of the Sinovac vaccine was widely publicised in Thailand. The public health minister posted photos of the packages throughout the delivery process. The government even held a special event called “Covid vaccines, restoring the Thai smile” where they formally accepted the first delivery of Covid-19 vaccines in Thailand. The Bangkok Post says officials did not specify how many Sinovac doses were shipped, but in earlier reports, the government said they planned for 200,000 doses in the first round.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will be injected with the AstraZeneca vaccine rather than the Sinovac vaccine due to his age. A doctor recently warned that the Sinovac vaccine’s efficacy and safety has not been tested in those over 60. Prayut says the 200,000 doses from Sinovac will be given to priority groups within the next 3 days. In previous reports, people over 60 years old in high risk areas were included in the first phase of injections.

Prayut will be the first in the country to get injected with the Covid-19 vaccine, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

“It’s important that Gen Prayut takes the first Covid-19 vaccine shot because he is the country’s leader. There will naturally be a risk assessment process by the Department of Disease Control, which is an internationally accepted standard procedure.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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