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Thailand News Today – Monday, June 8

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Thailand News Today – Monday, June 8 | The Thaiger
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7 new Covid-19 cases reported in Thailand

7 new confirmed cases of the Covid-19 in Thailand today. All 7 were reported as Thai nationals who were recently repatriated from aboard.

• 2 were students returning from Pakistan

• 3 were masseuse returning from the UAE

• The other was a Thai woman returning from the US

Today marks the second week, with no new cases of Covid-19 transmitted locally. The Thai Government, however, says their current target is to reach a full 2 virus incubation periods – 28 days – with no cases spread locally until they feel secure in the country’s lack of a-symptomatic carriers.

Police officer faces scrutiny after flying helicopter onto temple grounds

A high-ranking tourist police officer landed the department’s helicopter at a famous Buddhist temple in Southern Thailand.

The senior regional officer for the Tourism Police Bureau parked the helicopter inside the compound of the Wat Chedi in Sichon, a district in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The officer is going to be transferred to Tourist Police HQ after photos of the helicopter parked at the temple were posted on a Facebook page. The temple responded, saying that the police officer was there to monitor safety and coronavirus prevention measures. It’s unclear why he needed a helicopter for that and he couldn’t have arrived by one of those normal car things.

The temple is highly revered by local people in the area.

Bangkok cinema closed after breaking social distancing rules

Clearly violating social distancing guidelines, fans on Friday jam-packed in front of Major Cineplex at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon mall for an event to see two popular Thai actors.

The cinema was ordered to close for 3 days for breaking the coronavirus prevention rules stipulating that cinemas would have to follow social distancing rules and wear facemarks like all other businesses.

The cinema was hosting a meet-and-greet with two actors to promote the new Thai drama “End of Love.” Photos of the event show hundreds of people crowded together with zero attention to social distancing.

Meanwhile at Bang Saen Beach…

The mayor of Saen Suk municipality in Chon Buri has posted a warning on his Facebook page saying that Bang Saen beach could face another closure if tourists fail to comply with safety measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections. The beach was re-opened last Wednesday, closed the next day because of the hordes of crowds and re-opened again on Friday. The mayor said…

“If tourists continue to violate health measures, closure can be enforced once again.”

Maybe the mayor needs to spend 5 minutes in Bangkok seeing what happens on the BTS and MRT public transport systems.

Beer delivery company hit with 50,000 baht fine for violating Alcohol Control Act

A craft beer delivery company says it’s been fined 50,000 baht for allegedly violating Thailand’s Alcohol Beverage Control Act.

Posting on its Facebook page, Beervana says it wants to warn other companies and is also petitioning for the law to be abolished, claiming it’s hurting businesses that are already struggling during the Covid-19 crisis.

Under the act, suppliers are forbidden from promoting particular brands of alcohol, posting branded bottles or glasses, giving alcohol away for free, issuing invitations to try a particular alcoholic product or using celebrities to endorse alcohol brands. The act has been around since 2008 but sporadically enforced.

Finance Ministry looking at 3,000 baht ‘travel bank’ in next stimulus round

The Finance Ministry is looking at giving domestic tourists a 3,000 baht ‘travel bank’ to deduct off the cost of participating hotels, restaurants and tourism attractions.

This time the restaurants, hospitality options and attractions will need to register for the service while the users won’t need to register. They can’t cash in the credit, just use it on goods and services with registered businesses.

It is hoped the new scheme will help tourism-related businesses re-open and service some domestic tourism before the borders are re-opened for international tourists some time later. International borders remain closed to scheduled international flights and tourism until at least the start of July.

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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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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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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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