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There is no date for the reopening of general tourism in Thailand, except Phuket

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There is no date for the reopening of general tourism in Thailand, except Phuket | Thaiger

Deputy government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul says Thailand will not be “fully reopened to foreign tourists” along the lines of Phuket’s “safe and sealed” model, because the government and CCSA has to consider too many details. Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, is going to be a pilot program for the partial re-opening to any tourist that wants to visit – but with plenty of conditions and restrictions.

The spokesperson added that the government must consider many factors “…including guidelines, screening processes and measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19”.

“Phuket residents and Thai tourists can rest assured that no steps to reopen the country have been taken and that utmost precaution will be taken when borders are reopened”, she said in Nation Thailand.

For the Phuket pilot program, tourists (assuming they can find a flight to the island) will arrive at the Phuket International Airport, and then travel to their accommodation (a hotel that has been registered and approved by the Thai government) for 14 day quarantine. They will be restricted to a 1 kilometre radius of the hotel, according to the early announcements about the program. After the 2 weeks in their 1-kilometre-radius quarantine, the guests will be free to roam around Phuket, and then beyond if they choose after another 7 days. The early conditions also stipulated a minimum stay of 30 days and that entry will also only be limited to tourists from risk-free countries (whatever that means).

The program was meant to start on October 1 although there has been no firm announcement made where the full details have been laid out. As recent history has shown, early proposals sometimes don’t pan out into fully detailed announcements.

There had been speculation in foreign media this week that the “Phuket Model” was a blueprint for the re-introduction fo tourism across all of Thailand. That information was incorrect.

Thai Airways have also announced this week that they’ll re-introduce flights in November. The charter flights will fly direct from Denmark, Germany, England, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong to Phuket International Airport. Thai Airways is set to start the flights by the “end of November”, according to their Wednesday announcement, although the start of the Safe & Sealed campaign in Phuket is meant to start on October 1.

No other airlines have made general announcements about the reintroduction of flights back into Phuket, although many of the domestic airlines have international offshoots that would be able to “ramp up” quite quickly as they’ve already been flying domestically for the past 2 months.

Meanwhile, the next two categories of foreigner to be able to re-enter Thailand, is now being considered by the CCSA. This time, foreigners with permanent residences, who have been stranded overseas for the past 6 months, and long-term foreign residents (retirement visa), will receive priority.

The chairman of the CCSA’s panel, who oversee the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, announced that they will recommend these two groups of foreigners to be allowed back into Thailand “as they have high purchasing power”.

Both groups would still have to undergo the mandatory state-controlled 14 day quarantine. It’s under the quarantine that so many Thai repatriates have been found to have Covid-19 during the series of tests they undergo.

There has been no official date announced.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 10:32 am

    They have to scrap this 14 day rule for the Phuket plan to work. Test and trace at each end is enough. Just make Phuket a quarantine island, like a reception for people to travel onwards to other quarantined tourist sites like Samui.

  2. Avatar

    Eddie

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 10:39 am

    This kind of plan is never gonna work… minimum 30 days? I wonder how many people have 30 days of holiday per year. And around the globe many countries are reopening for tourism, Thailand WILL NOT be considered anymore and Thais will suffer…

    • Avatar

      R

      Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 11:38 am

      Thai residents can’t afford 2nd lockdown just to please tourists!!!
      Why Do Thai residents have to be put at risk for Covid infected?

      Obviously you’re not thai!

      • Avatar

        Nipral

        Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 11:59 am

        @R : You are probably Thai which explains how narrow your perspective is !
        Your country will die as your only resource is tourism should you like it or not.
        Tourists have a wealth of alternatives to choose from, you dont have any
        but tourism.
        Take the exemple of Greece. Smart and utterly successful re-opening this summer
        with very few restrictions and almost no constraints.

      • Avatar

        Preesy Chepuce

        Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 12:22 pm

        Thai health system can’t afford a collapsed economy and rioting and crime caused by needlessly closed down tourism economy. Risk to Thai residents is minimal of tested tourists returning to one island.

      • Avatar

        Bobby m

        Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 1:13 pm

        You are obviously either supported by western money or in a well paid secure job. Millions are not and are starving

  3. Avatar

    Nipral

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 11:52 am

    The Thai government should have learned that the “high end” tourists they aim at
    hardly spend more than 4-5 nights at the same place. The “long term ” tourists are
    back packers, retired or jobless people. Thailand needs them too but luxury hotels
    and retailers, restaurants, yacht rentals, airlines, airports, real estate industry
    need more and so do their hundreds thousands employees who are starving at present.
    In any case either they open with no or few restrictions now or they die. Very simple !
    Also they could be inspired by some utterly successful re-openings like Greece, another country heavily relying on tourism.
    relying on tourism.

