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Thailand News Today – Monday, June 15

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Thailand News Today – Monday, June 15 | The Thaiger
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No new cases of Covid-19, either locally transmitted or imported from overseas, in the past 24 hours.

Up to 1,000 foreigners per day with smart phone tracking – plan to open Thailand up to foreigners

Foreigners from low-risk countries will be allowed to enter the country and travel in so-called “travel bubbles” without going through the 14 day quarantine period.

Well that’s the good news. They’ll be tracked through a smart phone application to make sure they stay in their “bubble” and will not be permitted just to travel any where they want.

Countries considered ‘low risk’ at this stage could include Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan and perhaps Singapore and China…. But it’s just speculation until the ideas are considered and announcements made after a meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

In the proposal, only 1,000 people would be able to enter the country per day, basically the equivalent of 3 – 5 plane-loads. In the proposal, the foreigners allowed in the country initially will be those entering for business purposes and patients seeking medical treatment.

Covid-19 screening tests will be required both before the visitors leave their countries and upon arriving in Thailand.

The plan has faced criticism as Thais returning home from overseas still face a 14 day quarantine while the plan proposes that certain foreigners won’t have to go through quarantine.

Thailand enters Phase 4 of re-opening, curfew lifted

From today, 95% of Thailand’s businesses have been given permission to reopen as the country enters Phase 4 of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

But nightlife establishments such as pubs, bars and karaoke venues remain closed, and the ban on international arrivals remains in force, with exceptions for repatriated Thais. and foreigners who hold work permits.

The national curfew has been lifted and restaurants are once again allowed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.

Here’s a quick list of businesses allowed to re-open today….

• Conference and exhibition centres, training events or seminars, concert venues, cinemas, banquet halls and dance halls.

• Government buildings being used to host conferences and training events.

• Schools that have fewer than 120 pupils. The reopening of government schools is planned for July 1.

• Amusement parks, water parks and playgrounds with the exception of bouncy castles and ball pits.

• Sports venues can reopen but without spectators, but events can be televised.

• For restaurants that sell alcohol, promotional events such as happy hours are not permitted, nor is the use of alcohol hostesses or “beer girls”.

• Buses are permitted to be up to 70% full and airlines are not required to leave every second seat empty, provided passengers wear masks for the duration of the flight.

Airbnb bookings rise by 13% as domestic travel restrictions in Thailand eased

Airbnb Thailand has reported a 13% increase in domestic bookings year-on-year, as travel restrictions across the country are lifted and Thais and expats begin to move around more.

Domestic holiday markets in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea are also reporting similar increases. Airbnb says that between June 5-7, and for the first time since February, the company recorded a global increase in bookings.

In Thailand, the most popular destinations in the last month include Pattaya, Hua Hin, Petchaburi and big cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Ranong slot machine. ATM glitch gives customers 10 times more cash.

An ATM in southern Thailand turned into a very generous slot machine as lucky customers were getting 10 times the amount they had asked to withdrew.

One person withdrew 2,700 baht, but the machine handed out 27,000. Another withdrew 1,200 baht and got 12,000.

Some people filed a report and handed the money immediately over to Ranong police over the weekend. Others may have figured it was their lucky day and pocketed the cash. The Siam Commercial Bank, SCB, is asking people to return the extra cash, or there will be consequences, saying they have the CCTV and records of the withdrawals to be able to track down dishonest customers.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    paul scott

    June 15, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Who in their right mind would come to Thailand at the moment with its insane burqa and social distancing rules?

  2. Avatar

    Clyde James

    June 16, 2020 at 12:12 am

    Today Thai Authorities stated that Thai family’s foreign spouses and children stranded abroad will be allowed to return to Thailand under special care and administrative procedures that are currently being worked out. A large number of foreign spouses request to be allowed to travel from all countries regardless of the country’s infection rate. This can be done safely utilizing the procedures established during the repatriation of Thai citizens from all rejoins of the world. Of course, the foreigners will pay for all of these special processing procedures, and whatever other bells and whistles may be attached.
    Once these stranded foreign spouses and children numbers decline, unmarried retired and longtime foreign residents applying to come in from infected areas could be processed in the same manner.
    Of course, this will only be possible once repatriation flights of Thai citizens cease, and international flights are re-established between Thailand and other countries. Initially, a limited quota would be required to prevent overloading processing staff and quarantine facilities.
    However, once the processing of these Thai spouses and children-travelers from infected countries is proven safe and manageable, it could be expanded to safely include Tourists from highly infected areas. Such processing procedures may become the new norm for contagious flare-ups of the disease.

