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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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;
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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Thai 'bars' stay closed but 'restaurants' are allowed to start selling alcohol
18th 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.
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.
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,
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.
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?
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.
The government has set July 1 for the lifting of all coronavirus lockdown measures.
These include interprovincial and international travel, as well as the end of emergency decree and curfew.
NSC secretary-general Gen Somsak Rungsita said that
the lifting of restrictions would be a complete reopening of the country. but added:
People's cooperation is important. This concerns the use of face masks, social distancing, hand wash and limited activities. As long
as the disease is spreading worldwide, we will have to fight against it for a while.
The major Thai ISP True Online said Monday it restricted access to PornHub website. The company confirmed the censorship in a tweet:
We have restricted access to PornHub because it has inappropriate content.
It's no secret that Thai internet providers employ a method of censorship that would have caused riots in the Western countries: blocking pornographic content involving consenting adults and any other material ordered by the authorities.
Netizens reacted to the company's statement with mockery, while many resorted to the traditional way of expressing internet outrage -- calling for a boycott of True. eg in tweets:
True Online, can't we be horny?
The point is not whether PornHub is moral or immoral, but what rights allow True to decide whether it is appropriate?
In response to the netizens' fury, the company later walked back its statement a few hours later, saying that the website was not indeed blocked. However, some users reported that the website is still inaccessible as of Tuesday.
It is a subtlety of the English language that adjectives of praise are reserved for opinions about someone else. To use them to describe oneself rather suggests arrogance, irony or even dishonesty.
And so maybe it doesn't seem a very good idea for the
authorities to replace their 'Amazing Thailand' slogan with 'Amazing Trusted Thailand'.
Thailand plans to re-brand tourism in the post-coronavirus era to Amazing Trusted Thailand, aimed at selective markets and destinations in the country that can
guarantee health and safety standards for both tourists and locals.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn described a most unappetizing proposal:
We estimate international markets will
return in October, so all related agencies are working on a proper recovery plan that won't risk a second wave of the pandemic after our proven record of effective virus control during the first wave.
Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha suggested we use this opportunity to rebrand Thai tourism as a quality destination where we care more about trust than carrying capacity.
Islands such as Phuket or Samui may be the first batch of destinations to welcome
international tourists as their geography allows authorities to more easily control and keep track of tourists.
Thailand is looking at high spenders within the region, such as Singapore, China and Vietnam, to visit designated
areas in Thailand under a quota.
These tourists can visit selected destinations without being subjected to 14-day quarantine measures, but they have to provide health certification, fit-to-fly certificates and buy health insurance
before visiting Thailand, while rapid testing will be available upon arrival.
The Thai government will launch a new mobile phone app to facilitate disease-control tracking of customers as shops reopen with the easing of the coronavirus lockdown.
Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation
Administration, said that shop owners would register online for a QR code that would be placed in front of their shop.
Customers would use their mobile phone to scan the code as they enter and leave the premises.
Taweesilp said the
Thai Chana app would serve 70-80% of people based on the number of mobile phone users, who account for 70-80% of Thailand's population. He added:
Young children and elderly people who do not use mobile phones will be
able to use manual registration.
The app would facilitate the government's attempts to quickly track people infected with Covid-19 and those in close contact with them.
Dr Polawat Witoolkollachit, inspector-general of the
Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, said the new app would be launched on Friday, along with details of how to register. All kinds of shops could use it, including street vendors.
The Thai tourist authority has announced another plan to charge all visitors for medical insurance. The charge is likely to be about 300 baht per visit which could bring in revenue of 12 billion baht annually should tourism return to pre-covid levels.
Details are sketchy at the moment but the fee, if approved by the Thai Cabinet, would likely be added to the cost of the air ticket as a supplement. Visitors by sea and land would likely have to pay at the border or port.
A government spokesman
spoke mainly of the threat posed by the virus and the need to reduce the problem of foreigners seeking medical treatment in Thailand without proper financial cover, occurring when people either don't have insurance or else the insurers are refusing to
pay up with get out clauses in the small print.