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      Not just Greece, Spain and Portugal too.
      Most Mediterranean and southern countries benefit from tourism.

    • Avatar

      Annie

      Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 9:15 pm

      Who do they think will come?
      They want our money and yet they want to treat us like criminals!
      I am from Sweden and I can tell that this corona-19 threat is extremely blown out of proportion. The only ones who are in any danger is the ones that normally, of obvious reasons, can’t handle a normal flu. We are all going abroad our byssies as usual.
      Me and my husband were going to Thailand on holiday, as usual this November. But we will definitely under no circumstances let us be so humiliated.
      It’s really sad that the Thai government let the low income natives suffer. No jobs, no income…
      My hart bleed for the Thai people.

  4. Avatar

    Graham Walker

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Yeah sounnds like a prison holiday, if you can actually get to the island on a direct flight ??
    I noted that retirees are now on the list to be able to come to Thailand, not a big help for me now that my visa has expired, guess I might get to stay in my house sometime 2021 ?

  5. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Unless it’s to see loved ones or handle business affairs, why would anyone pay large sums to be subjected to restrictions and conditions and wander the streets of a ghost town? I would not spend more money to get less in return.

  6. Avatar

    james

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Spain, Greece etc opened their doors to tourism and now the number of virus cases has doubled and those countries are now included in the list of countries where tourists then have to stay isolated at home for two weeks when returning to their own counties.

    A few weeks ago I drove from Kathu to Patong, onto Karon and Kata Beach, then up to the viewpoint.

    I drove a circle of 45kms and everything is like a ghost town, after seven months in Phuket I am now back in the UK.

    All the hotel workers etc in Phuket have returned home to their own areas in Thailand, the locals who work in Phuket Town, etc do not want people from overseas infecting them until an inoculation drug is working.

    Why should people in Phuket be put at risk?

  7. Avatar

    TJ

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    If all the anxiety and doomsaying in this and threads like it are any indication, Thailand will have no shortage of people banging on the gates demanding to be let in right up to the day they open.

    I feel like a lot of the folks who don’t want foreigners in are the older people who don’t rely on the tourist economy for subsistence, especially those who feel Phuket has been the most recent Thai victim of overtourism. Most folks in their 20s-40s are struggling, have tuition bills the Thai government won’t subsidize, and would like to see a return of foreign money into the LOS.

  8. Avatar

    Mongoose

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Yes another clueless idear by a government with there head in the clouds

  9. Avatar

    ราตรี สุวรรณเกตุ

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 10:22 am

    อ่านดูแล้วเหมือนประเทศไทยศิวิไลมากมีแต่นักท่องเที่ยวอยากเข้ามา แต่สำหรับฉันแล้วคิดว่าถ้าประเทศไม่เปิดและมีข้อจำกัดมากมาย นักท่องเที่ยวหายไปประเทศอื่นแน่นอน.

    • Avatar

      Byron Sterling

      Monday, August 31, 2020 at 11:27 pm

      ประเทศไทยจะขอให้นักท่องเที่ยวเดินทางกลับ แต่อาจจะต้องตรวจสอบให้แน่ใจว่าได้อำนวยความสะดวกในการดำเนินการเกี่ยวกับวีซ่าที่ยุ่งยากและราคาแพงเกินไปสำหรับนักท่องเที่ยวที่อยู่เป็นเวลานาน นอกจากนี้ยังใช้กับนักท่องเที่ยวที่เรียกว่ารวยเป็นที่ต้องการอย่างมาก ถึงเวลาเปลี่ยนการตั้งค่าสยาม ชาม!

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

AstraZeneca will remain Thailand’s primary vaccine, insists Health Minister

Maya Taylor

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AstraZeneca will remain Thailand’s primary vaccine, insists Health Minister | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

The Health Minister insists the AstraZeneca vaccine will remain Thailand’s primary Covid-19 jab, despite concerns over rare side-effects. Some countries have suspended its use, while Denmark is the first country in Europe to abandon it completely. However, Anutin Charnvirakul says it’s up to each country to make their own decisions and Thailand is pressing ahead with the jab.

“There are many factors for each country whether to use or not use the vaccine. But we have expertise to closely monitor the vaccine information. We base decisions on scientific knowledge, not news. If something happens, we will let the public know. Please do not worry about it.”

Thailand is ordering vaccines from a limited number of manufacturers, primarily AstraZeneca and China’s Sinovac Biotech. According to a Bangkok Post report, the Kingdom is purchasing 71 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab and 2 million doses of CoronaVac, the vaccine from Sinovac. The rollout is expected to begin in June, with health officials aiming to inoculate 35 million people (half the population) by the end of the year.

