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Election 2019: Put it in your calendar – March 10

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Election 2019: Put it in your calendar – March 10 | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Protesters in Bangkok demanding the Thai Government announce election dates

Bets are on for a March 10 election date as the Prime Minister has, for the first time, admitted that the election can no longer be held on February 24. But nothing official has yet been announced.

Under the constitution, the general election must be completed within 150 days of the organic law governing the election of MPs taking effect on Dec 11, or by May 9.

But dates announced for the Royal Coronation, to be held between May 4-6, have forced officials to rethink the February 24 proposed date as post-election milestones and declarations would interfere with the Coronation if the election were to be held on February 24.

PM Prayut yesterday said the election would ‘definitely’ be held before May 9, the first time he had addressed the date issue. He is promising that Thailand will ‘head towards democracy’.

Election Commission secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma says that to prevent possible charter violations, the EC plans to hold both the election and announce the results within the 150 day time frame, or by May 9.

So let’s do a bit of Thursday morning maths…

In Thailand, elections are always held on a Sunday. Counting back from May 9 for 60 days, March 10 emerges as the election date, which is a “safe” date for the poll with minimal interference in the Coronation event.

The poll results could be endorsed by May 9. This would comply with the time frame set under the constitution.

Meanwhile, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon says the general election will take place within the 150 day time frame but didn’t specify if the period covers the full endorsement process. He says the royal decree calling the election is expected to be published soon.

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Thailand

10 passengers injured after Bangkok-Chiang Khong bus crashes into tree

Caitlin Ashworth

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10 passengers injured after Bangkok-Chiang Khong bus crashes into tree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: naewna

10 people were injured and sent to the hospital after a bus driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree early this morning. The double-decker passenger bus on the Bangkok-Chiang Khong route was passing through the Phitsanulok province in Central Thailand when the driver lost control and crashed into a tree on the side of the road.

Bang Rakam police and volunteer rescuers responded to the scene at 2:50am. The injured passengers were taken to Narseuan University Hospital and Pitsanuvej Hospital.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coming back to Thailand? Here are some of the steps you need to know about.

The Thaiger

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Coming back to Thailand? Here are some of the steps you need to know about. | The Thaiger

Want to come back to Thailand? Whilst the borders are still closed to simple visa-on-arrival and general tourism, you CAN get back to the country at this time if you have the resources, patience and need to get the requisite paperwork together. There will be red tape, stumbles and conflicting information. But be persistent and you’ll be able to travel to Thailand at this time.

The country is open, the beaches are pristine and mostly empty, and the shops are open in many locations, especially around Bangkok. Sure, many parts of the more touristy locations are still largely closed but there are plenty of Thai experiences still awaiting you as the country slowly re-opens for tourism. There’s also plenty of bars and nightlife re-opened and happy to welcome you back.

Please, before you do anything else, check with your country’s Thai Embassy to confirm the current situation for re-entry to Thailand for citizens of your country. In many cases the 500,000 Thai baht minimum bank balance requirement has now been dropped. Financial requirements are now, routinely, US$700 for a single traveller or US$1,500 for a family.

The situation is also continuously evolving. The Thaiger routinely publishes all changes and modifications to the visa and quarantine requirements at this time.

Quarantine

There is still a mandatory requirement for 14 days quarantine at an ASQ, Alternative State Quarantine, a registered hotel that has paid up with a local hospital. HERE‘s a list of registered ASQ hotels. Prices for your quarantine stay range from 23,000 – over 100,000 depending on the quality and space you desire. One of the main differences will be the quality of the food, so ask about the menus available – you’ll be stuck with little choice for your 14 day stay! In most cases you’ll be required to pay upfront and provide proof of payment as part of your visa applications. Some hotels allow a deposit and balance on arrival.

A few people have catalogued their journey through quarantine and the paperwork. Read HERE, and HERE and HERE and HERE. And watch Nick Davies interview with The Thaiger.

Flights

You’ll also need to present proof of your airline ticket to Thailand. New flights are being added all the time back into Thailand as previously grounded airlines are slowly dusting off their aircraft and adding new flights as demand increases. We would recommend searching for flights through an aggregator like skyscanner.com but, when you find a flight at the right time and price, book directly through the airline as it’s easier to deal directly through the airline at this time if things change (and they do, especially at this time).

Testing

You will need to provide proof of a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours of your departure date. The test and results should take less than 24 hours. You should contact your local health providers or insurers ahead of time so that you will be able to schedule this to fit in with your plans.

Fit-to-fly certificate

Depending on your country, you will be able to get this from a local health practitioner or GP, and even online in some cases. but You’ll need to forward your negative Covid-19 test as evidence for the “fit-to-fly” certificate to be issued.

Insurance

You will need specific medical insurance covering US$100,000, including cover for Covid-19. The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) has published its preferred list of Thai insurers HERE, but there are plenty of others. Safety Wing also has coverage HERE. And AXA has bespoke policies for medical insurance at this time HERE. This insurance is not overly expensive.

Certificate of Entry

A certificate of entry is required for every person entering Thailand. Go to this website HERE and follow the links.

VISA

Apart from all the other paperwork, created by Thailand’s desire to control potential threats from new Covid cases entering Thailand, you’ll also need a visa. There are a few options at the moment including the STV, Special Tourist Visa, the updated 60 day tourist visa and Elite Visas through the Thailand Elite Visa program. You should discuss your options at your local Thai embassy.

Do your homework before you undertake this venture as your timing of the various elements will be critical to a smooth flow of the red tape required. Also do a complete budget of the elements required to get back to Thailand.

Coming back to Thailand? Here are some of the steps you need to know about. | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai virologist says vaccinating 40 million Thais next year will be a challenge

Maya Taylor

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Thai virologist says vaccinating 40 million Thais next year will be a challenge | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: National Cancer Institute

A prominent Thai virologist has admitted that vaccinating 60% of the population against Covid-19 next year will not be easy. Dr Yong Pooworavan says this is because 40 million people receiving 2 doses each means the country needs access to 80 million doses. Yesterday, it was confirmed that Thailand hopes to begin production and administration of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine in the first half of 2021.

However, Yong remains hopeful that the Covid-19 situation will improve in 2021 but adds that the virus will linger in the Kingdom for up to 2 years, before becoming more like a seasonal flu. His advice for people in Thailand is to continue with preventative measures such as mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing, for at least another year.

Yong has also announced that doctors used plasma from a recovered Covid-19 patient to treat a Swiss national who was seriously ill with the virus while in state quarantine. It’s understood the man had developed pneumonia and was on a respirator, but following 10 days of the plasma treatment, his condition has improved.

Yong says the Thai Red Cross has around 600 bottles of plasma serum, which was donated by recovered patients and can be used to treat those who become seriously ill with the Covid-19 virus.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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