Thailand News Today | 800+ cases in Samut Sakhon, Countries block UK travel | Dec 21

Back in Bangkok for this week’s Thailand News Today, wondering if we’re going to be locked down again? All the latest news at

More than 800 Covid-19 cases now linked to seafood market

More than 800 Covid-19 cases are now linked to the Samut Sakhon province seafood market outbreak.

Up to the weekend the largest number of cases reported in one day in Thailand was 188 on March 22. That all changed yesterday when the CCSA announced some 689 cases associated with an outbreak involving migrant workers at one of the country’s busiest seafood industry hubs. A of the time of recording this program the number had reached 821 cases.

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Samut Sakhon is just south west of Greater Bangkok, fronting the Gulf of Thailand. Some 10,000 plus people are now being tested in a massive track and trace offensive. On Saturday, half the people tested were found to be positive for Covid 19. The majority have so far proven to be asymptomatic. Other cases were reported in Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Bangkok and Samut Prakan.

As of this morning, 723 Covid-19 cases were linked directly to the Mahachai Market in Samut Sakhon neighbouring Nakhon Pathom and Samut Songkhram.

The Department of Disease Control says that most of the cases involve Burmese migrant workers who worked in and around the Samut Sakhon coastal fishing markets. Worker camps in the province have been locked down, some surrounded with barbed wire.

The province is now under a nightly curfew that will last until at least January 3 and traffic in and out of the province has been restricted to urgent matters only.

Meanwhile the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority has closed down a number of Bangkok government schools, as a precaution, and suggested that workers work from home for the next 14 days. They’ve also cancelled this year’s New Year celebrations saying that they will only grant New Year events on a case by case basis and only if they have the correct safety protocols in place.

At this morning’s CCSA update, when asked if the lockdowns could spread to neighbouring provinces, including Bangkok, the spokesperson simply answered… “It hasn’t happened yet”

The Thaiger will keep you up to date with any important changes in this story at

Bangkok’s commercial property market struggles through 2020

This year Thailand’s developers had to work around the effects of government lockdowns and restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed significant changes have occurred to the commercial property market in Thailand. In commercial office space, the vacancy rate has increased from 6.9% at the end of last year to 8.9% as of Q3 2020.

In retail, the consumer confidence index also fell to its lowest point in 20 years in April 2020 but has improved a bit in recent months. Household debt is up to 83.8% of the country’s total GDP, increasing from 78.9% last year.

In the hotel industry the average occupancy rate dropped to as low as 6.7% in April after the country went into lockdown but managed to recover slightly to 13.7% in Q3, solely relying on ‘staycation’ travel.

New Covid-19 variant prompts many countries to stop travel from the UK

A new strain of the Covid-19 coronavirus is quickly spreading in southern England and prompted a number of countries to ban travel from the United Kingdom. Other nations are mulling similar restrictions, including Thailand.

The new coronavirus variant is said to spread up to 70% more quickly than before. British PM Boris Johnson placed London and southeastern England on a Tier 4 lockdown. Yesterday, the UK reported a record high of daily Covid-19 cases with 35,928 new cases.

At this stage, Thailand has not announced travel restrictions from the UK. All international arrivals still must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine before travelling in Thailand.

Here’s some of the countries that have set some sort of travel restrictions on UK travellers so far…

Canada, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Bulgaria and Switzerland.

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