However, the challenge will be gaining the public’s trust, as countries around the world express concerns about the very rare risk of blood clots that appears to be associated with adenovirus vector vaccines, such as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. The single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is the third vaccine to be approved for emergency use in Thailand, but the US has just suspended its use following a number of blood clot incidents similar to the AstraZeneca cases.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation and the European Medicines Agency insist the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks of very rare blood clots. In the UK, the vaccine has been widely administered as the country sets its sights on achieving herd immunity, with Anutin pointing out that infections there have dropped considerably.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Alcohol sales may be banned in restaurants, but no lockdown for now

Maya Taylor

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Alcohol sales may be banned in restaurants, but no lockdown for now | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูล COVID-19

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry says it believes a lockdown is currently unnecessary, despite a record 1,543 new Covid-19 infections yesterday. Of those, only 3 were imported. However, Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul says the government is confident it can control the spread of the virus without having to lock down the country.

“We have seen no point in imposing a lockdown for the time being. The (current) cycle of disease has only been 2 weeks and we have had good cooperation from all stakeholders. What we need to see now is less mobility. If we can do it, we will definitely see a declining number of new infections by next month.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, officials are proposing to group the entire country into “red” and “orange” provinces in order to determine the extent of disease control measures needed. It’s understood that the following 18 provinces will be designated “red” (maximum control) provinces: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nonthaburi, Songkhla, Tak, Udon Thani, Suphan Buri, Sa Kaeo, Rayong and Khon Kaen.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration will meet today to discuss a number of proposed restrictions, which will apply to varying degrees across the country. In red provinces, it’s likely that restaurants will be required to close by 9pm, and 11pm in the rest of the country. There is also a proposal to ban the sale of alcohol in restaurants everywhere.

Parties and gatherings of more than 50 people will also be banned. The government will be asked to close schools and universities, with students reverting to online learning. If the measures are approved at today’s meeting, they will be in force until at least the end of the month.

Anutin says there will be no ban on travel around the country, but provincial officials will be able to implement their own measures at their discretion.

“We only suggest that people who visited home for the Songkran festival should work from home at their hometown for 2 weeks. Full-time wearing of facemasks is also a must when getting outside.”

While infections in this latest wave of Covid-19 are more widespread and numbers are rising faster than with previous outbreaks, Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam says the government must balance disease prevention measures with the country’s economic recovery. The Bangkok Post reports that he declined to speculate on whether the planned re-opening to foreign tourism would go ahead on time.

NOTE: a meeting of the CCSA this afternoon at 4pm will decide to upgrade its list of red zone provinces or to add or remove restrictions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

New red zone map shows where restrictions may apply after this afternoon’s CCSA meeting

Tim Newton

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New red zone map shows where restrictions may apply after this afternoon’s CCSA meeting | Thaiger

This new map is up for discussion today when the CCSA meets today. 18 provinces are to be designated as red zones. The amount of red zones may changes as well after this morning’s CCSA update on new infections. The CCSA will meet later this afternoon, chaired by the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

According to some early notes on the upgraded restrictions which are almost certainly going to be announced today, restaurants will be able to stay open until 9pm in the red provinces and until 11:00pm in the orange provinces. Bars, karaoke bars, massage places, must not sell liquour and cannot drink in restaurants in every province. Schools will stay closed.

The map cuts a red swathe through the north east, and the north west areas of the country, and some provinces around Bangkok, including Bangkok,.

The red zones, as of now, include…
1. Bangkok
2. Chiang Mai
3. Chon Buri
4. Samut Prakan
5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
6. Samut Sakhon
7. Pathum Thani
8. Nakhon Pathom
9. Phuket
10. Nakhon Ratchasima
11. Nonthaburi
12. Songkhla
13. Tak
14. Udon Thani
15. Suphanburi
16. Sa Kaeo
17. Rayong
18. Khon Kaen

The list of red zones may be updated after this morning’s CCSA meeting, and in coming days. The list of restrictions applied may also vary across provinces. Governors have a certain level of flexibility when applying and enforcing restrictions.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s mercurial Public Health Minister says he is “confident” the Kingdom can overcome the current Covid-19 crisis without imposing a nationwide lockdowns.

“We have seen no point in imposing a lockdown” for the time being.

He says that the current cycle of the new infections has only been 2 weeks and the Health Ministry has had good cooperation from all stakeholders.

“What we need to see now is less mobility. If we can do it, we will definitely see a declining number of new covid-19 infections by next month.”

NOTE: These zonings and list of possible restrictions are NOT final until announcements made following this afternoon’s CCSA meeting.

New red zone map shows where restrictions may apply after this afternoon's CCSA meeting | News by Thaiger

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