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Phuket Sports: Man Utd go top as City stutters; Full football round-up

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Phuket Sports: Man Utd go top as City stutters; Full football round-up | Thaiger

PHUKET: Barcelona maintained their three-point lead in Spain after an inspired Andres Iniesta pulled the strings in a 4-0 win at Levante and Manchester United reclaimed top spot in the Premier League after a 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

Bayern Munich went nine points clear in the Bundesliga while Serie A table-toppers Juventus slipped up with a 1-0 defeat at AC Milan and Paris St Germain went top of Ligue 1 following a shining performance by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Spain
Champions Real Madrid slipped further off the pace when they were upset 1-0 at Real Betis on Saturday, a third defeat of the campaign for Jose Mourinho’s stuttering side.

Leaders Barcelona and second-placed Atletico Madrid took full advantage of Real’s stumble yesterday, Barca winning 4-0 at Levante and Atletico thumping visiting Sevilla by the same scoreline at the Calderon.

Andres Iniesta was the star of unbeaten Barca’s victory in Valencia after the Spain playmaker created two goals for Lionel Messi and one for Cesc Fabregas and netted a brilliant effort of his own in a sparkling performance.

With 13 matches played, Barca have 37 points, Atletico 34 and Real 26. Malaga are fourth on 22 after they thrashed Valencia 4-0 on Saturday, level with fifth-placed Betis and two ahead of Levante in sixth.

England
Manchester United returned to the top of the Premier League standings with a 3-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers as champions Manchester City were held to a 0-0 draw at Chelsea in Rafa Benitez’s first game in charge of the London club.

United fell a goal behind to bottom club QPR, watched by their new manager Harry Redknapp, but sealed a trademark comeback victory with three goals in eight second-half minutes from Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez.

Spaniard Benitez received a hostile reception from the Chelsea fans after replacing Roberto Di Matteo as manager and his players struggled for inspiration at a rainy Stamford Bridge against well-organised City.

United top the table with 30 points from 13 games, one ahead of City, four clear of third-placed West Bromwich Albion, who continued their fine start with a 4-2 win at Sunderland, and five above Chelsea.

Italy
Leaders Juventus suffered a second defeat in quick succession when they were beaten 1-0 by AC Milan after a controversial Robinho penalty.

Juve lead with 32 points from 14 matches with Inter Milan four points behind in second before their trip to Parma on Monday.

Third-placed Fiorentina left it late to grab a point in a 2-2 draw at Torino as Mounir El Hamdaoui came off the bench to score an equaliser six minutes from time.

Germany
Bayern Munich opened up a nine-point lead with a 5-0 demolition of Hanover 96 with forward Mario Gomez on target in his first league match this season.

Gomez, who underwent ankle surgery in August, netted 26 seconds after coming on as Bayern made it 11 wins from 13 games.

Champions Borussia Dortmund made it three wins in a row with a 2-1 victory at Mainz 05 to leapfrog into second place on 25 with Schalke 04 dropping to third after a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.

France
Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from a two-game suspension with a bang as he scored two and set up as many to send Paris St Germain top of the Ligue 1 table with a 4-0 demolition of Troyes on Saturday.

Ibrahimovic has now scored 12 goals from 11 Ligue 1 appearances for PSG, who lead second-placed Olympique Marseille on goal difference after the Provence side beat 10-man Lille 1-0 yesterday.

Marseille will play a game in hand on Wednesday at fourth-placed Olympique Lyon, who missed out on top spot when they were humbled 3-0 at Toulouse.

Girondins Bordeaux also missed out on the chance to go top as they lost 1-0 at champions Montpellier. St Etienne are third after they beat Valenciennes 1-0 on Friday.

Holland
Vitesse Arnhem came from behind to beat leaders PSV Eindhoven 2-1 with top scorer Wilfried Bony scoring his 15th goal of the season.

Third-placed Vitesse closed to within two points of PSV who have 33 points after 14 matches.

Luc Castaignos’ stoppage-time header salvaged a 2-2 draw for second-placed Twente against PEC Zwolle. Steve McClaren’s side are level on points with Vitesse.

Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord registered wins at Roda JC Kerkrade and AZ Alkmaar respectively to stay in touch with the top on 27 points.

Portugal
Champions Porto fought out a 2-0 win at third-placed Braga with late goals from Colombian duo James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez to stay top of the Portuguese Premier League, level on 26 points with Benfica.

The Lisbon club eased past Olhanense 2-0 at home thanks to a first-half penalty from Paraguay striker Oscar Cardozo and a textbook header from captain Luisao in the second half.

— Reuters

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Phuket

Expats condemn Phuket’s “xenophobic” rapid-test payment policy

Maya Taylor

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Expats condemn Phuket’s “xenophobic” rapid-test payment policy | Thaiger
PHOTO: Flickr / dronepicr

Expats living in Thailand are up in arms after Phuket officials confirmed that foreigners arriving on the island would have to pay for a rapid Covid-19 test that is free for Thais. The testing requirement is part of new restrictions now in force to combat the spread of the virus. However, it is not the cost of the test – 500 baht – that has angered so many expats, but the fact that officials see nothing wrong with charging people based on their nationality.

On Monday it was announced that EVERYONE arriving in Phuket would have to pay 300 baht if they needed the ‘rapid covid test’. But that was amended the next day. Now we have the latest example of 2-tier pricing in Thailand (below).

The news was shared by travel blogger Richard Barrow on his Facebook page and has so far generated over 430 comments (and still growing), most of them furious…

“Unbelievable. I know Thailand is xenophobic, but for the authorities to do that is an absolute disgrace. They can piss off. I’ll take my business elsewhere in future.”

“I pay Thai taxes, I have for 16 years! am happy to bring my money elsewhere then!”

“Phuketians: “Tourists please come back.” Also Phuketians: “500b khap.”

It was not just foreigners commenting however, with at least one Thai person condemning the policy…

“I feel so so ashamed of how my country (or its government) so desperately wants more money to continue their corruption. Any possible ways they can rip you off – they will do shamelessly.”

Effective yesterday, anyone flying in to Phuket from elsewhere in the country must take a rapid Covid-19 test, unless they have taken a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours or can prove they’ve received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. With less than 1% of the country vaccinated – almost none of them foreigners – the second requirement is unlikely to be met by many.

Foreigners who have to take the rapid test, regardless of whether they are tax-paying work permit holders or retirees contributing to the economy, long-term residents or married to a Thai, will have to pay 500 baht. For Thais, it is free. The focus of expat anger is not the cost, but the principle, which is being roundly condemned as xenophobic.

Foreigners employed in the Kingdom in particular, are angered, given that they have been paying tax for years and have social security coverage. In response, Phuket health officials have issued an “explanation” – that manages to explain very little.

Expats condemn Phuket’s “xenophobic” rapid-test payment policy | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile, while the new restrictions apply to everyone arriving by air, for those arriving by road, only people coming from the high-risk “red” provinces need to meet the entry requirements.

And, just as a footnote, if your rapid covid test conducted by airport officials happens to come back positive you will be whisked away to a Phuket field hospital for a 14 day stay.

Expats condemn Phuket’s “xenophobic” rapid-test payment policy | News by ThaigerSOURCE: TPN

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand’s covid vaccine passport – will it only be used for travel?

Tim Newton

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Thailand’s covid vaccine passport – will it only be used for travel? | Thaiger

Hi. Im Tim Newton. Just upfront saying that these are my personal opinions and don’t necessarily reflect that of The Thaiger.

So today the Thai Government now has officially announced vaccine passports. The documents are going to be the next big thing in the long and winding Covid road. Firstly, before some comments, the details that we actually know.

This Covid passport legislation has now been announced in the Royal Gazette, so it’s not being considered, it’s actually law. According to media info, the vaccine passport will be an official document which can be used by vaccinated people travelling abroad.

I fear this Covid passport will end up as just another victim of the unintended consequences. The benefits, mostly intended for international travellers, will be used as another way of whittling away our remaining privacies and adding another layer of little annoyances to life and work in the Land of Smiles.

