Thailand News Today | Thailand Pass CANCELLED. Let’s Party till 2AM!
The CCSA just announced some BIG changes to Thailand’s Covid restrictions.
The center met with Thailand’s Prime Minister and the Ministry of Public Health this afternoon to make decisions about the Thailand Pass, “zones,” closing times of entertainment venues, face masks and temperature checks, so here’s where we stand.
The CCSA announced the complete cancellation of the Thailand Pass, as well as the requirement to purchase Covid insurance, effective July 1.
From July 1, travellers will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter Thailand. Unvaccinated travellers must provide a negative ATK test result that was conducted by a medical professional. If travellers do not have either proof of vaccination history or a negative ATK test result, they can still gain entry into Thailand but might be subject to an on-arrival ATK test. The CCSA said there will be randomised document checking at the airport, and anyone who does not have the aforementioned documents will be subject to a professional ATK test.
The Thailand Pass website itself will still exist, but will serve a completely different purpose, from July 1. If foreign travellers get ill while travelling in Thailand, they can use the Thailand Pass website to report their symptoms. We will report on this when further details emerge.
All of Thailand’s 77 provinces will become “Green” zones (AKA surveillance areas). This allows entertainment venues to open in all 77 provinces. The CCSA said they will make a further announcement about when this change will come into effect. WE suspect it will come into effect on July 1.
Entertainment venues will be allowed to open until 2am, and 1am in some areas, which have not yet been specified. The CCSA will make a further announcement about when this will come into effect, but we also suspect it will be effective from July 1. Previously, all entertainment venues were required to close at midnight.
As suspected, the CCSA did not make a clear statement about the requirement to wear face masks. Instead, the CCSA has “asked” the public to use their own discretion to decide when it is appropriate to wear a face mask, although if you’ve been following our Good Morning Thailand show, you’ll know from our guest lawyer that it is not a requirement by law. Moreover, they advise people over 60 years old to continue wearing face masks as a precautionary measure.
Temperature measuring devices are no longer required at all venues in Thailand. They may still be used in some “high risk” places.
Thailand’s Board of Investment is set to make an announcement on September 1 regarding its Long-Term Resident Visa plan. Meanwhile, this is what we know about the 10-year renewable visa.
Under the LTR scheme, privileges include
- A 10 years renewable visa;
- Exemption from the “four Thais to one foreigner” employment requirement ratio;
- Fast track service at international airports in Thailand;
- Extension of the 90-day report to a one-year report, and exemption from re-entry permit requirements;
- Permission to work in Thailand (AKA a Digital Work permit);
- 17% personal income tax for high-skilled professionals, and
- Immigration and work permit facilitation services at the One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit.
The good news is that, last month, the Thai Cabinet announced that the fee for a 10 year LTR visa would be halved from 100,000 baht to 50,000 baht. The bad news is…the requirements.
The LTR visa plan is targeting 4 types of foreign residents: Wealthy Global Citizens, Wealthy Pensioners, Work-from-Thailand Professionals, and Highly-Skilled Professionals, and their dependents. Dependants include spouses and children under 20 years old. There’s a maximum of 4 dependents in total per one LTR visa holder.
Those wanting to qualify as Wealthy Global Citizen must have a personal income of no less than 80,000 US dollars a year in the past 2 years before applying for the visa. They must also be a personal investor of no less than half a million US dollars in at least 1 of the following categories BEFORE applying for the visa: Thai government bonds, a Thai registered company, or Thai real estate.
Moreover, the Global Wealthy Citizen must have a net asset value of no less than 1 million US dollars at the time of application. You must also have health insurance with a coverage of no less than 50,000 US dollars or a deposit of no less than 100,000.
If you’re applying as a Wealthy Pensioner, you’ll need to be over 50 years of age and receive a regular pension income of no less than 80,000 us dollars a year. If below this but no less than 40,000 a year, you’ll need to have an investment of at least 250,000 us dollars in either Thai government bonds, a Thai registered company, or a Thai real estate. You’re also required to have a health insurance policy of no less than 50,000 us dollars through the entire period of stay in Thailand.
The Work-From-Thailand Professional
You must have a personal income of no less than 80,000 US dollars a year in the past two years before applying for the visa. In case your annual income is below 80,000 but no less than 40,000, you must have at least a master’s degree, own IP, or receive Series A funding.
You also need health insurance of at least 50,000 us dollars throughout your entire stay in Thailand as well as 5 years of work experience in your relevant field with a certified employer.
The High Skilled Professional
This means you’re working in business, government agencies, or institutions in targeted industries in Thailand. You need to have a personal income of no less than 80,000 US dollars a year in the past 2 years. If it’s under 80 but over 40, you’ll need to have at least a science and tech master degree or specialised expertise related to your target industry.
And of course, you’ll need health insurance of at least 50,000 us dollars throughout your stay in Thailand.
In response to public concern about recreational abuse of the “happy plant” since its decriminalisation last week, Thailand’s Health Minister has signed a regulation to make its flowers as a “controlled herb.”
According to Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the legislation specifies who is and is not allowed to access the CHT-rich flowers. Arrange CHT backwards and you’ll know what compound we’re talking about. The legislation will come into effect once it is published in the Royal Gazette,
The legality of recreational use of the plant, whose name will demonetize us on Youtube if we dare mention it, has been a major source of confusion since the plant was removed from Thailand’s list of Category 5 of narcotics on June 9. One thing is clear – extracts made from the plant can’t have a CHT content of more than 0.2%. However, the flowers – or “buds” – are a bit more difficult to regulate.
Now that Thai people are legally allowed to grow this plant at home, and the plant is not considered a drug, people want to know whether smoking it is legal or not. Possession of any part of the plant is legal, but its smoke is considered a “public nuisance.” Meaning, smoking it in public is a criminal offence punishable by 3 months in prison and a fine of no more than 25,000 baht – that is if someone reports you for it.
However, if no one considers the smoke to be causing public nuisance, then smoking the flowers in private spaces is not technically breaking the law. This little loophole might explain the deluge of “dispensaries” popping up all over Thailand since June 9, where you can simply walk in and buy some flowers in all different flavours, with high-percentages of CHT, as if you’re in Spain or California.
The new legislation specifies that people who can access the “controlled herb” must be over 20 years old. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are barred from access to the herb and patients who get prescribed cannabis can possess the herb for no longer than 30 days.
The legislation is designed to ease concerns of the public, some of whom have expressed concerns about the effects of decriminalisation on Thailand’s youth. Today, Thai media reported that one parent is not happy after their 14 year old child ended up in hospital after using the plant recreationally.
Classifying the plant as a “controlled herb” is a just temporary measure to ease public concern over recreational cannabis abuse while a more substantial bill goes through the motions in Parliament, after passing its first reading in the Lower House.
Thailand’s FDA reported that over 800,000 people have registered to grow the happy plant on June 9. Foreigners are not allowed to cultivate the plant, because registration requires a Thai ID number.
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