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Motorway tolls to be waived on two major routes this holiday weekend

Maya Taylor

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Motorway tolls to be waived on two major routes this holiday weekend | Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English

As motorists take to the roads over the coming long weekend, the government says it’s doing away with toll fees on two motorways from today until midnight on July 8. Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob says those using motorways 7 and 9 will not have to pay a toll, a decision that is hoped will reduce congestion, encourage more domestic travel, and avoid putting extra financial pressure on those already struggling. Thailand is observing two Buddhist holidays in the coming days, Asalha Puja on Sunday, and Buddhist Lent on Monday.

“Motorway 7 that runs from Bangkok to Chon Buri and motorway 9 that runs from Bang Pa In to Bang Phli, and from Phra Pra Daeng to Bang Khun Tian, will waive the toll fee from 00.01am on July 3 to midnight of July 8. The measure aims to promote domestic travel, reduce traffic jams in front of the toll booths, as well as alleviate people’s financial burden during the economic recession due to Covid-19.”

In addition, the director-general of the Department of Highways, Sarawut Songwilai, says extra staff will be on patrol to help travellers in congested or accident-prone areas. Workers will provide 24 hour roadside assistance, while drivers can also check traffic conditions before they set off, using a dedicated app.

“Motorists can use the department’s Thailand Highway Traffic mobile application to check the traffic condition in real-time, reported live from 20 highway offices using traffic drones. The department has also urged construction contractors of highways to temporarily halt their work during the long weekend, to maximise traffic lanes and prevent congestion. We expect the number of travellers this year to be at the same level as last year, despite the Covid-19 situation, as the government has eased most of the lockdown measures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Transport

Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui

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Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand's version of the Suez Canal blockage.

Footbridges in Phuket stood in the way of a luxury yacht travelling from its home in Phuket to Koh Samui when the boat was too tall to pass. Police received a call around 8 pm last night from the truck driver after his trailer carrying the yacht had trouble getting under one of several bridges for walkers to pass over the highway. The boat was travelling down Thepkrasattri Road, where it was stopped by the bridge near Baan Tha Reua School. The boat also had trouble at the pedestrian bridge at the Provincial Electricity Authority Thalang Branch and the bridge at Baan Lipon School in Srisoonthorn.

All the bridges were supposed to have a 5-metre clearance, though one observer speculated that all the repaving of the road over the years may have raised the road and lowered the clearance. Traffic police responded to the first bridge incident by sending officers to direct traffic and make sure bikes and cars didn’t pass and impeded progress on freeing the boat. The second incident about 30 minutes later was resolved by letting air out of the truck’s tires to lower it just enough to pass under the bridge. The third snag prompted the driver to go in person to the Thalang Police station to request help yet again.

This time police were less amused and suggested the truck driver try to resolve the issue himself and call back to the police only if he was unable to free the luxury yacht. A traffic police officer went to follow up with the stranded boat at the end of his shift and found the driver had given up and decided to return the yacht to its Phuket origin at Boat Lagoon Marina in Koh Kaew. The boat, now damaged from the bridge bumps, wasn’t going to make it to Surat Thani to be sailed to Koh Samui on this journey. The boat radar had broken off on one of the bridges. No word on any major damage to the pedestrian bridges.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand provinces currently imposing travel restrictions

Tim Newton

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Thailand provinces currently imposing travel restrictions | Thaiger

Here’s a list of Thai provinces current imposing restrictions on entry, by road or air, as you travel at this time. Today is the last day of the Songkran holiday, so there will be a return home for many people although it’s expected that many have also taken the Friday off to merge the Songkran break with the weekend. So there will be a big movement of people on Sunday.

The government is meeting today to examine additional restrictions and possible partial lockdowns, especially in Bangkok and the immediate surrounding provinces.

Some provinces are insisting on negative Covid tests, others are providing an option for voluntary 14 day quarantine (which is not very practical if people are returning home for 2-3 days). The restrictions vary in most of the provinces. Do your homework as the situation is extremely fluid at the moment.

Both the island (province) of Phuket and Pattaya (Chon Buri) are notably absent in this list.

NORTH

Chiang Mai

Kamphaeng Phet

Lampang

Lamphun

Nan

Phayao

Phetchabun

Phichit

Phitsanulok

Phrae

Tak

Uttaradit

NORTHEAST

Amnat Charoen

Bung Kan

Buri Ram

Chaiyaphum

Khon Kaen

Maha Sarakham

Mukdahan

Nakhon Phanom

Nakhon Ratchasima

Nong Bua Lam Phu

Nong Khai

Sakon Nakhon

Ubon Ratchathani

Udon Thani

Yasothon

CENTRAL AND EAST

Chai Nat

Lop Buri

Nakhon Sawan

Sa Kaeo

Saraburi

Sing Buri

Uthai Thani

SOUTH

Chumphon

Narathiwat

Pattani

Phangnga

Ranong

Satun

Songkhla

Trang

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Transport

Travelling from the UK? Here’s some details on restrictions….

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Travelling from the UK? Here’s some details on restrictions…. | Thaiger
Stock photo of London Heathrow Airport via Flickr

As the summer holiday is just around the corner, many in the UK are wondering if and how they will travel abroad during the Covid pandemic. Despite it being against the law to travel abroad for holiday and leisure in the UK, those who need to travel may want to know what requirements certain countries have in order to enter.

Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Indonesia, are some of the popular places that travellers need to visit, and here we have the latest updates on requirements from those nations.

Australia

After locking down borders early, Australia has spent most of last year living a more normal life than those in the UK have, seeing significantly fewer Covid infections and deaths. But part of why they have been more successful is due to the tough travel measures that are still in place. The country currently is closed to outsiders, except for Australian citizens, permanent residents, or those with an exemption.

If travellers do fall into those categories, they must undergo a 14 day mandatory quarantine on arrival at a designated facility, like a hotel. And, even if you are inside Australia wanting to depart, the strict guidelines apply to those leaving the country as well. Only those with an exemption are able to leave Australia and there has been no indication as to when the country will relax the rules for coming and going. Experts do say that the country may not return to pre-pandemic levels of free travelling until 2024.

New Zealand

New Zealand is another country that has succeeded in tackling the pandemic early on, as most residents are living quite normally. Again, the strict guidelines that were in place are still ongoing as the country is closed to almost all arrivals. Those who are allowed in, must present evidence of a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departing their country of residence.

But, good news is coming later this month as NZ will enter a travel bubble with Australia, allowing its people to travel between the 2 nations without needing to undergo a quarantine.

Thailand

Thailand was also considered to be succesful in combatting the Covid virus, until a 2nd and 3rd wave rocked the country, with experts saying it could be the worst yet to come. As the nation is planning to reopen fully in October, with an even earlier opening in July for its tourist-laden island of Phuket, arrivals still must undergo quarantines of up to 10 days. The quarantine time period depends on where you are entering in the country, as well as whether or not you have been fully inoculated against the Covid virus.

Other restrictions include where you are coming from prior to entering the country, as certain nations with Covid variants may still be required to undergo the full length of the original 14 day quarantine, or could be denied entry altogether.

Indonesia

Since the beginning of this year, all non-Indonesian travellers are currently banned from entering the country, with only a few exemptions in place. Any travellers allowed to enter must provide evidence of a negative Covid test and follow mandatory quarantine arrangements once landing.

The country is currently administering China’s Sinovac vaccine, which has faced criticism over its low effectiveness rates. But, Indonesia has lost 75% of its tourism in 2020, a figure that its government is surely to tackle in the near future.

SOURCE: MyLondon.news

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