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Thailand News Today | Everyone welcome, Golf quarantine approved, 775M for Pattaya | December 9

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All countries welcome – Thailand open for business

Come one, come all. You’re all welcome back. In response to the dismally low take-up of the Special Tourist Visa, the Thai government has U-turned on a stipulation that only those from “low-risk” countries can apply to re-enter the Kingdom. 

The special tourist visa is now available to all, regardless of the Covid-19 situation in their country. But, before you get too excited, all arrivals will still have to subject themselves to the mandatory 14 day quarantine, at your cost.

Since the STV was launched, only 825 visitors from 29 countries have applied, and just 6 foreign-registered yachts availing of the visa. 

PM says Thailand is not heading into a second wave of Covid-19

The slight easing of conditions attached to the STV comes as Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha dismisses suggestions that Thailand is about to experience a second wave of the virus.

Concerns have been mounting among the general public in parts of northern Thailand and in Bangkok, since it was revealed a number of Thais had illegally re-entered the country from Myanmar, bypassing quarantine and health checks, only to subsequently test positive for the virus.

Thailand now has 39 cases of Covid-19 that can be traced back to a hotel and entertainment complex in the Burmese border town of Tachileik.

25 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine including 7 returning from Myanmar

25 new Covid-19 cases have been detected in quarantine in the past 24 hours including 7 Thai women who worked in that infamous entertainment venue in Myanmar. 

Other cases were arrivals from Kuwait, Switzerland, Russia, Sweden, the US, South Korea and Libya.

Thailand’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is raised to 4,151 with 3,880 recoveries and 60 deaths. 211 people are currently receiving medical treatment for the coronavirus. 25 new cases in one day is the highest tally for 24 hours since April 25 this year.

Foreign tourists can now spend the 14-day quarantine at a golf course

Another piece of slightly good news, especially if you need to work on your golf swing? Come to Thailand and spend the mandatory 14-day quarantine at a golf course.

The Thai Cabinet has now officially approved the “golf course quarantine” and the measure will be published in the Royal Gazette today.

Golfers will need to abide by Thailand’s coronavirus prevention measures, like social distancing, while playing rounds. Thailand’s public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul just happens to own the Rancho Charnvee Resort Country Club in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

775 million baht earmarked for revival of Pattaya tourism industry

Officials in Pattaya are planning 2 business promotion schemes, at a combined cost of 775 million baht, with hopes of reviving the city’s decimated tourism industry.

The proposals consist of 32 projects, which will be developed over the next 3 financial years. The funds for this fiscal year have already been assigned.

Pattaya has been particularly hard hit with the effects of the lockdowns and border closures with only a smattering of local tourists, a core of expats and some weekend traffic keeping the city alive. Hundreds of businesses have already closed… many will never re-open.

Projects include a scenic tower, landscape improvements, a pier maintenance centre and pier and footbridge at Hat Tien beach. 

There are also plans for a 5-storey car park, to include a botanical garden with sky-walk, and a viewing tower budgeted at 96 million baht. 

Shaken but not stirred – Miss Thailand contestants get an unplanned swim

Luckily no one was hurt but these Miss Thailand beauty queens ended up with an unscheduled dunking whilst parading for the cameras in Chiang Mai.

A video captures the face-masked girls, all dressed up in the day’s casual uniform, posing for the cameras and the the moment a bridge snaps, plunging the 30 smiling, but bemused, Miss Thailand contestants into a dirty pond.  3 of the girls were injured, with 1 suffering cuts and bruises on her forehead. 2 others ended up with minor scrapes. They were all pulled out and rushed to the hospital for a quick checkup but were discharged by Monday evening.

The whole moment was caught on camera on Monday morning as part of the second day of the competition in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The contestants visited a cafe to pose for pictures on a suspension bridge constructed from ropes connected to a steel walkway. The engineer for the bridge was unlikely to ever have considered 30 fit young ladies all standing on the bridge at the same time.

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But the printed white T-shirts ended up as part of a spontaneous wet T-shirt competition.

But their combined weight sent them them all crashing into the water below.

The 43 year old owner of the restaurant, and proud owner of the previously pretty little suspension bridge, promised to cover all the treatment costs for the injured ladies. He donated 500,000 baht to cover their medical bills.

”I’ll also pay for the other contestants to have their dresses cleaned professionally. I don’t know why the bridge broke. It is strong, but it just could not handle the weight of the women. In the future, we will make improvements to the bridge to be even stronger.”

The remaining 27 pageant hopefuls will continue on their campaigns for the Miss Thailand crown, but 3 will be sitting it out as they recover from their “interruption”. They will be back in action, no doubt smiling and waving, later today.

Dr. Adisorn Suddee, director of the Miss Thailand 2020 event said that the contest is normally held in Bangkok.

“This time we chose Chiang Mai and we were confident that it would be safe and secure. This was the second day of the contest, and it was unexpected that the bridge would break.”

Whilst the format has lost favour in the west, beauty pageants are a booming industry in Thailand, with events held regionally and nationally throughout the year. There’s even a Miss Tiffany pageant for transgender women which is highly popular in the Land of Smiles.

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