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Heavy rain, big protest tomorrow, special tourist visa | Thailand News Today | September 18

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Police catch inmate who escaped prison dressed as a guard

He was smart enough to get hold of a prison guard uniform and escape, but was wasn’t smart enough to not get caught. The inmate who walked out of Phetchabun Provincial Prison yesterday, disguised as a guard, has now been recaptured.

Police were able to track him down and found him later in the day, hiding in an abandoned house in the province’s main city district.

The 35 year old was incarcerated on charges over 6 burglary cases. The man told police he decided to escape because he faced a long prison sentence. The man has a long track record with similar criminal offences.

Wutthichai walked out of the prison’s front gate yesterday. No one noticed at first and no alarms went off. Surveillance camera footage shows him wearing a prison guard’s uniform and was carrying documents.

Travel businesses told to prep for long stay tourists, with an October kick-start looming

The first round of long-stay tourists on the newly approved special tourist visa will be able to enter Thailand by the start of October and the Tourism Ministry is pushing for tourism business to get ready…. now.

On the other hand, not much has been said about the thousands of foreigners who are already here, many of them trying to figure out how to stay in the country as the September 26 deadline for the visa amnesty is only a week away.

Whilst the country’s TAT and the ministry of sports and tourism hammered out the arrangements for the new Special Tourist Visa, the online reception has been less than enthusiastic. Many foreigners, hoping to return to Thailand to live, or as tourists, believe the minimum 90 day stay and 14 day quarantine, plus the need to book only on charter flights, remains overly restrictive.

The new long-stay visa, called a Special Tourist Visa, is expected to help boost Thailand’s tourism dependant economy. But many restaurants, hotels, tour companies and attractions that rely on foreign tourists say they can’t make a profit again until international tourists are let back in the country, without restrictions or 14 day quarantines.

Heavy rain across the country this weekend

Heavy rain is expected across much of Thailand over the next few days, mostly as a result of the intensity of a tropical storm crossing into Vietnam today, ‘Noul’, from the South China Sea.

The low pressure cell will help intensify the effects of the south west monsoon too. There will probably be a lot of rain and increased winds, especially in the north east, but Noul will be weakened by the time it passes through Laos and reaches the Thai north east border, sometime tomorrow morning.

Around the country, Saturday will be the worst with rains easing during Sunday. Here are the forecasts in your part of Thailand for the weekend….

Thai PM uses Covid fears to persuade protesters to postpone Saturday rally

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is rolling out his biggest weapon, fear, to try and persuade anti-government protesters to postpone tomorrow’s rally at the Thammasat University Tha Prachan campus. He asked them to consider putting off their plans to hold the rally at least “until the Covid-19 outbreak is over”.

In a televised address, he asked Thais to unite in ending the Covid-19 crisis “before focusing on political issues”. PM Prayut has not mentioned ‘Covid’ as an issue before the other student rallies.

The rally has been planned for tomorrow with student and anti-government groups demanding amendments to the 2017 Thai constitution, dissolution of the parliament, an end to intimidation of government critics and changes to the role of the Thai Head of State.

His appeal, using Covid-19 as his main argument to stop the rally, will probably do little to dampen the enthusiasm of the anti-government groups. But the forecast for a 90% chance of rain around Bangkok tomorrow probably will.

Speaking about the planned protest, the PM has said, numerous times, that he wants to avoid any violence “at all costs”.

Travellers from Thailand can enter United Kingdom without quarantine

No more quarantine for those travelling from Thailand and entering the United Kingdom. Thailand and Singapore will be added to the UK’s so called “travel corridor” list ,starting tomorrow.

The Thailand Foreign Ministry says this is “good news, adding that Thailand’s Covid-19 prevention methods have been recognised by other nations. He says several countries have removed Thailand from their so called “watch lists.” Israel and Germany also recently stopped requiring quarantine for travellers coming from Thailand.