Look at the vaccine roll out in Thailand. Usually a business should try and under-promise and then over deliver. In this case the Thai government have done the exact opposite. Timelines for vaccination are not being met and the ordering of vaccines appears chaotic and, at best, just slow in getting to the startline.

The PM has rushed to assure the citizenry that the delays have been caused by an abundance of caution. And unfortunately the 2 horses they’ve backed in the vaccination race are having a few bad PR days and neither may be a long term solution to the latest variants of Covid-19 spreading around Thailand. But I’ll let the scientists sort that out… certainly not the legion of instant vaccine experts that have now infected the internet.

I’m all for trying to get the country open again, as soon as practicable, and safe to do so. But I’m starting to think the best course of action is to lock my gate and resort to an online worklife and Food Panda… the mad foreign guy locked up in his house with his 3 cats.

Here in Phuket we now have an arrival regime that demands either proof of vaccine, a negative Covid test, or a 300 baht rapid Covid test at the airport. The chances of me subjecting myself to an airport officials sticking a swap up my admittedly large nose in the vague hope it will probably come back negative, is zero. Again, on a daily basis we get emails from foreigners who say they’ve been whisked away to hospitals, and more recently field hospitals, with no recourse or means of appeal, or even the chance to get a second test.

Here’s one from this morning…

I can’t call the embassy as I don’t have a SIM card, I also have been told to order outside food as they won’t feed me. They won’t provide me with my test results and told me that I’d need to stay 14 days here in quarantine, but the doctor I talked with yesterday said 5 more days. I’m so confused as to what to do next.

Now, stripping all this back to basics, I’ll concede that we’re all in this mess together at the moment, and that we may have to forego a few personal freedoms for the greater good. I have no issue wearing a mask in public. I have no worries leaving my phone number at the door when entering premises. I will do my best to stay socially distant when in public.

But all these restrictions are easy to ramp up and much harder to wind back. And, at a deeper level, our trust in institutions, governments, and medical officials is being eroded. And that’s not good as we stumble forward in trying to get the world open again.

Will I get a vaccine passport? Probably. And I’ll also expect to have to carry it everywhere I go as it’s used as just another reminder that I’m just a guest in this country and I better just get used to it.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket requires Covid-19 vaccination or 72-hour test

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Phuket requires Covid-19 vaccination or 72-hour test | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Checkpoints in Phuket will only allow Covid-19 tested or vaccinated travellers in.

To help wrangle the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in Phuket, strict controls for everyone entering the island go into effect today until the end of April. The provincial communicable disease committee approved the measures in an effort to stop the proliferation of Covid-19 in the province.

The new regulations state that only people who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine or have tested to be Coronavirus-free within 3 days of arrival, will be allowed to enter Phuket. Proper certification or documentation must be presented to verify this information – either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or the results of a recent negative Covid-19 test.

Anyone attempting to enter Phuket without the full vaccine doses, or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours, will be charged 500 baht for a rapid antigen test at their port of entry. For Thais, the cost is free. The 2-tier price policy has been slammed by expats and other foreigners in the country. Read HERE.

These tests generate results in about 15 minutes and then negative-tested visitors will be allowed to proceed. If a person receives the test and is diagnosed positive for Covid-19 they will be sent to medical facilities immediately for treatment.

All entrants to Phuket are also required to use the Mor Chana Covid-19 contact tracing app to check in and record their travel timelines. That mobile app is available at gophuget.com.

The new restrictions apply to local and foreign travellers except for people making deliveries that are not staying overnight. Those people will get a special certification from their companies to present at the checkpoint entrance to the island.

Phuket is now classified as a Red Zone province, one of 19 provinces throughout Thailand where infections are on the rise. 208 current Covid-19 infections were registered at the start of this week in Phuket.

In response to the increasing Covid-19 infections in Phuket, Surat Thani has made special restrictions for anyone travelling from Phuket to Surat Thani. Those people will be required to scan and register their trip through the “Save Surat” website before being quarantined for 14 days.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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