A coronavirus check will include, facial recognition, providing personal information, a check against criminal records, a check on the car, and an app with location tracking to keep tabs on your whereabouts in Phuket
Phuket is a holiday island in Thailand that is accessed by road via a single bridge to the mainland. In the name of coronavirus monitoring the Phuket authorities have introduced an horribly invasive computerised checkpoint on the bridge.
on people crossing the bridge will include a temperature check with a facial recognition detection system connected with the public health database. In the case detection of a traveller has contracted the Covid-19 virus, police will be alerted at the
checkpoints along with National Emergency Notification Center staff.
But that is just the beginning of it. The Phuket Smart Check Point will also include scanning for suspect vehicles involved in crimes, and checking the traveller's criminal
The Check Point will also require travellers to register and supply personal information. This will be kept on record for subsequent crossings and will be used for unspecified analysis by the authorities, including for the suppression of
The system comes with an app that can be used as a tracking device allowing authorities to see where your current location is in the province.
Hotels in Thailand, particularly in Phuket and some surrounding regions, have been hit with a double whammy. First the whole Covid-19-related wipe-out, now a cash-flow problem brought about after the TUI Group -- an Anglo-German multinational travel and
tourism company -- has stalled repayments for hotel rooms occupied in the high season just gone.
The amount owed to Thailand hotels is believed to exceed 2 billion baht. TUI is in the top three tour operators in Thailand and brings in significant
numbers of tourists from Germany, Scandinavia and Britain. There are at least 2,000 hotels in Thailand who partner with TUI.
TUI Group has sent letters to hotels asking to delay repayment on debt. That's pushed 12 tourism associations in Thailand
to file a complaint with the government asking for help to resolve the situation. The unpaid rooms are for the January-March quarter.
Different hotel operators receive slightly varied conditions from TUI based on their locations and contracts but
most have been asked to accept 25% of the owed monies within 10 days after signing a new contract, while the remaining debt will be paid when TUI's business is back to normal. The lack of any defined debt repayment timeline is another concern for the
hotels who wallow around in financial limbo.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has spooked Thai people into panic buying and stockpiling of alcohol. n
He responded to people crowding stores to purchase alcohol, by imposing limits on the quantities and times when alcohol can be bought.
I have complained and issued new controls on the sale of alcoholic beverages. Now there are limitations on how many bottles can be sold and during what hours, so this does not happen again, the premier said.
He also warned that if people still crowd stores to purchase booze, the government will once again impose a ban.
TrueVisions is the dominant pay TV provider for Thai cable and satellite TV. The company broadcasts all foreign news channels with an annoying 5 minute delay so that a Thai news censor can hit the 'censor' button should the channel report about a
sensitive news topic.
Now the True company seems to have got in a spot of bother by openly posting a job listing for an international news censor on the nation's biggest job site.
TrueVisions has been criticized for its post on JobsDB for an
employee to monitor inappropriate news from 17 foreign news channels and talk shows and report them to superiors.
According to the job post, any content deemed to violate Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the section known as lese majeste, which
makes criticism of the royal family punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The job listing did not indicate salary or other information about the job. Today, it had been replaced by a message reading , We're very sorry. This job no longer exists.
The Thai prime minister has signed an order granting a visa amnesty for visitors whose entries that have expired or are set to expire from the 26th March until the 30th April. Overstay fines will not be levied for this period but any overstay fines
accumulated until the 26th March will still need to be paid.
This process is automatic and foreigners no longer need to go to immigration offices.
90 day reporting is also suspended until further notice.
The order appears on the
immigration website in English as follows:
Announcing the latest visa relief measures on 7 April 2020
The person whose visas has expired from 26th of March 2020 will be automatically
extended to 30th of April 2020. There is no need to apply for a visa extension at Immigration Office for this period and will not be fined THB 500 per day for this case.
Aliens who are due for 90 days reports between 26th of March
2020 and 30th of April 2020 are temporarily exempted from reporting in this period until further notice.
Aliens who are holding Border Passes will be allowed to stay in Thailand for now. However, Aliens with Border Passes must
depart Thailand within 7 days of the border crossing points opening date.
Aliens are advised to follow announcements regarding Immigration measures closely for updates. (Currently measures announced until 30 April 2020 or further
Nine separate documents are now required for foreigners stranded in Thailand to extend their stay for up to 30 days, the immigration said Thursday.