The UK Department of Transport says travellers need to complete a passenger locator form before entering the UK. The form can be completed online up to 48 hours before arrival. A confirmation email must be shown to border office.

Other countries on the travel corridor list include Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia.

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Get ready for what, 1,200 tourists? You can get ready for that many by just rolling out of bed. Does Thailand want businesses to spend untold hundreds of thousands Baht in the hope of getting a few tourist to visit them? In what world does that make sense? Think about it, at any given time there will be some 4,000 to 8,000 tourists in the entire country. It’s highly unlikely you will ever max out at 10,800 but even if you did that still such a tiny number spread out all over Thailand to be almost meaningless. That’s not even taking into account a number of those will in fact not be tourists at all. They will be expats just trying to get back to their loved ones and homes. You have to honestly ask yourself if Thailand is even serious about tourism at this point in time. Because this plan sure isn’t.

  2. Avatar

    Yakan Mehmet

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Thailand is a beautiful country and so too are the people and their great food. The culture and places are amazing. I have been comint to Thailand every year for past 15 years. This is the longest i have been away, 8 months, i understand the caution and the need to protect people from the covid 19. I hope that the authorites will treat tourists the same as Thai people and place in 2 week quarantine with the usual protocols and then have the freedom to enjoy.
    Thank you

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in ‘red’ zones

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Covid-19 infections are still high, but PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he wants restrictions to loosen up and businesses to reopen as soon as possible in provinces classified as “red” zones under tight control to combat Covid-19.

The prime minister says he has ordered governors of red zone provinces to look into easing disease control measures. Looking into each province’s Covid-19 situation and the restrictions’ impact on the local economy, governors are told to find a good balance that works well for both the economy and public health.

Spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, says restrictions at restaurants in red zone provinces can be lifted if the situation improves.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in 'red' zones | News by ThaigerPM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in 'red' zones | News by ThaigerSOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Insurgency

Suspected insurgent killed in gunfire exchange with rangers in Thailand’s deep south

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A suspected insurgent was shot and killed in a gunfire exchange with Thai rangers in Narathawit, a province in Thailand’s deep south by the Malaysian border plagued with violence from the religious separatist insurgency. 2 other men were arrested after the clash with rangers in the Bacho district this morning. Another suspected insurgent is on the run.

Rangers got a tip that 4 insurgents were hiding out at a home in the district. The rangers surround the home at around 5am this morning. The men inside the home fired shots at rangers, shooting a 28 year old soldier in the wrist. The gunfire exchange lasted about 10 minutes. A suspect, identified as Sufian Yoso, managed to escape out the back of the home.

Rangers searched the area and found the body of Suraidin Katae, also known as Madong, who had a warrant out for his arrest. Suspected insurgents Ku-afnan and Ku-amran Kupama, who are brothers, were arrested. Rangers say the men had a 11mm pistol and an AK102 rifle.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

Thailand signs trade agreement with EU, same tax rates as before Brexit

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Under a new agreement with the European Union, Thailand can export to the trade bloc under the same tax rates and trade privileges from before Brexit. After the UK left the trade bloc on January 1, the tariff rate quota deal between Thailand and the EU was renegotiated. The agreement goes into effect next month.

The recent agreement only covers the same quotas for goods under the previous agreement, according to Thailand’s permanent representative to the World Trade Organisation, Pimchanok Pitfield.

“Products covered in the agreement include rice, poultry and fishery products, which Thailand will still be able to export to the EU with the same trade privileges extended before Brexit.”

She says Thailand’s Department of Foreign Trade has been the main negoitator for the deal and they had been working since 2019 to secure, at the least, the same quotas and rates Thailand had with the EU prior to Brexit.

There will be other, separate negotiations between Thailand, the EU and UK on export duty reductions and Thailand’s Commerce Ministry plans to push for higher quotas and lower duty rates for exports of goods related to agriculture and fishery, Pimchanok told the Bangkok Post.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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