Connect with us

Trials and tribulations 3. Returning to Thailand in the Covid era – on the home straight

Thaiger

Published

 on 

by David Jackson

Monday morning and I’m on the home straight assuming I pass my final Covid test that I took yesterday morning. The situation hasn’t been too bad over the weekend as I was allowed outside into the hotel’s garden area for 40 minutes each day. On Saturday the threat of rain caused the nurse to request my early return to my hotel room, presumably the paranoia of any possible illness caused her some consternation; luckily the rain didn’t materialise and I stayed outside, I am a Brit… rain happens!

It certainly feels good on the eyes to see infinity and to finally observe people going about their daily business in the adjacent street whilst safely socially distanced at 300m. The garden area here in this hotel is full of flowers and small trees so I have modified my room race track into an outside one although, regrettably, my times for ten laps are actually getting longer.

You can read David’s first and second articles about his time in quarantine.

Every Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) Hotel is paired with a local hospital and the nurses keep a good eye on you via the Line app. Every morning and night you have to report your temperature and they especially enjoy asking about your stools… welcome to Thailand. Incidentally, and most definitely not in any way related to the previous statement, there has been plenty of fruit and vegetables provided in both the Thai and Farang meals.

I have been asked to go into greater detail about the processes involved in the home country prior to embarkation. I must make a disclaimer here since I imagine systems and procedures will be changing rapidly, but this was my process. I have not included costings because this would depend upon the point of origin and many other factors.

The flight for me was booked via Thai Airways although the initiator of the paperwork for this flight was, in my case the Royal Thai Embassy in London. I eventually managed to book an ASQ myself after some stress because I was convinced there were not initially enough available.

In my case I did not need a visa since I already had a work permit and my exit/re-entry visa from a few months ago was still valid. The embassy will then issue you with a Certificate of Entry document so they know exactly when you are arriving in order to arrange the welcome committee (see my first article from last week). Incidentally I did everything online and there are some excellent staff at this embassy who really are working way beyond their remit so treat them well because they sincerely want to facilitate your return.

So, you now have a date and confirmed flight so stage two needs to begin. For me, I needed an additional insurance although I imagine many repatriates will already be covered, the key statement which should be shown on the certificate is Covid Cover to USD 100,000 and the welcome party will scrutinise this piece of paper so make sure it is bona fide. I used a Thai company via an agent and this contract was efficiently turned around in less than 48 hours.

The final two products are time specific. A ‘free of covid’ certificate undertaken via the PCR (aka. swab-up-nose) method plus fit-to-fly certificate. The rules are a validity of 72 hours prior to checking in for the flight and the embassy eventually confirmed a revised statement of 72 hours from the result and date of the certificate, not when the swab was taken. For me my covid test certificate was dated one day too early yet the doctor writing the fit-to-fly was happy to write a statement confirming the Covid test and dated it all within the 72 hour period.

This is what you need in specific order (excluding visa)…

  1. Flight
  2. Hotel
  3. Insurance
  4. Certificate of Entry (free from Thai embassy)
  5. Covid Free Certificate
  6. Fit to Fly certificate, or letter from a doctor (online in my case)

It was not cheap so do your maths; I have a job here in Thailand and certainly did not want to let down my boss, colleagues and students, so I 100% had to return. I personally do not think any of this is sustainable long term since the process which I followed, plus the 15 days lack of freedom, are brutal. Nevertheless, the hotels have done a grand job at making this happen so I imagine there will be some reverse pressure to maintain the 14 day quarantine for the time being if only to recoup some of this investment.

What an incredibly difficult year. The world is in a mess; we have virtually overnight destroyed the numerous transhumance systems created over many years to apparently save lives. We walk around scared to shake hands hidden behind masks and visors, like Armageddon is imminent, yet the 900,000 covid deaths are replaced in less than three days with new born children globally.