Immigration spokesman Phakkhaphong Saiubon defended the inconvenience on the grounds of national
security. New requirements include land deeds, rent contracts, and even selfies of foreigners with their accommodations, even as scenes of disarray and massive queues at immigration continue unabated.
Indeed, we are requiring more documents than
usual because there are those who want to exploit the opportunity, Col. Phakkhaphong said.
Apart from the usual TM7 application, copies of their passport, and applicant's photos, the new rule requires a certificate from their respective embassies, a
copy of rent contract, document confirming their stay at the accommodation, a copy of landlord's ID card and house registration, and a map showing the location of their residence.
The landlord is required to accompany the applicant in person when
submitting the documents. The applicant must also take at least four photos with their accommodation to prove their residency.
It has been reported that holders of tourist visas that entered after March 1st are spared the nine document ordeal but
there won't be many that qualify.
Petition: Appeal for Thai government to provide 2 two month extension of stay to all foreigners
We respectfully ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand to use their influence to ask the Immigration Bureau to offer an automatic two month extension of stay to all foreigners in Thailand whose
visa is about to expire. This so that foreigners can stay safe and adhere to the social distancing rules instructed by the Thai government AND equally as important that the Thai teams at Immigration also stay safe.
Tourists stranded in Koh Samui were treated badly by Immigration officials, a German tourist has complained. He said that he and other tourists had to be in a crowded office at the Immigration centre in Koh Samui to apply for visa extension. He said:
Thailand is taking advantage of tourist by forcing them to come and extend their visas for money, while all reasonable countries in the world extend the visa automatically for a certain date.
The tourist provided a photo from
the immigration office taken on Friday 3rd April 2020.
In response to the SARS 2 pandemic, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has announced that a nationwide curfew will be imposed daily from Friday, April 3rd at 22:00 until 04:00 hours.
But Pattaya will be going into even deeper lockdown as dictated by
the Chonburi provincial governor. He has announced 10 new lockdown rules:
1. Each district sets up their own taskforce to ensure compliance with the regulations
2. Hotels and other accomdations are to close down and employees are to stay at
the hotels, and not leave Chonburi to go home. Hotels that still have guests were given three days to decide whether to close down or stay open. If they stay open, no new guests are allowed.
3. Pattaya will be sealed off. No one will be allowed to
go in or out. Checkpoints will decide on special cases.
4. All beaches in Chonburi are to close to any social gathering but swimming is still allowed.
5. Gas stations are to close between 10 pm and 5 am.
6. Some markets ordered to
7. People are asked to observe an 11pm to 5 am curfew (a rule superceded by the national curfew)
8. Certain commercial businesses are to be ordered shut.
9. There are to be no assemblies at reservoirs.
10. Male and
female hairdressers can remain open for haircutting only. All tattooists and nail salons are to shut.
The Immigration Bureau has proposed allowing foreigners who have had their travel plans disrupted by COVID-19 to extend their visas to 30 June 2020.
Currently, Immigration is giving foreigners who are unable to fly back to their home countries or to
another destination a 30 day extension of stay, providing they can provide a visa extension letter from their embassy.
The proposal was submitted to the Cabinet for consideration last week but it is not known if it will be approved.
news comes after Immigration offices nationwide have been inundated with foreigners desperately trying to extend their visas after being left stranded in Thailand.
Foreign visitors have been barred from entering Thailand after a state of emergency has come into effect.The ban applies to all ports of entry -- land, air or sea -- with limited exceptions for the likes of diplomats. Foreign residents with work
permits are allowed to return to Thailand but there are onerous documentation requirements for a negative covid lab test and health insurance.
The emergency also means that public assembly of large groups is forbidden, as is news coverage the
government deems untrue, incites panic or threatens national security. Elderly Thais are instructed to stay home except for essential trips such as to see a doctor or buy food.
Domestic travel restrictions are not nationally enacted but provincial
governors can set their own rules.
Thai Immigration has published an emergency document stating that 30 day extensions will be available for foreigners stranded in Thailand by the covid-19 crisis.
The most straight forward cases are for those with tourist visas or 30 day visa exempt
Those on non immigrant visas still need to obtain a letter from their embassies stating that the foreigner is stranded. For British citizens this letter may be obtained by email. See
article from gov.uk
There is also a catch all extension for those that don't qualify under the above. This seem to
require authorisation from a high ranking police officer though.
