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Thailand delays introduction of new visa requirements for Taiwanese tourists

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Thailand delays introduction of new visa requirements for Taiwanese tourists | The Thaiger
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…and other proposed nationalities as well.

Thailand has decided to postpone the requirement for Taiwanese travellers to present financial statements when applying online for a visa. The Taiwan News is reporting that the new requirements are being delayed until at least March, 2020.

The Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei has announced that online Taiwanese applicants for travel to Thailand would need to provide three months evidence of financial statements before they could be awarded the visa. They would also have to report in person to apply for the visa.

The new visa requirement have infuriated Taiwanese officials and local travel agents, who, rightly made the point that Thai citizens don’t need a visa to visit Taiwan under the Taiwanese government’s “New Southbound Policy”.

Media reports have now said that the Thailand Trade and Economic Office was, following government pressure, going to cancel the new requirements. But a representative of the TTEO says they are merely postponing the introduction of the tighter visa rules pending a review that could take up until next March.

CNA reports that… “TTEO posted a message on its website Thursday saying the introduction of the financial statement requirement had been postponed until March 1, 2020, to give applicants sufficient time to prepare and to acquaint themselves with the new method.”

Thailand officials originally said the new regulation, relating to financial statements would eventually also apply to visitors from China, France, and the UK as well.

SOURCE: Taiwan News

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Island Party Crackdown | January 28

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Thailand News Today | Island Party Crackdown | January 28 | The Thaiger

Around 9,000 people will face criminal charges for allegedly defrauding the “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme which was launched to stimulate the local tourist economy and to help hotels and restaurants ravaged from the long list of restrictions and international border closure.

The national police chief says the police plan to prosecute around 9,000 people for conspiring with hotel operators and shop owners to cheat the government subsidy scheme. The scheme, launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, covered 40% of room rates and issued 600 baht and 900 baht food vouchers for food and travel.

Lower rates on rooms were intended to draw in more travellers, but a number of hoteliers allegedly raised their prices to get more of the subsidies. Some even created fake hotel bookings. Last month, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme, saying legal action needed to be taken before the launching the second phase of the scheme.

You go out and grab a beer from tomorrow… but at a restaurant only. Bars in “red zones” around the country, including Bangkok, are still closed. But restaurants will be able to go back to serving alcohol and can offer dine-in services until 11pm.

The restrictions on restaurants are to be eased in all provinces except for Samut Sakhon. The easing of restrictions are set to be approved by a panel chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha tomorrow.

While restaurants will be able to serve alcohol and host music performances, dancing is still prohibited in provinces classified as “red zones” and “orange zones.” Restaurants must arrange place tables and chairs to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Bars, pubs and karaoke venues in “red zones,” which include Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani, must remain closed.

Police raided a party in Koh Pha Ngan and arrested 111 on charges of violating Covid-19 disease control measures under the Emergency Decree. Immigration police and tourist police raided the event at Three Sixty Bar, a venue on a hilltop near Mae Haad Beach on the island known for its amazing view.

Out of the 111 people arrested, 89 are foreigners and 20 are Thais. Police say 2 other people admitted to organising the party and were charged with colluding in operating an entertainment venue without permission. All 111 people were taken to the police station for legal action.

According to chief of Surat Thani immigration, police heard about party tickets being sold online. The bar wasn’t exactly discrete about hosting the event. Various posts were made on Facebook advertising the “360 Blast & Addict Party” with DJs on 2 dance floors, a music line up until 2am and a “Crazy Market” with clothes, jewelery and food.

Massage shops and spas as well as other similar venues in Chon Buri, including Pattaya, will be allowed to reopen after being closed for nearly a month due to strict Covid-19 control measures. Massage and spa workers gathered earlier this week, lobbying the government to allow their businesses to reopen.

Along with massage shops and spas, tattoo studios and beauty clinics are also allowed to reopen, but must abide by Covid-19 prevention measures like checking customers’ temperatures, supplying hand sanitiser and enforcing social distancing.

Gyms, pools, fitness centres, saunas and massage shops offering “soapy massages” are not included in the order.

Although Chon Buri has gone 6 consecutive days without a local Covid-19 case, it is still classified as a “red zone”, as of today.

A Covid-19 nasal swab test isn’t pleasant. Many will say the long stick inserted deep inside the nasal cavity feels like it’s hitting their brain.

But. Don’t worry, now there’s a new test… an anal swab test. And, they say, it’s more effective at detecting a coronavirus infection.

After a Covid-19 infection was detected at primary school in Beijing, more than 1,000 teachers, staff members and students were tested using the anal swab method as well as the usual nose and throat swab tests.

According to doctors, the alternative anal tests can “increase the detection rate” and is likely to be used more often. We’re sort of hoping the new test doesn’t catch on.

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Thai herb studied for alternative Covid-19 treatment

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Thai herb studied for alternative Covid-19 treatment | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Herb "Fah Talai Jone"

A study on the efficacy of a Thai herb for treating Covid-19 will move forward after a trial which alternative medicine officials say had promising results. Although, the trial was basic and only involved 6 people.

Initial results show that the herb “andrographis paniculata,” or “fah talai jone” in Thai, can improve patients’ conditions and relieve symptoms without major side effects.

The second phase of the study aims to confirm whether the herb is efficient and safe in treating the patients alongside standard treatment, according to the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine.

Following the new wave of infections last month, the department teamed up with Samut Prakan Hospital to launch a pilot study, but just on 6 patients. The 6 Covid-19 patients were given 180 grammes of the herb extracts each day. By the third day, their conditions of cough, sore throat, phlegm, runny nose, muscle pain, and headache had gradually improved.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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15,000 people in Samut Sakhon at high risk of infection, health officials concerned

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15,000 people in Samut Sakhon at high risk of infection, health officials concerned | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nikkei Asia

The rising number of infections in Samut Sakhon, most detected through proactive testing, has prompted serious concerns over a “high risk” group of 15,000 people, many who still work and travel as normal.

The number for the high risk group is a rough estimate based on the assumption that there are at least 3 people who came in close contact with each of the 5,000 infected people in Samut Sakhon.

Senior public health officer, Naretrith Katthaseema, says the amount of people at high risk is concerning and poses a challenge to health officials who are working to contain the coronavirus.

He also reiterates that health officials need full cooperation the public to help slow the spread of the virus. Agencies and all parties relating to the industrial factories with a large number of workers should take full responsibility to make sure that disease control measures and related laws are strictly practiced.

SOURCE: Thaivisa

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