Thai News


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TM30 location tracking...

TM30 address reporting requirements eased for those doing visa runs on a multi entry visa

Link Here8th July 2020
Thailand's Immigration Bureau have announced an update to the requirement for TM30 reporting.

The new update clarifies when a TM30 report is due under section 38 of the Immigration Act. People with a multi-entry visa or a re-entry permit who make a trip abroad, or a visa run, anf return to the same Thai address as that previously registered with a TM30 do not need to file another TM30. See unofficial translation from Thai Visa:

2.2 After the house holder, owner or possessor of the premise of hotel manager has reported as defined in Article 2.1, the same alien has left the premise and returned for another stay within the valid period, the house holder, owner or possessor of the premise of hotel manager do not need to make another report;

The alien as defined in paragraph one shall include those who being granted multiple-visa who leaves and returns to the Kingdom with specified time in the visa, and those with re-entry permit.

Previously, most immigration offices in Thailand wanted a new TM30 report within 24 hours every time a person left and reentered the country. This change eliminates that requirement.

The latest announcement was posted on the Chiang Mai immigration website and came into effect from 30 June 2020.



Spy squad...

Thailand is to form a special police unit to track the whereabouts of foreigners

Link Here6th July 2020
The Royal Thai Police is forming a special task force to keep track of tourists lest they get nfected with Covid-19 as Thailand prepares to reopen its airspace to travellers.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) will be in charge of tracking tourists, according to a source. National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda has appointed Pol Lt Gen Sutin Suppuang, commissioner of the CIB to establish a Covid-19 Investigation Division to avoid any potential future outbreaks, the source said. The Covid-19 Investigation Division will contain the spread of the virus, which might enter the country by way of foreign tourists or Thai returnees when the airspace is reopened.

The Covid-19 Investigation Division will mainly involve tourist destinations and transport. Police will be asked to watch over tourists on the rivers and seas and record where they travel. The division will supply information to tourists and enforce compliance with the rules. The highway police may also set up checkpoints along roads to inspect tourists by measuring their temperature and noting their destinations. In addition, the help of investigators to track the travel history of tourists may also be enlisted.

Pol Maj Gen Worapong Thongpaibul, commander of Tourist Police Subdivision 1, said he will also propose the creation of an online application to track tourist movement. He said the app will enable travellers to easily contact the police if they need help and that it can work alongside with another tracking tool, the Thai Chana platform.

Staff will be recruited from the Thai Marine Police Division, Highway Police and Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division which normally work with the tourism sector. He added that police from the Crime Suppression Division will not be asked to join because they have their hands full.



Unifying dual pricing...

Reliance on domestic tourism means that the Thai Tourism Authority is not so keen on discounts for Thai visitors

Link Here2nd July 2020
Thai tourism authorities are currently trying to encourage domestic tourism to try and fill the void left by the lack of foreign tourists. Now Thai tourists are traditionally offerered very cheap tickets to national parks and attractions that cost farang visitors significantly more. So domestic tourism leaves parjks and attractions somewhat short of revenue.

So now the Tourism Authority of Thailand have decided that traditional dual pricing is no longer so attractive and presumably would like to see prices increased for Thias.

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents Club on Wednesday, when asked by popular blogger Richard Barrow, Tanes Petsuwan, the Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications at TAT, said that it does not make sense to charge foreigners more than Thais. Tanes went on to say that while the country is waiting for the return of tourists it is a very good time for Thailand to reform the tourism industry structure. He added:

What we did wrong [in the past] we must make it right this time.



It's a GoGo Jim but not as we know it...

Thailand confirms that bars will re-open on 1st July

Link Here29th June 2020
From July 1, Thai shopping malls, schools and educational institutes will be able to operate as normal, while bars and entertainment venues will be allowed to reopen only if they possess a valid licence, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said after the committee approved the fifth phase of lockdown relaxation.

Bars, pubs and entertainment venues will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, but will have to shut shop at midnight. These night venues are required to ensure customers are seated at least a metre apart, with tables separated by a two-metre space and 1.5-metre-high partitions. Patrons are not allowed to share tables with strangers while servers must wear masks at all times. Furthermore, frequently touched areas, including toilets, must be cleaned regularly, smoking areas clearly marked and the venues properly ventilated.

Entertainment venues are not allowed to launch any promotions just yet as these will trigger crowds. These places must screen each customer, provide hand-sanitising gel, limit customers to five per table, not serve alcoholic beverages in shared containers, and install CCTVs, recordings of which should not be deleted for a month so officers can check the situation periodically. Also, singing and dancing are strictly prohibited.

Each business must register with the ThaiChana platform before reopening.

Meanwhile, massage parlours and spas holding valid licences will be allowed to reopen, though all customers have to check in using the ThaiChana platform and are required to wear a mask at all times, except during a bath. Spas and massage parlours are required to limit the number of customers and have their masseurs/masseuses and other employees checked frequently.



The end is in sight...

Immigration said to be considering how and when to end the current vias amnesty

Link Here27th June 2020
Discussions have begun in several government departments about the future for foreigners who took advantage of the visa amnesty which ends on 31st July.

Thai authorities are tight-lipped about what may happen afterwards, particularly as flight schedules seem very resticted until at least September.

The situation is equally blurred on the land border front with neighboring countries. An announcement on June 5 stated that MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar had received permission to stay in Thailand until July 31. Although there has been substantial human traffic to and from border posts for migrants working in the construction, fisheries and other industries, tourists from anywhere in the world are banned. This means, for example, that farang cannot renew their visa by land nor make applications for fresh documentation at Thai embassies.

Given these circumstances, some arrangements for the period beyond the current amnesty will need to be announced.



The New Rulz A-GoGo...