Update: Immigration won't let go of overstay fines
Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Udom Thongchin told The
Phuket News on 23rd March that foreigners needing to stay in Thailand, or unable to travel home, need to obtain a letter from their embassy requesting the Thai Immigration Bureau to allow them to extend their stay in the country.
If a foreigner's
permit to stay is about to expire and they cannot get a letter from their embassy, or their embassy refuses to issue them a letter, we have no regulation that can help them, Lt Col Udom explained. We can only wait for any new policies to come from the
Immigration Bureau in Bangkok, he said.
My advice is for foreigners to urge their embassies to issue them a letter requesting a 30-day extension. If their visas expire, they will be charged for B500 a day overstay in accordance with the law, Lt Col
On Wednesday the Tourism Minister said that he'd been discussing the problem of overstaying tourists and visitors, due to a lack of flights or border closures in their home countries, with Thailand's immigration officials. Now some immigration offices
are announcing an official clemency.
In Phuket, foreigners stranded in Thailand due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak may apply to Phuket Immigration for a 30 day visa extension to avoid the need to travel.
The extensions will cost the standard
1,900 each. But it's not quite as simple as all that. Udom said that any foreigners seeking to extend their visas will require a letter from the embassy or consulate of their home country.
The letter must be from the embassy or consulate requesting
that the Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau allow the foreigner to stay in the country longer. It must name the foreigner and it must have the sentence that the foreigner 'is unable to travel due to the COVID-19 coronvirus situation.' It must be an
actual letter, hand over with a copy of their passport at the Phuket Immigration Office during office hours.
Thailand's public health minister and deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul has told a press conference that the Public Health Ministry will suggest additional precautions to the government and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday, including the temporary
closure of bars and entertainment venues, including nightclubs, concerts, live music venues and other venues where people congregate.
Anutin says these measure would be to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus , and would be based on
zone-by-zone decisions by the government and coronavirus response teams.
Anutin announced several other measures will be suggested to the PM, to include potential limitation of travel for Songkran and enforced cancellation of private cultural and
A meeting of the Covid-19 Administration Centre, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, approved a motion to postpone the Songkran holidays from April 13-15 to later dates. The meeting cited the reason of increasing social distance and
minimising public movement both domestically and internationally.
The new date for Songkran will be announced later.
On the topic of bar clsoures, the government agreed to close all venues with a capacity for more than 50 people, such as
entertainment premises, boxing stadiums, and universities, and the topic will be discussed agaon on 17th March.
The government has decided to suspend Visa on Arrival (VoA) for visitors from 18 countries at a meeting on March 11, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, also head of the Covid-19 management centre.
Countries affected are Bulgaria, Bhutan,
China (include Taiwan) , Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Republic of Vanuatu.
All visitors to Thailand should contact the Thai embassy in
their countries prior to travel. The cancellation of visa-free entry also applies to high-risk countries ( Italy, South Korea) and Hong Kong).
Starting from tomorrow (March 12 ), all foreign tourists arriving at all international airports in Thailand
will be required to download an AOT Airports application onto their mobile phones. The requirement also applies to Thai returnees from high risk countries.
Once the app is downloaded, they will have to fill in the required information - name, surname,
passport ID , mobile phone number, e-mail address and present them to the immigration officials on duty . The information will be stored for 14 days after arrival.
In the case of a virus-infected person, the information given will enable related
state agencies to trace contacts.
There are n mentions of what happens if a traveller does not have a mobile phone, or a current data package.
UK retailer Tesco has agreed to sell its Tesco Lotus operation in Thailand and Malaysia for ($10.6bn) £8bn.
The supermarket chain has 2,000 stores across both countries, under the Tesco Lotus brand, and is selling them to Thai conglomerate CP Group,
perhaps most well known locally for its 7 Eleven convenience store network and the True telecoms company.
Tesco revealed in December it had received interest for its Asian stores, which employ about 60,000 people, but did not reveal the bidders.
The proposed sale was unanimously agreed by the Tesco board, but needs approval from shareholders and regulators. The deal is set to be finalised in the second half of this year.