Let us hope that over the next few months the decision makers become slightly more pragmatic and, in my opinion, start to think about the longer-term economy and the status of foreign visitors within that. In the meantime, good luck with your paperwork and welcome back to The Land of Smiles.

The accompanying picture shows what can be achieved in eleven days using volumes and volumes of food packaging, chop-sticks, random pieces of plant and a pot scourer.

David Jackson in an English teacher and former headmaster from London working at St Mark’s International School, Bangkok.

Trials and tribulations 3. Returning to Thailand in the Covid era – on the home straight | News by Thaiger

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    John Patisson

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you Khun Phrayut for save our lived
    Keep door closed for mass tourism minimum till 2022

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      Probably a little extreme, but I can’t help wondering why a “former headmaster from London” would end up teaching English at a second rate Australian international school in Bkk.

      Harrow International I could understand, or a village school in Nakhon Nowhere, but ….. well …..

  2. Avatar

    Durrrrr....

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    What a fucking schmuck. I guess this eternal bachelor will put up with any level of absurdity just to resume access to 3rd world children. I think the authorities might wang to inspect his netflix viewing history along with all the other paperwork.

  3. Avatar

    Brian

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Haha, the temple even has dual pricing.

  4. Avatar

    Ben

    Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Not particularly helpful in anyway. Sorry!

  5. Avatar

    Gianluca

    Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Hi, thanks for amazing review; how much did you paid for 14 days quarantine hotel?
    Ther is a list with all the hotels ?
    Thanks

  6. Avatar

    james

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 2:45 am

    I did the opposite, I left Thailand (Phuket) after seven months of not doing much in Phuket as it is all closed down, it is a ghost island and has been for months.

    I returned to England at the end of August.

    I went to the business lounge in Bangkok airport, had lots of free drinks and food.

    Got on the aeroplane and had lots of more food and free drinks, I fell asleep on the seat which folded flat into a two meter long bed, I woke up and had breakfast.

    I was picked up at the airport and within one hour was in my house where I had to self isolate for 14 days, I did not have to pay anything for my isolation.

    It was all very easy and no hassles at all, oh I did have to fill in a form online before I left Bangkok but that is the last thing I had to do.

    Why would I want to go back to Thailand when it is so difficult to do so and so much hassle?

    I will leave it for a year.

    Life is normal here, all we have to do is wear a mask in the shops but we can go anywhere we like at any time of the day.

    I am not showing off about the above experience, I just want to show life does not have to be as complicated as Thailand is now making it for visitors.

    Oh and the comment about rain and UK, it rained for almost two months non-stop in Phuket for the last two months, it will rain for another two months most days, it never does anything like that here in the UK, the talk of rain in the UK is just an out of date stereotype.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Doesn’t have to be as “complicated”, as long as you don’t mind a death toll one thousand (yes, 1,000) times higher than Thailand’s, with the number of Covid cases doubling every ten days.

      Not sure what there is to “show off” about there …..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chon Buri3 mins ago

Driver blames GPS for durian truck wedged under overpass

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Despite low riders, Covid-19 train to continue

Pattaya3 hours ago

Planning for “Pattaya Move On” reopening scheme continues

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 cookie shops in Bangkok

Drugs5 hours ago

Marine police seize 30 kilograms of methamphetmine from squid fishing boat

Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Bars defy bans, Sandbox ‘still on’, vaccine rush | July 28

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand to apply for Guinness World Record for longest petrified log

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Koh Samui bar and club finds 16 Covid-19 infections

Best of8 hours ago

Kanchanaburi’s 5 coolest hotels

Thailand8 hours ago

Thousands of inmates granted royal pardon on HM the King’s birthday

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 16,533 new cases; provincial totals

Best of9 hours ago

5 of the most amazing hotels in Koh Chang

Best of9 hours ago

The best steakhouses in Pattaya serving juicy steak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Girls infected with Covid after mother dies at home; public criticises healthcare system

Coronavirus Vaccines12 hours ago

Crowds rush to Bang Sue for vaccination ahead of walk-in registration ending

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending