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Want to come to Thailand? Special Tourist Visa open to visitors “around the world”

Caitlin Ashworth

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Want to come to Thailand? Special Tourist Visa open to visitors “around the world” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Frankie Spontelli
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Visitors around the world can now apply for the new Special Tourist Visa. The visa was initially only open to people from countries considered at “low” and “medium risk” of spreading Covid-19.

The visa allows a 90 day stay which can be extended twice, adding up to around 9 months. The visa costs 2,000 baht and 2,000 baht per extension. Tourists, business travellers, investors and crews of foreign yachts are eligible for the Special Tourist Visa.

Here’s the catch… travellers still need to undergo the mandatory 2 week quarantine upon arrival. Travellers need proof of their long-term accommodation or residence in Thailand, such as a hotel reservation, rental contract or condominium ownership documents. Travellers also need the required medical and travel insurance as well as a valid Fit to Fly medical certificate.

Before making any bookings, consult with your local Thai embassy or consulate. Travellers can only apply for the Special Tourist Visa at a Thai embassy or consulate in their country of origin.

SOURCE: TAT

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55 Comments

55 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rasputin

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    You would obviously need to be extremely committed to jump through all the hoops and cash layouts to make the journey. I suspect the planes would be primarily occupied by single elderly males and not the (quality) family tourists that Thailand profess to be so desperate to attract. Frankly I can’t see a stampede occuring in arrivals at the moment

    • Avatar

      PREPAID CUSTOMER

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 1:25 am

      It will probably attract digital nomads. Elderly retirees on fixed incomes might not be abe to afford it. When Thailand says “quality tourits” it’s code for “tourists who will spend a lot of money in Thailand.”

  2. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    WHAT’S THE CHANCES OF SUCCESS ANYONE?….. LOVE TO HEAR YOUR OPINION…….

    • Avatar

      just curious

      Monday, December 14, 2020 at 8:41 pm

      could you define success. only asking because this is the headline of the article just below this
      “Covid-19 cases COULD lead to a drop in revenue for New Years, economist says”

  3. Avatar

    David

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Cloud Cookoo Land.

  4. Avatar

    Terry

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Makes me laugh..bulls…it is only about how much money we can make per individ – NOTHING else!

    • Avatar

      crispy

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 10:12 pm

      What do you expect then?

  5. Avatar

    robert Kiat seang YONG

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    It is great reported in the News but the application to Embassy is a night mear, if only they can simplify the rules, it will be great…

    Good job

  6. Avatar

    Roger C

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    It’s a beginning. Be patient.

  7. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    “…ravellers still need to undergo the mandatory 2 week quarantine upon arrival. Travellers need proof of their long-term accommodation or residence in Thailand, such as a hotel reservation, rental contract or condominium ownership documents. Travellers also need the required medical and travel insurance as well as a valid Fit to Fly medical certificate.”

    Thailand just isn’t worth it.

    • Avatar

      Meoff

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 1:04 am

      Because living in locked down usa or Europe perpetually is a good deal. For many who now “work from home” would love to just live in low cost open Thailand. I know a few who have already gone through the hoops.

      ….. its worth 2 weeks to many.

  8. Avatar

    Mr C

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Anyone know the minimum financial and hotel reservation requirements now?

    Do you have to book a hostel for 1 month, 2 month , 3 month? in advance

    What are the minimum financial requirements now? Please could the (author) find out and update th article

    • Avatar

      S2K

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:28 am

      Mr C. All of the information is on your local Embassy’s website.

      • Avatar

        Lindy

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:06 am

        No its not. Please specify?

  9. Avatar

    Kalim

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    I have a family, two holiday booked in khao Lak for the end of June, fully refundable, pay when I get there
    But two week quarantine will not happen for us,
    We live in Ireland, vaccine starts next month, Ireland has the lowest cases in Europe.
    I will either push flights back to the following year or go somewhere else!

  10. Avatar

    Ben

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    They’ll get tourists in the thousands with this move. They’re opening up the country inch by inch which is more than what most countries in Asia are doing.

    The people that’ll be going now are those with a gf/bf in country or are looking for one. Tailor made for a rich single guy – a kid in a candy store. Barriers are to high for poorer mates because of the baht exchange rate which is one way to keep out the riff-raff.

  11. Avatar

    Remo

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    2 weeks quarantine is unnecesary.

    A test before the flight , then another one on arrival , and isolation till the result ,would 100% safe.

    But if they want to be 1000% safe, a 5 days quarantine and a third test at the end would be more than enough.

    What the Chinese claimed in the beginning about 14 days incubation period was a big bullshit.

    • Avatar

      Meoff

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 1:07 am

      Considering it hurts old and the unhealthy like the flu, which can mutate, i agree. Its bs. Unless you’re over 60 or young and fat, you have a legit 99.99999999999999 % chance of surviving, with most having no symptoms.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 10:52 am

      “100% safe”?

      Do you have any scientific evidence to support that?

      Any at all?

      Just a little bit would be nice …..

      • Avatar

        RA

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:32 am

        Per the CDC website:

        “CDC recommends the following alternative options to a 14-day quarantine:

        Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
        With this strategy, residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 1% with an upper limit of about 10%.
        When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available (see bullet 3, below), then quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.
        With this strategy, the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 5% with an upper limit of about 12%.”

        Given that a negative test is required before entry into the Kingdom and a test is done at the beginning of the quarantine period, IMHO the risk is about as close to zero as one can get. Three tests, 7days days. Done and Done.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:15 pm

          So no evidence to support Remo’s claim at all, then.

          … and how on earth have you come to the conclusion that “the risk is about as close to zero as one can get” when you’ve just quoted the CDC as saying that “With this strategy, the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 5% with an upper limit of about 12%”?

          Since when was 5 to 12% “as close to zero as one can get?

          Unbelievable, just unbelievable …..

          • Avatar

            RA

            Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 2:02 pm

            I don’t think Remo’s comment was a claim that required supporting, just his opinion like yours are. Rarely do I see any scientific data to back up your claims, just a condescending attitude and without ideas on how to move forward. I stand with my comment, as close to zero as one can get. It’s not zero, never said it was. However, 14 days also isn’t zero. There’s no zero. You and I may be able to survive in a bubble but most cannot. There has to be movement.

      • Avatar

        Manu

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:17 pm

        Firstly, the word quarantaine is already complete BS… This is a French word created in the 12th century in France that means “period of forty days” (from the word quarante in french = forty in English) during which people with contagious diseases are isolated. So even just the use of this word currently is already wrong. Back in March, Pr Raoult, a worldwide reknown French microbiologist, was already saying that the invention of the 14 days isolation (and not quarantaine since it is not 40 days – but under this “new world”, we use old words to give them complete different senses) is a complete non-sense, that 5 to 7 days after the first symptoms of covid-19, the contagiosity of a person is close to 0. And as for people tested positive with the virus sars-cov-2 – the so-called “asymptomatics” = no symptoms, no covid-19 – after 5 to 7 days they have even less chance to be contagious so it can hardly be closer to 0 than that. It took a few months for the French government to listen to him in this matter: since September, the isolation in France is not 14 days anymore but 7 days. So I would say that Remo’s suggestion is scientifically more rational than this 14 days isolation non-sense that the whole world seems to irrationally embrace like many other non-senses for the past 10 months. And please people, stop using this stupid word “quarantaine”, in English, it is called “14 days isolation”, end of story!

        • The Thaiger

          The Thaiger

          Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 1:45 pm

          Manu vs the entire world media and medical community Good luck. We’ll keep calling it quarantine, thanks.

          • Avatar

            Manu

            Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 5:32 pm

            My comment was not really targeted to you but thanks for your “arrogant” good luck with no counter-argument, that speaks many (more) words.

            To be honest, I did not think about it until I heard many of the medical community (yes, and even some intelligent media), mostly in France I admit since this word is french (but not only), starting to use the right words – nothing better to confuse people even more by using words in complete different meanings. And I cannot help to have been brought up calling a cat a cat and a dog a dog. If you wish to keep calling a cat a dog and/or vice versa, then do not expect to be taken really seriously.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:21 pm

        Instead of asking other posters to prove what they post, how about you proving that what they write is wrong.
        If it is wrong YOU prove it!

  12. Avatar

    Bobby B

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    How can any person plan a trip to Thailand in these times. Even if your willing to pay the 2 week quarantine and take negative COVID-19 test before leaving, there are two big questions.

    1. Can you actually get a flight from say Europe to Bangkok?
    2. Will the Thai government change the rules while your in the air?

    • Avatar

      40 Year Expat

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:37 am

      1. Qatar and Emirates are flying Europe/US to Bangkok.
      2. Possibly, as well as the airline and your originating country for return.

  13. Avatar

    David dai

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Step ahead of 3 but back to 4.
    Im sorry still 14 days in the quarantine. Nope..

  14. Avatar

    Tourist

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    No thanks
    I Can go to Bali with business visa without quarantine
    See you next year Thailand. I am sure you can Surive you have great Prayut 55555

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:05 am

      Sorry to disappoint you, Tourist, but YOU CAN’T.

      Quarantine for 14 days is still mandatory in Bali even with a Business Visa, which needs similar paperwork to the Thai STV and costs 20,000 baht plus through a visa agent just for the visa.

      I’m sure we’ll survive without you, though (as will Bali).

      • Avatar

        RA

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:35 am

        Yes you may survive as you probably have a external source of income. Try not to think of just yourself.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:18 pm

          It may be a shock to you, RA, but foreign tourism is far from the only “source of income” available to Thais.

          • Avatar

            Tourist

            Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:43 pm

            Just get answer from visa company I was sure What not need quarantine but anyway.

            Do I need to be quarantined upon arrival?
            There is no need. If only upon arrival you have a positive PCR test, then you will have to sit in a 2-week quarantine

            I’m waiting for an apology for lying or you will be prosecuted under the 112 defamation law

          • Avatar

            RA

            Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 2:08 pm

            Maybe you can back yourself up with some data that’s not the government talking points.

          • Avatar

            Fred Johnson

            Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm

            It may be true that they have income from other sources. But for ordinary people, what income do you mean then? Enlightenment welcome!

        • Avatar

          Tourist

          Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 4:17 pm

          RA
          An Isan liar should be held accountable for what he writes this is not an innocent lie this is creating problems for the tourism business.
          If by the evening the Isan liar does not write that he is a liar and blatantly lies about quarantine in other countries. He will get what he deserves Time has gone

      • Avatar

        Tourist

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:49 am

        Isan Lier you crazy ?)55555
        My gf just arrive weeks ago to Bali WITHOUT Quarantine!
        😉
        Please bro stop lie
        When i was on Bali after NY in January i send you photo)

        • Avatar

          Latecomer

          Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:39 pm

          Ignore her. “Issan John” is an old, sad, angry lady from northwestern corner of the coldest Europe. With no family whatsoever. Except a cat

          • Avatar

            Toby Andrews

            Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:27 pm

            But it is a Siamese cat.

      • Avatar

        Tourist

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:19 pm

        I just call to Bali
        PCR Test OR self isolation
        Isan lier again lies nothing new

        Similar paperwork for Stv? 55555
        Absolutely not
        Isan Liars STOP

      • Avatar

        Adam Davies

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 3:41 pm

        You Issan John are a total idiot… I’ve read a number of your comments and each time they are either full of falsehood and / or downright disgusting. The one that bothered me most was when you previously ignorantly defended child prostitution. Also, with the, Bali visa, you don’t need to quarantine and its not 20,000 baht, so STFU with another falsehood. You should be banned from this site.

  15. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    People don’t respond to cracking the door inch by inch. When the door is open wide , the tourists will arrive in droves. Until then , jumping through the hoops of draconian measures is fatiguing to say the least.

  16. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    What do you know a 90 day visa. hahaha. The sign of serious intent. Personally I think it will only lead to a small trickle of tourists, but not much more than that. Retirees, returning expats, a few snowbirds (most of them are already somewhere else), and a few backpackers. You have to be able to stay a lot of days to make the quarantine worth it. Problem is that 15 day quarantine is still a killer to any larger numbers. To be fair, there really isn’t much more Thailand can or should do at this point in time. Still opening the STV to anyone is a good sign, even if it’s not worth the cost, hassle and loss of 15 vacation days in quarantine. Better to wait until spring to summer when it’s expected Thailand will drop the quarantine all together (as they vaccinate their population). That’s what I plan to do, wait till the late summer. I’m taking those 15 quarantine days and spending them on a beach in Hawaii this spring instead.

    • Avatar

      Meoff

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 1:12 am

      vaccinate the population. A vaccine will make you immune and that means you cannot catch it. Which means those who don’t have the vaccine, could catch it but cannotspread it to those who have been vaccinated. Give it to those who are afraid of covid. Once enough people get vaccine, they don’t need to worry about overwhelming the Healthcare system. That’s the whole point of these measures I thought was to not overwhelm the system. At no point has any govt agreed they simply don’t want anyone to get sick. They know that if unobtainable. The best they can hope for is to manage outbreaks so the system can care for people still. If I’m wrong, please do explain

  17. Avatar

    40 Year Expat

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    Only a fool would opt for a STV given quarantine requirements. 15 days in an ASQ hotel for $1600 – $4000, and then risk testing positive on the last day (and off to a hospital for a further 14 days – $$$). And there is anecdotal evidence that tourists are getting Covid in ASQ hotels and/or from returning Thai citizens on the inbound plane as they don’t need a negative Covid test to fly, as well as under-reporting of Covid in Thailand. The well-off tourist neither has the time to spend 4 – 6 weeks in Thailand, nor has the desire to do so, the target of new Thai tourism. The kee nok tourists have the time and desire, but not the money. In my country of work (foreign assignment) I must have a valid 72 hour PCR test on arrival, quarantine for 2 days in my apartment with tracking app, take a free PCR test on day 3, and 8 hours later, on negative test, I can resume normal activities…this makes sense for a country that has controlled and beaten Covid. As a frequent visitor to Thailand since 1980 (multiple trips per year, including 2 work assignments in the 90s) I’ll return, but not under ridiculous requirements (at least I got 1 trip in 2020, in Feb). And to be perfectly clear, go-go bars and massage parlors are never on my agenda, being a bit old for that nonsense (and married to a Thai, in the US).

    • Avatar

      David dai

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 3:25 am

      Legendary expats.
      Good going.
      Have you been to soi Nana or Soi Cowboy ( not texas ).
      Welcome back soon here in Bangkok.
      Everything good going here.

      • Avatar

        DM

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 5:03 pm

        Soi nana and cowboy are done for so nothing good going on over there chief..

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:10 am

      I’d love to see any your “evidence” of any “under-reporting of Covid in Thailand”.

      Any at all.

      Just a little bit ?

      Also curious as to what country has “beaten Covid” …..

      • Avatar

        RA

        Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:51 am

        I don’t think it’s a matter of under-reporting. Just under-testing. Testing is only done as a result of a scare.

  18. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 2:52 am

    See my comments from 4 months ago.

  19. Avatar

    Ray

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 4:52 am

    So if you don’t own a house or condo? You then have to commit yourself for a lengthy period to a place which you can’t inspect in person. If you don’t know the surroundings you can land in a area where you don’t want to live. I worked in several countries and house/apt hunting is a top priority and it always takes up some weeks. You can’t decide on a place to live on the internet.

  20. Avatar

    Nipral

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    ????????????????????????

  21. Avatar

    Crispy

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    Needs must!The Thai govt is a bit caught between fear and ignorance. The fear is of popular unrest, while the ignorance is of the many ways to manage a pandemic.

    The country is slowly relaxing Could the14 days be reduced? Could self-isolation acceptable?Could the tourist be given the choice of health insurance provider?

    Surprising that noone is speculating over the effects the vaccine might have. It would be good to hear ofa firm program rolling it out to all national and residents. Perhaps a one-shot vaccine could included in a visa package.

    There are questions – how long does immunity last, can an inoculated personstill transmit the virus? But many countries are now in phase 4 (massrollout) and we should have answers by the second quarter.

    Good luck everybody

  22. Avatar

    west tiger

    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 1:53 am

    If they don’t expect people to jump through hoops to get a visa SOME WILL COME, but the 14 day quarantine will remain a huge problem

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event

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Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

The birthday party of Techin Ploypetch, better known as “DJ Matoom”, is now considered a super-spreader source of Covid-19, with 19 people already found infected after attending the event. According the CCSA spokesperson during the daily briefing today, “Transmissions in Bangkok should be highlighted. They show the possibility of a person becoming a super-spreader”.

The birth of the super spreader birthday party started with a guest to the DJ’s party who had visited a well-known entertainment venue in Chiang Mai between January 1 and 4. He sought a Covid-19 test on January 5 following news that infected people had visited the pub, but tested negative. He should have self quarantined for 14 days, but he still flew to Bangkok and then attended the DJ celebrity’s birthday party on January 9.

DJ Matoom says he met the guest, one of his friend, on January 9, but that friend didn’t know he was infected until January 19 in which he told Matoom.