The UAE has issued a travel ban to Thailand and Iran following the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a statement on Monday banning its citizens from travelling to Thailand and Iran due to
concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak in both countries.
UAE citizens currently in these countries are requested to contact the UAE Embassy or the Ministry's call centre on 800 44444, and register on the ministry's 'Tawajudi' service.
comes after Kuwait's civil aviation authority also on Monday announced it was suspending all flights to and from Thailand. Kuwait also suspended flights between Iraq, Italy and South Korea.
One has to wonder why Thailand has been singled out. The
official count of 37 cases is not notably high.
Emirates airlines is based in Dubai in the UAE and is often use d by European visitors too.
Thailand has some tracking and address reporting laws that would be considered extreme in an Orwellian state. Foreigners are required to report their where abouts to the immigration police within 24 hours of moving to another location (using form TM28).
In addition Thai hotels or accommodation owners are also required to report the comings and goings of foreigners to immigration police also within 24 hours (using form TM30).
In fact in Pattaya/Chonburi only this 2nd requirement has been enforced by
the police, but with the unjust tweak that the foreigner is forced to pay the fines of the Thai accommodation owners should the TM30 not be sent to the police.
Now Thailand has announced that TM28 is no longer required. In fact Immigration has not
formally revoked the requirement, just made more or less everyone exempt.
But for all the fanfare the TM30 location reporting requirement is still very much in force. Saying that immigration do seem to have relaxed on the concept of holding
foreigners responsible for the failures of the property owners to comply.
The health office in Chiang Mai said on Monday (January 27) that the Public Health Ministry had instructed provincial health offices to stop reporting the numbers of suspected and confirmed coronavirus cases and wait for the official announcement from
the ministry after China announced a ban of all flight to the province after February 7.
There are 19 direct flights daily from China to Chiang Mai, according to airport authority.
The deadline for switching from magnetic ATM cards to chip cards is coming closer and after January 15, all magnetic cards will become invalid, Siritida Panomwon na, assistant governor of Ayudhya, Bank of Thailand said. The new cards are also notable for
requiring a 6 digit rather than the usual 4 digit PIN.
The switch was expected to be completed by the end of 2019, as 47 million magnetic cards had already been converted to chip cards, leaving some 20 million magnetic cards nationwide.
Magnetic cards holders can change their cards at any branch of their respective banks or financial institutions free of charge. Required documents are ID card, existing magnetic card and bank passbook, said the assistant governor.
After January 15, magnetic cards will be unusable at ATMs and credit card machines at retail shops. However, card owners can still make a cash withdrawal or transfer money at bank's tellers, via mobile banking and internet banking as alternatives.
It could be the worst seasonal drought for four decades according to the Office of National Water Resources.
Speaking to the Bangkok Post, ONWR secretary-general Somkiat Prajamwong recalled that during the severe drought in 2015 (when Thailand was
under military rule), soldiers were sent to protect wells from indiscriminate pumping by local villagers irrigating their farms.
The ONWR was created two years ago to address the country's water issues and challenges, and is in charge of water
resource management and coordinating policies and goals across 20 state agencies.
Thailand's dry season started in November and usually lasts through April, although this year authorities say it could go on through June. Thailand's Central region is
predicted to be the hardest hit by the looming drought, focussed on the 22 provinces along the Chao Phraya River. Somkiat also predicts farmland will be affected because the amount of land for farming has risen by 3 million rai in recent years.
week, Bangkok's water authority said the capital's tap water was becoming saline as seawater pushed up the depleted Chao Phraya river, a source of much of central Thailand's water.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday urged people to turn
off taps and shower less to cope with a drought afflicting northern and central Thailand.
Most national retailers in Thailand have just stopped handing out free plastic carrier bags to shoppers on January 1st
In the run up to the big day Thai TV added plastic bags to their list of social vices that must be optically censored, previously
guns, alcoholic drinks, and cigarettes.
Perhaps the TV companies would have more of an effect blurring out cars, motorbikes, airplanes, air conditioners and meat.
Anyway the censorship has caused much derision on social media and the Thai
environment minister stepped in to support the censorship.
National Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said it was easy for the online community to criticise this act of self-censorship by TV stations. He defended the
broadcasters' "well intentioned" efforts by comparing it to the censorship of alcohol and cigarettes.