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ATMs not filled after money trucks crash – Koh Tao

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ATMs not filled after money trucks crash – Koh Tao | The Thaiger
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ATM machines on Koh Tao will have to make do with cash on hand after two security trucks crashed on their way to deliver more refill banknotes early today (Tuesday).

The Ban Nai Hood police station in Chumphon’s Lang Suan district was alerted to the accident on the Asia highway No 41 at 5.55am, with the trucks headed to Koh Tao off Surat Thani.

Police said the first money truck, a Geforce company pickup, crashed into the left side of a trailer truck, and then its rear-end was hit by the second money truck, a van of the same company. The drivers, 24 year old Charoenyut Boonsawat and 28 year old Ekkaparp Chuayruang were slightly injured.

The two said they were speeding to catch a ferry boat at a pier in Chumphon’s Muang district at 6am to travel to Koh Tao where they were scheduled to refill ATM machines on Tuesday.

They said the trailer truck cut in front of them. Its driver, 24 year old Boonyarit Chaisanam, says he was making a turn into a market to load durians when the accident occurred. He says he needed to turn from the right lane and had already checked that the road was clear, but the money trucks were speeding.

The two money trucks were hauled to the police station for the company to recheck the money.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Maya Taylor

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4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says 4 of Thailand’s major tourism destinations are to be prioritised in the distribution of vaccines. They are Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. In addition, a further 9 provinces with significant infection numbers are being prioritised in the rollout of the first vaccine doses arriving in the Kingdom today.

Taweesin Visanuyothin from the CCSA says 70,000 doses will go to the hard-hit “highest control” area of Samut Sakhon, where Thailand’s second outbreak began late last year. 8,000 doses are being set aside for medical officials in the central province, along with 6,000 for frontline healthcare workers, 46,000 doses for seriously ill patients, and 10,000 doses for migrant workers and local residents.

Another 105,000 doses will be distributed to similar groups in Bangkok, in the central provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkram and Samut Prakan, and in the western province of Ratchaburi and the Mae Sot district of Tak.

The Pattaya News reports that 14,700 doses will be sent to 4 major tourist destinations, with 4,700 going to the eastern province of Chon Buri, 4,000 to the southern island of Phuket, 3,500 to the northern province of Chiang Mai, and 2,500 going to the island of Samui in the southern province of Surat Thani.

In the case of the vaccines going to tourism spots, it is not yet known which groups will be vaccinated first, with that decision being left to the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee and other related authorities.

Meanwhile, the CCSA says other plans for the 4 tourism destinations are being considered, including the possibility of “area quarantine”, which would allow vaccinated foreign arrivals to remain within certain boundaries during their quarantine period. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has been pushing for a vaccine passport policy for vaccinated visitors, while PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government may consider lifting quarantine restrictions for vaccinated tourists.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Crime

Police raid “Hippie Festival Samui,” arrest French musicians for allegedly working without a permit

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police raid “Hippie Festival Samui,” arrest French musicians for allegedly working without a permit | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Times

Police on Koh Samui broke up the “Hippie Festival Samui” at a restaurant on Lamai Beach and arrested 4 French musicians, who were performing at the event, for allegedly working without a work permit. The manager of the restaurant, 48 year old Kannika Thongreuang, was arrested for selling alcohol during hours when alcohol sales are prohibited.

Around 100 Thai and foreign customers at the event, according to Thai media. Bo Phut police checked passports and took 2 bottles of beer as well as a some bills as “evidence” of the alcohol sales. The musicians – a drummer, saxophone player, bass player and guitar player – were all taken to the Bo Phut police station. Thai Visa says police had received complaints about an “illegal party.”

Just last month, on neighbouring Koh Pha Ngan, police broke up a party at the ThreeSixtyBar and arrested 111 people, including 89 foreigners, for allegedly breaking a number of laws relating to Thailand’s Emergency Decree put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui are part of a trio of popular islands off the Surat Thani coast in the Gulf of Thailand.

Police raid “Hippie Festival Samui,” arrest French musicians for allegedly working without a permit | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bangkok Times

Police raid “Hippie Festival Samui,” arrest French musicians for allegedly working without a permit | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bangkok Times

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Tourism

Samui tourism operators push for faster vaccination programme

Maya Taylor

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Samui tourism operators push for faster vaccination programme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Rebecca Cairns on Unsplash

Tourism operators on the island of Samui are calling for the national vaccine rollout to be accelerated, in a bid to re-start international tourism by the third quarter of 2021. Ratchaporn Poolsawadee from the Tourism Association of Koh Samui says domestic tourism alone cannot support the sector and it won’t recover without a vaccination programme.

He adds that despite the fact that Thailand has a very low number of Covid-19 cases, the slow vaccine rollout will affect tourists’ confidence in the country. In order to show the international tourism market that Thailand is ready, the government must secure enough jabs and vaccinate its population, thereby ensuring both locals and foreign visitors have immunity.

In 2020, around 400,000 tourists visited Samui. Prior to Covid-19, the island welcomed 2.5 million visitors, of which only 17% were domestic tourists. Hotels on the island are now taking bookings for the third quarter of this year, according to Ratchaporn, with guests from countries like the UK and Germany already booking for September and October.

The Tourism Association of Koh Samui will launch a promotional campaign for the island next month. The Samui Journey will market new tourism sites and things to do away from the beaches, in the hope of persuading tourists to stay longer and boost expenditure.

Meanwhile, Ratchaporn says that, in addition to speeding up its vaccination programme, the government needs to provide financial support to businesses in the tourism sector. He suggests a reduction in water and electricity bills, and a debt holiday of 6 – 12 months. Of the island’s 1,000 hotels, fewer than 200 are still operating and occupancy rates are below 10% since the resurgence of the virus late last year.

The Bangkok Post reports that around 5% of hotel owners have decided to sell up and the others have no plans to re-open unless there is enough international demand to justify it.

For now, Ruengnam Chaikwang from the Thai Hotels Association says operators hope to welcome foreign tourists who have been vaccinated and for whom quarantine has been waived. With this in mind, they are pressing ahead with marketing campaigns aimed at the third quarter of the year.

“We are more optimistic that tourists can visit the country by the third quarter.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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