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“Administrative issues” delayed Special Tourist Visa flight

Caitlin Ashworth

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“Administrative issues” delayed Special Tourist Visa flight | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: Phuket International Airport - HKT

A senior tourism official told Reuters reporters that “administrative issues” are the reason for the delayed trip of foreigners on the Special Tourist Visa. Other officials claimed the postponement was done to help ease Covid-19 fears for Thai tourists planning on travelling to Phuket for the annual Vegetarian Festival later this month.

A group of 120 to 150 foreigners on the new long stay visa were supposed to fly from Guangzhou, China to Phuket yesterday after a 6 month ban on international tourists. Covid-19 mobile testing units were even sent to the Phuket International airport this week and are there to test foreign tourists when they enter the country.

The delay is due to issues in the process for applying and issuing the Special Tourist Visas, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

There has been confusion with a number of reports over the past week about when the flight will arrive, some saying the flight would arrive on October 8 and others saying it has been postponed.

Both the Phuket governor and the National Security Council secretary general say the flight has been rescheduled and will arrive after the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. They say many domestic tourists who plan on attending the festival fear the foreign tourists could spread the virus.

The scheme has left more questions than answers. Reuters says Chinese media has questioned the identity of the tourists and were unable to confirm any Thailand travel bookings among agents in Guangzhou.

A report from the respected Thai business journal Thansettakji says the tourists are actually business travellers under tours organised by the Thailand Longstay Company. They said the delay is due to “many points in the process.”

It seems like Thai authorities are not on the same page. Even the Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew said in a previous report that he wasn’t even formally told about arrangements and that he’d “seen the news in the media.”

The Phuket Tourism Association President Bhummikitti Rujtaengam told Reuters the they have not been notified about the foreign tourist arrivals.

“Phuket is ready, but we need clarity. Where are they from? How many? And where will they stay?”

SOURCE: Reuters

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jay

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    “postponement was done to help ease Covid-19 fears for Thai tourists planning on travelling to Phuket”

    Perfect picture of what are the feelings of Thais: FEAR, TERROR, SCARE.
    Scared of tourists that would have gone into quarantine for 14 days?!? Why?! Spreading the virus from Hotel rooms?!

    I’m trying to launch my own campaign: “Fear is the real Pandemic”
    And Thailand is really deeply inside it, people here listen to their deputies, doctors, PM. If they say virus is deadly, they believe completely!
    Without changing changing people’s attitude, you won’t restart the Country!

  2. Avatar

    Nipral

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    This phony government made of brainless, corrupt liars !
    And people are starving !
    Not a word from HRH the King…

  3. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    The festival is the face saving excuse, if was just the festival, what happened to smaller BKK group? no festival there.

    “Administrative issues” is closer to truth, as long as you realise that is code of politics.

    Two ministry’s at least have had enough of certain individuals honing in on their area of responsibility for months and are now teaching him a lesson, not only with STV but also elite returns (both run by TaT companys). Would say meanwhile tourist industry pays price, but was STV ever really going to be any help anyway?

  4. Avatar

    Brian jones

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    What about the hush hush theory there werent really enough tourists booked on the trip in the first place. So they have had to push back the date.

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    The entire STV has been one giant cluster F from start to date. Besides the fact it’s not designed to help the tourist industry. It’s way to small in scope, costly, bureaucratic and restrictive to generate anything more than token numbers. It’s hard to imagine the powers that be could have screwed up the roll out any worse if actually tried. Thailand has already been successfully running a system for months now bringing in thousands of people. Why create new system (STV) which is even more restrictive and costly if the idea was to generate tourism? You don’t increase numbers by making thing more expensive and burdensome. As a consequence it’s becoming clear there is little to no demand for the STV visa, why keep pretending? Why make up fictitious stories about imaginary groups of tourist who can’t wait to show up but for one reason or another don’t. It will be interesting to see the next few months play out. Most train wrecks are fun to watch.

  6. Avatar

    Maag

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 6:50 am

    PATHETIC & COMIC !

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Partial lockdowns looming for “high-risk” provinces

Maya Taylor

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Partial lockdowns looming for “high-risk” provinces | Thaiger
PHOTO: Connor Williams on Unsplash

Several high-risk provinces may be heading into partial lockdown in order to bring spiraling Covid-19 infections under control. The Thai government is considering imposing the lockdowns in Bangkok and other central provinces, along with Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chon Buri. Yesterday, new infections reached a record daily high since the arrival of the pandemic early last year. 1,335 new cases were reported, only 9 of which were imported.

Meanwhile, Pitakpol Boonyamalik, a public health inspector who oversees a number of southern provinces, is also calling for a lockdown on the southern island of Phuket. Pitakpol says he’s concerned about rising infections in the province, which up until about 10 days ago was preparing for a July re-opening to vaccinated tourists.

“The number of new Covid-19 infections in this health region continues to soar by the day. I must propose that the provincial communicable disease control committee of Phuket, in particular, considers locking down the province after Songkran in order to contain the outbreak situation there.”

Natthapon Nakpanich, chairman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says partial lockdown discussions will be held with the Public Health Ministry today. He believes tough restrictions on certain activities in high-risk areas should be enough, insisting the latest outbreak is still under control.

