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A shot in the arm for tourism...

Thailand buys in AstraZeneca covid vaccine


Link Here26th November 2020
Thailand has just signed a $200 million deal to procure 26 million doses of a trial coronavirus vaccine developed by pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University. It is expected to be delivered in mid-2021.

The doses would cover 13 million people in a population of about 69 million.

Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said officials are still considering how to prioritize vaccine recipients. Those who work closely with COVID-19 patients, for example, doctors and nurses, should be among the first get get vaccinated.

Perhaps those working with dangerous foreign visitors should be next on the list.

 

 

Thai negativity...

Thailand Plus, yet another proposed tracking app to snoop on the location of visitors


Link Here23rd November 2020
The Thai government is to introduce another new app, called Thailand Plus , to enable the tracking of foreign tourists in the country.

 Sompote Arhunai, CEO of the Energy Absolute Company, which developed the coronavirus venue registering Mor Chana app, said that the Thailand Plus app functions like Mor Chana, but it will link to information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for screening and tracing, from arrival in Thailand, supposedly for the prevention of COVID-19 spread.

Similar to a GPS system, he said that officials will know the whereabouts of the tourists during their stay in Thailand.

 

 

 

 

Updated: Excess baggage...

Bangkok taxis introduce an extra charge for luggage


Link Here21st November 2020
State controlled taxi fares are very cheap in Thailand, so it is reasonable for drivers to top them up a little with extras

The Transport Ministry has announced that as of Tuesday, Bangkok metered taxis will be allowed to charge passengers handling fees for large luggage items, but not for equipment such as wheelchairs or walking sticks.

The charge is basically 20 baht for each bag that exceeds 26 inches in width, height or length. And also 100 baht per piece for sports equipment like golf bags, bicycles, surfboards or musical instruments that are 50 inches or more in size.

The cabbie is required to inform the passenger in advance about the extra handling fees.

No charges will be allowed for smaller baggage such as handbag, computer bag, backpack or personal belongings carried by the passenger.

Update: Airports taxis only

21st November 2020. See article from thethaiger.com

The Land Transport Department is clarifying the recent news that taxis in Bangkok can charge special handling fees for luggage after the announcement received public scrutiny. The department's deputy director Tanee Suebrerk says this special fee only applies to metred taxis travelling to and from Bangkok's two airports.

 

 

Thailand backs off from telling backpackers to pack off...

Thailand has massively increased financial requirements for a tourist visa


Link Here 19th November 2020
 
Foreigners who wish to apply for a Single Entry Tourist Visa (SETV) to Thailand are now required to provide 6 months worth of bank statements showing a continuing bank balance of at least 500,000 Baht (12800)

The jaw dropping new financial requirement has been confirmed on the websites of several Thai embassies around the world, as well via emails to Thaivisa readers .

The SETV allows foreigners to stay in Thailand for up to 60 days from the date of arrival and is valid for 90 days from date of issue.

Previously, applicants for the SETV had to show proof they had a balance of at least 20,000 THB or 40,000 THB for families and sometimes, depending on the Thai Embassy or Consulate, this wasn't asked for.

And that's not all. Applicants also need to meet all the other requirements necessary for any non-Thai to return to Thailand currently such as, Certificate of Entry, declaration form, quarantine booking, Fit to Fly Certificate, COVID-19 negative test result and an insurance policy which provides a minimum of 100,000 USD coverage, including for COVID-19.

Update: Too onerous

19th November 2020. See article from thepattayanews.com

Based on multiple reports, Thailand has dropped its requirement for proving significant money in the bank before being able to obtain a tourist visa to visit Thailand.

The requirement to prove having 500,000 Baht (13,000) continuously held in a bank account for 6 months has been dropped from most embassies around the world including the UK.

Thailand is keen to try and attract richer tourists, but maybe they found that this particular method of filtering out the riff raff ended up with no visitors at all.

 

 

Updated: Early release...

Thai government seeks to reduce quarantine for foreign visitors to 10 days but to then force them to be tagged


Link Here1st November 2020
The National Communicable Disease Committee has agreed to reduce travel quarantine to 10 days from 14 days, said Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Ministry Anutin Charnvirakul.

The Disease Control Department will issue regulations on the new measures to monitor the quarantinees for another four days after they complete the mandatory 10-day quarantine.

Contact tracing system will be put in place and they must adhere to social distancing rules, avoid crowded places and wear face covering.

Update: Electronic tagging

1st November 2020 See article from thethaiger.com

The next idea to make Thailand into an Orwellian hell for foreign visitors is to force them to wear electronic tags.

These will track their locations and measure the body's temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, and alert the authorities if the readings step out of line. Eg If a body temperature over 37.5c is recorded, an alert will automatically be sent to local health officials.

The 'Smartband' is being introduced from today. It's the brainchild of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, in cooperation with Thai startups, according to the announcement on PR Thai Government.

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