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Thailand News Today – Wednesday, June 17

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Thailand News Today – Wednesday, June 17 | The Thaiger

Pattaya officials threaten bars masquerading as restaurants with closure

Following a number of inspections at various restaurants in the Pattaya area, police have cautioned venues not to pretend they’re restaurants when they’re actually just bars that have added some food.

In what may also serve as a warning to businesses in the rest of the country, Pattaya authorities are threatening some establishments with closure unless they tow the line.

Seems a lot of bars are now suddenly starting to serve up food as a way to ‘comply’ with the current restrictions.

The Permanent Secretary of Banglamung District, inspecting bar areas last night with police said such places would be shut down and fined, and would not be permitted to reopen until it is legal for bars and pubs to do so. There is currently no set date for such businesses to reopen although July 1 has been widely mooted.

Billions of baht thrown at domestic tourism

The Thai government is set to roll out its next stimulus packages next month – this time focussing on the tourism industry and a well-deserved perk for the country’s health volunteers who worked tirelessly during Thailand’s Covid-19 outbreak.

Out of the 3 packages, 2.4 billion baht will go to 1.2 million health volunteers and officials to fund holiday travel. Other stimulus packages will boost up the tourism industry and are set to run from July to October.

The Finance Ministry says 400 billion is going toward economic rehabilitation projects, the other 600 billion is planned to provide financial aid for people whose jobs took a hit from the pandemic as well as health-related plans.

Hua Hin bars request permission to reopen on trial basis

In what could set a precedent for the rest of the country, representatives of bar owners in Hua Hin, accompanied by the Mayor of Hua Hin, have submitted a request to authorities, requesting permission to reopen for a trial period.

The representation says that most other businesses have now been allowed to reopen, and that Hua Hin’s bars are promising to adhere to rigid hygiene and social distancing measures.

The seaside resort on the Gulf of Thailand has about 300 nightlife establishments, normally employing around 1,500 workers, all of whom are currently jobless.

The president of the Hua Hin Beer Club says all customers would be required to sign in and wear face masks, as well as observing social distancing rules. Bars and pubs have agreed they would close at 10pm during the trial period.

Expect a similar letter to be sent from bar and pub owners in Phuket and Pattaya.

Couple wins millions in lottery, husband’s age is the lucky number

Usually people hope just 1 of their lottery tickets will end up being a winner. A couple in Central Thailand had their lucky day when all 4 of their tickets came up trumps… a total of 24 million baht.

60 year old Bunruan and 67 year old Kumchai, both from Nakhon Sawan, went out looking for tickets. They specifically searched for tickets with the number 67, the husband’s age.

They were hoping for at least a 4,000 baht prize. Instead, each ticket won them 6 million baht!

The couple plan to donate a portion to help others, give some to their children who work in another province and use to purchase land for their retirement, which will be in the near future.

Grounded Thai pilot now does motorbike food deliveries

With many of the world’s international airlines grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, many in the aviation industry, including even pilots, have been forced to find other ways to make a living.

A Thai Lion Air co-pilot 42 year old Nakarin Inta now delivers orders in Bangkok for Line Man, a local food delivery, taxi, messenger and parcel app. For now, Nakarin has traded in the skies for a Scoopie.

“Some airline staff have been on leave without pay. And for most of us, income has been cut by more than 70%. I still have expenses every month, so I had to find something on my own.”

“I thought, I cannot just sit here and wait for help. I have to fight for my family. I have to do something.”

Now time for the weather with Ab….

(Weather)

Thailand’s air force will launch its first satellite this Friday, called Napa-1, it’s being launched in French Guyana in South America. But Thailand has already firm credentials in the area of launching rockets with the annual Bun Bang Fai festivals in Isaan. We’ll say goodbye today with just one of those launches… this one including a successful retrieval as well…. long before Elon Musk even thought of recycling rockets.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

When can we travel again? World Covid Travel Update | VIDEO

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When can we travel again? World Covid Travel Update | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Today we’ll look at the larger world travel picture in this Covid era, and then we’ll check the latest opportunities if you want to come back to Thailand for travel.

So when can we pack the bags and travel again? Well, in theory, right now. But in practice, depending where you’re coming from and where you want to go, that may still be very complicated… and remain so for at least the rest of this year. But some of the world’s travel so-called experts are now speaking in terms of months and not years. Whilst some of that might be optimistic travel industry spin, there may be some greater certainty on re-openings of some sectors of the world travel industry in the next few months.

But first, consider all the variables that need to fall into place for things to go smoothly..

Despite the roll out of various vaccines, and more on the way, some countries are more advanced in that process than others. The appearance of virus mutations could send all the best guesses for an improvement in travel opportunities into disarray. Whilst it seems the vaccines will be a great benefit for victims to avoid the worst ravages of Covid-19, there is still a long way to go to measure the longer term effects on the changes in transmission and community immunity.