The Bangkok Post reports that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will hold a virtual CCSA meeting tomorrow, in which the partial lockdown proposal and tougher Covid-19 restrictions will be discussed. Natthapon says several other areas are expected to be designated as “red zones”, with further restrictions being introduced for restaurants and gyms.

“Restaurants might have to close sooner while fitness centres will likely have to limit the number of their patrons at any given time or suspend activities which the ministry considers a Covid-19 risk.”

The Thai Retailers Association and the Thai Shopping Centre Association have issued a joint statement in which they called on members and partners to maximise Covid-19 screening protocols. The TRA and TSCA have also asked their members to close at the earlier time of 9pm from today until further notice.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | 1,335 new infections, provinces adding travel restrictions | April 14

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Thailand News Today | 1,335 new infections, provinces adding travel restrictions | April 14 | Thaiger

Thailand’s CCSA has announced 1,335 new infections today, after a slight dip in the 13 day surge yesterday. 1,326 of those new infections are local, not imported, and mostly from Bangkok. Today’s tally takes the national total to 35,910 since January 2020 when the first case outside China was detected in Thailand on January 13.

The new infections have mostly emerged in Bangkok with 351 cases. Surrounding provinces report an additional 115 infections today. In other provinces, 877 people.

It’s also been reported today that 36 people are currently in a serious condition and 9 people are on ventilators.

Meanwhile, Prachuap Khiri Khan officials have ordered the closure of “high risk venues” such as pubs, bars, water parks, children’s playgrounds, gyms, cinemas, game shops. The Governor says restaurants can open “but no alcohol can be served”. This includes the seaside town of Hua Hin.

In Krabi there is now a total of 11 infections, 6 new ones yesterday. In Chon Buri, which includes Pattaya, there were 99 new confirmed infections of Covid today … a similar number to the past few days.

Meanwhile 42 out of Thailand’s 77 provinces are now imposing restrictions on entry… either self-quarantine, Covid tests or other requirements. Phichit, Lampang and Ubon Ratchathani are the latest to join the growing list.

At this stage, the various provinces are coming up with their own measures, adding to the general confusion as people travel around the country for Songkran.

Many of the provinces currently require quarantine for people who travelled from the 3 hot zone districts in Bangkok at the centre of the current cluster.

The latest information is being added to this website… moicovid.com but it’s in Thai.

Here’s a list of provinces current imposing restrictions on entry as you travel. You can scroll through if you’re not interested.

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

CENTAL AND EAST

Chai Nat

Lop Buri

Nakhon Sawan

Sa Kaeo

Saraburi

Sing Buri

Uthai Thani

SOUTH

Chumphon

Narathiwat

Pattani

Phangnga

Ranong

Satun

Songkhla

Trang

Thailand rang in another Lunar New Year, or Songkran, without its normal noise and celebration yesterday, highlighting the impact that the current Covid outbreak is having. For the 2nd year, the biggest Thai holiday was subdued without water-splashing, parties, and concerts.

There were few official events, compared to the pre-Covid days… Thailand’s Culture Minister led officials in what was called a “New Normal, Preserving Thai Culture” event at Wat Arun in Bangkok.

The temple was open while others were partially closed because of the pandemic. Other normally bustling areas of Bangkok were also silent, as Songkran was cancelled due to what’s being described as a 3rd wave of Covid hitting the country in some media.

Police in Bangkok are on the hunt for the owners of 2 nightclubs considered ground zero for the current clusters currently spreading around the country. The Krystal Club and Emerald Thonglor 13, in the capital’s fashionable Thonglor district, are currently closed. However, officials are now attempting to track down the real owners of both establishments.

Authorities are examining ownership and shareholding documentation related to the 2 venues, after the Bangkok police chief confirmed a cluster of Covid-19 infections is believed to have spread from these clubs. The managers of both venues have been charged with violating the emergency decree and disease prevention regulations.

3 nightlife venues in Phuket, thought to be behind a resurgence of Covid-19 in the southern province have been closed as part of a wider temporary shutdown of nightlife on the island. It is not yet known if the owners will face prosecution.

The Illuzion and Shelter nightclubs in Patong, along with the Café del Mar beach club in Kamala all held big parties during the weekend of April 2- 4, with invited guests travelling from as far as Bangkok.

A top UN official is warning that Myanmar could follow the path of Syria in terms of descending into a bloody civil war, unless the violence subsides. The UN high commissioner for human rights is calling on all countries with influence to apply concerted pressure on the ruling military junta to end its campaign of repression and the slaughtering of its people. She says neighbouring countries are especially being called upon… obviously that includes Thailand.

She says the military has committed, what amounts to, crimes against humanity, and the human rights violations must be stopped.

The country’s armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, attacked civilians last weekend with rocket-propelled grenades and mortar fire, killing at least 82 people. Credible reports also indicate that people are fighting back by using makeshift or primitive weapons with clashes between the military and ethnic armed groups in Kayn, Shan, and Kachin states are picking up steam.

At least 3,080 people currently detained, there are reports that 23 people have been sentenced to death following secret trials

Aung San Suu Kyi has not been seen since her arrest, and is now facing even more trumped up charges that could see her barred from political office or worse. The junta military has been killing innocent civilians and peaceful protesters since the coup began, censoring the media, and shutting down the internet.

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