22 new rules for re-opening pubs and bars

Link Here22nd June 2020
Thailand's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has decided that pubs, bars and entertainment venues could be allowed to open from July 1 provided they strictly observe following 22 practices:
  • - Controlling the number of patrons to ensure the venue does not get congested;
  • - Checking every customer and staff member's temperature;
  • - Providing alcohol-based hand sanitising gel at all entrances and other areas as necessary;
  • - Ensuring groups are no bigger than five;
  • - Ensuring customers queuing to be seated maintain social distancing;
  • - Ensuring all tables are at least 2 metres apart or are partitioned;
  • - Ensuring seats are at least one metre apart;
  • - Ensuring all venues are properly ventilated;
  • - Only eating and drinking is allowed;
  • - Beverages can only be served individually, and shared jugs or ice buckets are prohibited;
  • - Serving staff are required to wear a mask or face shield at all times;
  • - Stage or performance area must be partitioned, and audience must be at least 2 metres away from the stage;
  • - Event comperes or speakers are required to wear a face shield at all times;
  • - Patrons are not allowed to be loud or walk around the venue if not necessary;
  • - If the sharing of food or beverages cannot be avoided, everyone at the table must be provided with an individual serving spoon or glass;
  • - Toilets must be cleaned every 30 to 60 minutes;
  • - All tables, chairs and frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned regularly;
  • - No sports matches or competitions that will attract large groups of people are allowed;
  • - No video gaming or pub games like pool and darts will be allowed;
  • - Social distancing measures must be observed in smoking areas;
  • - No service personnel or public relations representatives are allowed to sit with customers.



The end is in sight...

Thai coronavirus committee seems set to allow the re-opening of bars

Link Here21st June 2020
Thai nightlife will soon be back in full swing as a key member of the virus-fighting state agency on Sunday promised to allow pubs, bars, karaoke parlours and other entertainment venues to reopen their doors.

The decision was reached in talks between Nattapol Nakpanit, from the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), and representatives of nightlife and musicians. It still needs endorsement, however, by the full-fledged CCSA meeting on Friday.



Staying safe...

Thai authorities say that flights to Thailand will not resume until September

Link Here20th June 2020
Thailand's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAT) has said it will be September before international flights to and from the country resume. And even then manager Jula Sukhmanop said it would only be a minimal service, if airlines offer one at all.

He was speaking after the CAAT met with Thai and foreign airlines to discuss the way forward after Thai airspace is expected to be fully opened and further restrictions eased. Airlines are reluctant to resume operations before they get clear guidance.



Bar girls re-employed as waitresses...

Thai 'bars' stay closed but 'restaurants' are allowed to start selling alcohol

Link Here18th June 2020
  There has been an improvement in nightlife as the Thai Government has ended the overnight curfew and allowed restaurants to start selling alcohol.

So of course many bars have now re-opened with a focus on the availability of food, when in fact operations may be more about drink and ladies. GoGos are still firmly closed though, as the licensing system simply does not allow for the illusion of food sales. Unfortunately for the GoGo trade, large nightlife venues in other Asian counties have proved to be the centres of local breakouts of coronavirus.

And of course the moral boundaries between bars with food vs restauranats with beer are being enforced by police raids. But the police are easily persuaded on which side of the line a particular venue lies.



Thailand is set to allow farang husbands to travel to Thailand...

No doubt with the usual impossibly onerous paperwork and quarantine requirements

Link Here 16th June 2020
Foreigners who are married to a Thai national or who hold permanent residency but who have been stranded overseas due to COVID-19 are set to be given special dispensation to return to Thailand.

During Monday's English language COVID-19 briefing, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Natapanu Nopakun, said that a meeting took place on 15th June with various government agencies who are now coordinating to allow more foreigners to enter Thailand. Natapanu confirmed that among the next group to be allowed to enter Thailand are those married to Thai nationals and those who hold permanent residency.

Specific details regarding the return of this group is expected to be announced at a later date.



Social caging for visitors...

Thailand considers extreme restictions for foreign visitors

Link Here15th June 2020
One thousand foreign visitors are expected to be allowed entry to Thailand per day and the standard 14-day Covid-19 quarantine rule will be waived, according to an implementation plan for travel bubbles to be submitted for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)'s approval on Wednesday.

These visitors, who in the beginning will be mostly business people and patients seeking medical treatment in Thailand, must come as part of bilateral cooperation on tourism between Thailand and selected countries which have managed to contain the coronavirus, according to Traisuree Taisaranakul, a government spokeswoman.

Covid-19 screening tests will be required both before the visitors leave their countries and upon arriving in Thailand, she said.

This, however, doesn't mean the visitors will be able to travel freely while in Thailand as they will still be prohibited from visiting certain parts of the country and will be tracked via a smart phone application, she said.

Final details of the programme are being discussed by the Tourism and Sports Ministry, Public Health Ministry, Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, Narongchai Khunpluem, mayor of Saen Suk municipality in Chon Buri's Muang district, said those who continue to flout the ban on drinking alcohol on the beach will now face a fine after previous warnings have fallen on deaf ears. He wrote on his Facebook page.

There they did it again, drinking alcohol on the beaches despite all these warnings. So they deserve to be fined, don't they?



Dry politics...

Thailand set to reopen nearly all businesses except bars

Link Here11th June 2020
The Thai government has now released the lock down on nearly all businesses except bars and soapy massages. Presumably the basis for this is more moralism than publich health considerations.

The news follows a meeting of a committee under the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired the meeting at Government House on Thursday. The CCSA will decide on the business lockdown easing on Friday.

A source said that Gen Prayut agreed to lift the 11pm-3am curfew so that people could return to their normal life. Almost all businesses would be allowed to resume except pubs, bars, karaoke shops and bath-sauna-massage parlours.

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