According to Dr Tanarak Plipat, now acting inspector-general of the Public Health Ministry, an infected person can transmit disease to two others on average, while a “super spreader” will transmit to multiple people.

DJ Matoom and the party’s guest were criticised of violating the disease control measures.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand News Today | Thailand’s vaccination roll-out | January 26

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Thailand News Today | Thailand’s vaccination roll-out | January 26 | The Thaiger

Bangkok restaurants may soon be allowed to stay open a little later. Health officials are considering easing up Covid-19 prevention measures by extending restaurant dine-in closing times to 11pm. If the proposal gets the green light, it may lead to the lifting of the alcohol ban.

After the order of shutting entertainment venues and banning alcohol sales in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi, the revenues in the alcohol beverage business plummeted. Under disease control measures, restaurants in Bangkok were ordered to stop dine-in services at 9pm and all alcohol sales banned at restaurants to limit gatherings.

According to the president of the Thai Alcohol Business Association, the current ban on alcohol is estimated to cost about 90 billion baht in revenue for businesses.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce says the Cabinet might review the proposal on closing hours tomorrow and act immediately to provide relief to restaurant operators as well as those in the alcohol beverage business.

At least 19 Covid-19 cases have been tracked back to 2 parties – a 5-day New Years celebration in Chiang Mai and a birthday party in Bangkok for a famous TV and radio host Techin Ployphet, aka DJ Matoom, on January 9.

A senior police officer in Bangkok is the latest case possibly linked to the Bangkok “party cluster.” The officer tested positive for Covid-19 after coming in contact with someone who attended the celebrity’s birthday at the Vertigo restaurant and bar on top of the Banyan Tree Hotel.

After the party, the actor, as well as other attendees, later tested positive for Covid-19. DJ Matoom also attended a New Year’s celebration in Chiang Mai from January 1 to 5, which is also linked to a number of cases.

In the ongoing investigation into the k-based drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths in Bangkok, police have arrested a man who allegedly mixed large amounts of narcotics to make the drug cocktail known as “K powdered milk.” Police say the cocktail includes ketamine mixed with methamphetamine, heroin and over-the-counter pills for anxiety and sleeping.

A 38 year old Taiwan national was arrested yesterday after police raided his condominium in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district. Chou allegedly admitted to mixing the drugs to make “K powdered milk” and police say the formulas for the drug mixture were found on his mobile phone.

Earlier this month, 11 people died after taking the drug cocktail and dozens of people are still in hospital after consuming the illegal concoction. Police have arrested numerous suspected drug dealers who ran small scale and large scale operations.

The government plans to begin Thailand’s 3-phase vaccination plan on February 14, starting with healthcare and frontline workers as well as vulnerable groups.

The Public Health Minister says the first phase of inoculations starting next month will target 19 million Thai people in 4 priority groups…

– health workers in both public and private sectors.

– 6 million people with underlying conditions.

– 11 million people aged over 60.

– Covid-19 task force who are in close contact with infected patients.

The vaccine’s availability remains limited at this stage and only target groups who are at high risk of infection will be vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccination plan. Importantly, the vaccines will be free and are not compulsory.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, was approved by the Thai government for emergency last week. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Thailand also expects 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine to arrive next month.

In a landmark decision, the Thai Senate has approved amendments to Thailand’s abortion laws allowing women to terminate their pregnancy during the first trimester and also lessening the punishment for women who have an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The amendments will go into effect on February 12.

Abortion – during any stage of pregnancy – has been illegal under Thailand’s Criminal Code, with the exception that the pregnancy poses a health risk for the mother or if the woman was raped.

Yesterday, the Senate approved to amend the Criminal Code to allow abortions performed by a qualified doctor during the first trimester, which is the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Women would not need to give a reason for the abortion.

The Senate also approved to lessen the punishment for women who terminated their pregnancy illegally.

Breaking Thailand’s record for highest daily spike in coronavirus cases, 959 new Covid-19 cases were reported today at the daily briefing.

The majority of new cases were found in proactive tracking and tracing in Samut Sakhon, which has been increased to test 60,000 people in the province this week. With more diligent testing in the Covid-19 hotspot, health officials expected a spike in reported cases. 848 of the 959 new cases were detected by proactive testing, most in Samut Sakhon and only 4 in Bangkok.

22 of the new cases reported today were detected in quarantine for those arriving to Thailand from abroad.

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

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

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

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Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30

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