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Tour bus operators in Phuket call for government help after a year of no work

Maya Taylor

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Tour bus operators in Phuket call for government help after a year of no work | Thaiger
PHOTO: JOEcard31 on Flickr

Tour bus operators on the southern island of Phuket are calling for government assistance as they face ongoing legal action over missed lease payments on their equipment. Some operators say the threat of bankruptcy looms over them after a year of unemployment. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with tourism on Phuket, but tour bus operators say they have never been consulted during talks between the government and those working in the sector.

According to a Thai PBS World report, the Phuket Bus Operators 30 Association, representatives of the Phuket Double Deck Tour Bus Operators Club, and others involved in tour bus operations, met with Raywat Aree-rob from the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation to discuss how best to deal with the impact of Covid-19, in particular threats of legal action from non-bank credit agencies.

Tour bus operators are calling for help in negotiating with agencies over repayment instalments, so that they can avoid bankruptcy. They also want to be included in future tourism talks with the government, which they claim have only involved the hospitality sector, while excluding businesses such as tour bus and boat operators. They also say they haven’t been involved in any talks on the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in the province.

Raywat has acknowledged their concerns and pledged to involve tour bus operators in all future meetings. The head of the PPAO says he has also written to the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Thailand in relation to the operators’ financial issues. In relation to Covid-19 vaccines, he says there is no cause for concern as officials expect to have vaccinated more than 70% of the population in time for the island’s reopening.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Joe

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Many buses have been parked in the full sun and rain for over a year and are now covered with rust, they don’t look like they are fit for usage any more. The government had better do some major mechanical checks before these wrecks are allowed back on the roads otherwise we are going to have a similar accident to that boat tragedy happening but then in a bus.

  2. Avatar

    harry1

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    l would say at least 70% of local business have closed in the last year,they had little or no help

  3. Avatar

    Bill

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    As long as isaan john doesn’t have to deal with the common cold screw the tour bus operators, they can eat dirt.

  4. Avatar

    dispensed

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    I feel sorry for those motorbike taxi guys who used to hang out around 7/11. When I was in Thailand just before the pandemic, they were begging tourists to hop on their bike for 50 baht. Now they can’t even make 50 baht. That’s harsh.

  5. Avatar

    Zico

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Exactly, these 30 or more year old buses needs proper mechanical check ups before send on track! After 200kg putty and paint for cosmetic.

  6. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    Well dispensed, B50 is what they charge ferangs, Thais pay B30.
    Over the last six years in Thailand I doubt I have take more than 10 motorbike taxis.
    They drop me short, they argue about the fare agreed, it is never ending . . .
    The fare displayed at the motorcycle stations, are taken down. or the prices are in Thai script.
    It is not harsh, dispensed, it is JUSTICE.

  7. Avatar

    James R

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 3:55 am

    Times are hard it seems in Thailand.

    Even when I was in Phuket up to August last year people were leaving.

    The Thai family living in the house opposite had to go back to Bangkok as no business.

    A farang man and his Thai wife had a motorbike renting business down the street and they closed up.

    A family family down the street who had a mini bus business went bust and they moved away.

    Here in the UK people are being paid 80% of their salaries if they can not work, many people are loving the lock down and getting paid to work from home, but there is hardly any help for people in Thailand.

  8. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Tragic, but the tour bus drivers have to adapt in these hard times.
    If they take the seats out, they could grow tomatoes in the tour buses.
    They know it makes sense.

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 11:09 am

    “Here in the UK people are being paid 80% of their salaries if they can not work, many people are loving the lock down and getting paid to work from home, but there is hardly any help for people in Thailand.”

    Different countries, different problems and solutions, James R.

    Thailand’s external debt is 3.8 trillion baht – 33.5% of GDP.

    The UK’s external debt is over 85 trillion baht – 85% of GDP.

    Phuket, of course, has more problems than anywhere else in Thailand as it’s economy is so reliant on foreign tourists, but less than 1% of Thais live in Phuket.

  10. Avatar

    James R

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Issan

    Let’s make that 0.5% now re Phuket.

    The situation is the same in Chiang Mai, Krabi, Hua His and many other places.

    Plus no money being sent back home to many other cities in Thailand from those places at the moment.

    Tourism is 20% of Thailands income after all.

    Still there is a silver lining for some people, due to the fact many people will continue to work from home in the UK people are moving out of London and want bigger properties to buy so house prices have gone up here by 10% during the last six months, it has turned out to be a nice little earner as I just sold a house.

    Someone always wins in such situations.

    Bad news is prices have gone down in Thailand and I have a couple of houses to sell there, I will just have to wait and see.

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Medical

17 medical staff isolated due to dishonest Covid-19 patient

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17 medical staff isolated due to dishonest Covid-19 patient | Thaiger
PHOTO: Samut Prakan Hospital is busy with Covid-19 and now short-staffed.

The already-strained Samut Prakan provincial hospital isolated 17 medical staff members today after a patient was dishonest about interaction with a Covid-19 infected patient. The patient was not forthcoming with details about coming in contact with a person that had been diagnosed with the Coronavirus. As a result, the hospital announced the mandatory quarantine of 17 medical staff members who had come in close proximity with the patient. In total, 2 doctors, 6 medics, and 9 nurses had to be relegated to self-isolation and removed from the hospitals already thinly spread staff roster.

In a Facebook post just 2 days ago, the hospital announced a sweeping reduction in services to handle the increase in Covid-19 infections. They announced they will no longer take customers from outside of the Samut Prakan province, nor are they doing any surgical procedures that are not urgent. They are advising only the sickest patients come to the hospital in person, offering a mail service with the post office to send medications and fill prescriptions.

Losing 17 medical staff members – doctors, nurses and medics – at such a crucial time will put a heavy strain on the hospital, especially if Covid-19 infections continue to spread. Samut Prakan province reported 27 local Covid-19 infections plus 13 more who transferred to Samut from other provinces, for a total of 40 new Coronavirus cases today alone.

The hospital reminded everyone that failure to disclose information about your Covid-19 infection or contact with any infected people or high-risk location can be prosecuted. Violators may be punished by up to 20,000 baht in fines and possible further legal action. The provincial hospital issued several requests for truthfulness on their Facebook page, stressing that dishonesty harms your own medical care, along with the much-needed medical staff, and only helps proliferate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic’s third wave in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update – latest from the CCSA

Tim Newton

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BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update – latest from the CCSA | Thaiger

The CCSA has announced its updated restrictions for the 18 ‘red zone’ provinces this afternoon. The new measures start on Sunday, April 18, and will be in place for at least 2 weeks. The restrictions are basically as we published earlier today. There are no ‘lockdowns’ or curfews despite a popular blogger jumping the gun and posting that there were curfews announced.

There’s also no specific travel restrictions imposed although the PM ‘discouraged’ travel to Red Zone provinces. Provincial governors are still able to add their own local restrictions if they deem necessary.

Here are the key points as announced by the CCSA late this afternoon…

Across all provinces…

• Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlours

(except for international schools running exams)

• No events can have more than 50 people

Provincial red zones (listed below)…

• Dining-in allowed until 9pm (but can do takeaway until 11pm)

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9pm

(Sporting fields, exercise places, gyms and fitness clubs must close at 9pm)

• Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11pm

Everywhere else…

• Dining-in allowed until 11pm

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres to be closed by 9pm

Additionally, people are being discouraged from traveling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise risk of infection at the workplace.

The Red Zone provinces are, in no apparent order…

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

Earlier today Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul said that the government is “confident it can overcome the current Covid-19 crisis without needing to impose a nationwide lockdown”.

BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update - latest from the CCSA | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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