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Thailand

Thailand growing more expensive for expats

Jack Burton

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Thailand growing more expensive for expats | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Business Traveller

According to Employment Conditions Abroad, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are among the 30 most expensive cities for expats in Asia. The capital of Turkmenistan might not spring to mind when with considering the priciest cities, but according to ECA International it ranks first on both the global and Asian tables, a 5 point rise up the rankings due to an ongoing economic crisis, food shortages and the resulting hyperinflation.

The survey is performed in March and September every year, based on a basket of items such as rents and utility fees. Car prices and school fees are not included.

In Asia, Bangkok ranks 28th, just above Chiang Mai, according to the latest ECA International survey on the cost of living for expatriates. But it dropped out of the top 50 global rankings from the report released in December 2019. In global rankings, Bangkok is now at 60 and Chiang Mai at 142. Bangkok has lost a good deal of its former appeal for budget-conscious travellers and expatriates, rising 64 places over the past 5 years, according to the survey.

ECA says a rapidly expanding economy and increased foreign investment, at least, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, made Thailand more expensive, fuelled by the strengthening baht.

“The baht has strengthened considerably, making the country more expensive for expatriates and tourists. However, this trend has slowed over the past year, partly in response to government attempts to weaken the baht in order to keep the country competitive.”

Hong Kong is the second most expensive city in Asia after Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), but ahead of Tokyo and Singapore. Singapore is rated the most expensive place for expats in Southeast Asia and has led that ranking for many years.

Hong Kong remains sixth in the global standings, 1 place ahead of the Japanese capital. Singapore was fourteenth in Asia, dropping 2 notches from the previous survey.

Ashgabat’s sudden rise to the top of the is largely attributable to the economic dilemmas of Turkmenistan’s government, according to ECA. The energy-rich Central Asian nation faces severe inflation, and a black market for foreign currencies has caused the cost of imports to rise. Both factors have sparked a large increase in the costs visitors pay.

The ECA says Chinese cities fell across the board due to signs of a weakening economy and poorly performing currency, even before Covid-19 began taking its toll.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

90 minute Covid-19 test at BKK being tested

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90 minute Covid-19 test at BKK being tested | The Thaiger

A Covid-19 test that takes about 90 minutes. This is a new ‘outside the box’ way at bringing people back into Thailand and checking them before they go through Immigration. The new ‘rapid’ tests were unveiled today at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The new tests would be offered for overseas arrivals as the Thai government wrestles with the desire to reboot the tourism economy vs avoiding a second wave of the coronavirus.

Tourists have been locked out of the Kingdom since March and only this week saw the blanket ban lifted and a first phase of selected foreign tourists allowed to visit. Last year tourism accounted for about 11% of Thailand’s GDP, reaching nearly 40 million visitors.

Now, business travellers, diplomats and guests of the Thai government, visiting for less than 14 days, will be considered “fast-track travellers”. They are to be swab tested at Thailand’s main international airport entry points to ensure they are Covid-19-free before entry.

Suwich Thammapalo, an official of the Department of Disease Control, believes that the ‘rapid’ tests could be rolled out to use for other arrivals and tourists in the months to come.

But, no surprise, the test would cost 3,000 baht. The cost would be carried by passengers who wanted fast-track entry without spending 14 days in quarantine. It’s also required for other foreigners who have already been arriving – people with resident status or have a family in Thailand, plus international students.

Today the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced they are looking at a plan to open up the travel gates with reciprocal “travel bubble” arrangements with selected countries in September.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hospital director proposes importing overseas Covid-19 patients for treatment

Jack Burton

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Hospital director proposes importing overseas Covid-19 patients for treatment | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English

With the Covid-19 situation in Thailand apparently well in hand (there have been no locally transmitted cases for well over a month), a hospital director in Bangkok is proposing flying in patients from abroad for treatment at his hospital. The director of Mongkutwattana Hospital is considering medical flights to bring international Covid-19 cases to the hospital for treatment, in an effort to stimulate the economy.

In a Facebook post, Dr Rienthong Nanna said flights would carry 60 passengers and be specially adapted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outside the cabin. Under his proposal, the hospital would act as a state quarantine facility, caring for foreign patients until they are certified virus-free and allowed to travel in Thailand as tourists.

The proposal has the support of several clinics that treat international patients. Accommodation providers who want to collaborate with the hospital to prepare medical flights and state quarantine are invited to contact the director of Mongkutwattana Hospital’s office.

The Ministry of Public Health Ministry has not announced whether Thailand will consider accepting Covid-19 patients from overseas.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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