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Thailand tourism sector seeks to reopen the country by July

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Thailand tourism sector seeks to reopen the country by July | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Alexandr Podvalny for Pexels

The following was submitted by Open Thailand Safely, a campaign pushing the Thai government to reopen Thailand to international tourism by July 2021.

Leading international tourism companies in Thailand have launched a campaign to reopen the country’s borders from 1 July 2021.

The #OpenThailandSafely campaign was launched 2 March with the support of over 15 major companies including YAANA Ventures, Minor Group, Asian Trails, Capella Hotels and Resorts, EXO and many others. (The full launch list is here)

The Open Thailand Safely campaign has laid out its arguments in a petition which will underpin a formal request to the Royal Thai Government to respond favourably to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination programmes underway in Europe, USA and other Thailand tourism source markets.

The petition is open to anyone in Thailand or around the world who would like to see the country reopen.

The campaign argues that 1 July is an appropriate date for five reasons: the majority of citizens in many source markets will have been vaccinated by then; it gives time to Thai medical authorities to vaccinate both front line staff in hospitality settings in Thailand and/or vulnerable citizens around the country; it gives international travellers time to make travel plans and bookings; the date gives time to airlines, hotels, tour operators and others to start marketing and sales and get ready for tourism operations to commence; and it will take Thailand at least a year, and maybe longer, to return to the large numbers of international visitors that it had before the Covid-19 crisis.

To ensure the safe reopening of Thailand, the petition argues that “international tourists can be asked to satisfy any safeguards the Thai Government may require. This may, for example, include showing officially recognised proof of a Covid-19 vaccination from their home country, purchasing health insurance, showing proof of a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure, and so on.”

#OpenThailandSafely was the initiative of leading Bangkok-based private sector travel companies YAANA Ventures, Minor Group and Asian Trails.

The CEO of YAANA Ventures, Willem Niemeijer [pictured right], said: “The 1 July reopening would be a strategic opportunity for Thailand to show a leadership role among Asian countries and prepare the way for a solid recovery of the Thai economy in 2022.”

In the coming days, the Open Thailand Safely campaign will also send the 1st July request to Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, and the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mr Yuthasak Supasorn.

According to the Bank of Thailand and official sources in Thailand, tourism, pre-Covid, was worth about 2.9 trillion baht (US$96.5 billion). Some 39.7 million international visitors in 2019 helped sustain up to 8.3 million jobs. However, arrivals fell to 6.7 million in 2020 making between two and four million people unemployed.

Meanwhile, destinations such as Seychelles, Maldives, Greece and Sri Lanka have either opened borders already or are in discussions to do so in light of successful Covid vaccine rollouts in their key source markets.

People can sign the petition for Thailand to reopen on 1 July at www.OpenThailandSafely.org.

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Thailand News Today | Dodgy vaccine doctor nabbed,Pattaya club raided for ‘explicit’ shows | March 3

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Thailand News Today | Dodgy vaccine doctor nabbed,Pattaya club raided for ‘explicit’ shows | March 3 | The Thaiger

The Bangkok Military Court has issued an arrest warrant for a Royal Thai Army medic who is accused of injecting troops with a fake Covid-19 vaccine. He reportedly made more than 100,000 baht by charging troops, who were on a UN mission, 500 baht each for a tetanus vaccine and a fake Covid-19 vaccine, which an internal army investigation determined was simple saline solution…. Harmless but not very effective.

The Thai Army held a press conference after the medic’s fake vaccine scam made headlines, saying the incident had tarnished the army’s image. The field medic, who was also a lieutenant, injected more than 250 Thai troops stationed in South Sudan on a UN peacekeeping mission with the fake vaccine, claiming it was the head doctor’s order. An Army spokesperson says the medic was in the Thai-South Sudan Horizontal Military Engineering Company and “is a serious disciplinary offence and also violates ethical standards as the wrongdoer is a doctor.”

The governor of the central province of Samut Sakhon is slowly recovering after more than 2 months battling Covid-19. Weerasak Wichitsangsri tested positive for the virus in late December and subsequently ended up on a ventilator for over 40 days. It’s understood Weerasak’s time on the ventilator was a record for the hospital and, at times, medics were unsure if he would recover.

Pattaya City Police inspected a nightclub after reports that the venue was hosting pornographic shows over the weekends. Although the nightclub, named as Dragon Man Club in Thai media, wasn’t presenting a sexually explicit show when officers dropped in, the owner was arrested for operating an entertainment business and selling alcohol without the proper permit.

The Thai government has approved a budget of over 6 billion baht to procure an additional 35 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The budget was approved at a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

The Covid-free gulf islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao are offering special discounts and privileges to tourists until the end of April. Over 80 tourism operators are taking part in the program.

In an act of good will, navy officials have rescued 4 cats from a ship that had caught fire and began to sink about 13 kilometres off Koh Adang in the southern province of Satun. The ship’s 8 member crew had jumped off the sinking vessel and were rescued by a passing fishing ship, but the cats were left onboard.

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