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Short time Thailand...

Thailand makes visa runs more difficult

Link Here16th October 2022
Thai and Cambodian border police at Aranyaprathet and Pong Nam Ron have detailed new more complex rules for those who who extend their stay in Thailand via a visa run. The new entry stamp can be extended for a further month at immigration offices for 1,900 baht (US$50).

Borey San, Cambodian clearance officer, said applicants must register with a Pattaya tour and minibus operator in advance of heading for the border, seemingly giving Pattaya's numerous cowboy operators even more opportunities to rip off visitors.

The tour company must then send a copy of the passport to the border post of choice to ensure the applicant is eligible for renewal.

Unregistered individuals arriving at the frontier under their own steam will not be serviced the same day and would need to spend several days or a week pending review of their application.

Thai Visa Center offers the service, including all costs and including lunch, for 5,500 baht (US$140), including the Cambodian entry visa worth 1,150 baht (US$30) and minibus fare. The visa run price was about 2,500 Baht prior to the coronavirus epidemic.



A shot in the arm for tourism...

Thailand ends vaccination requirements for foreign visitors

Link Here25th September 2022
Thailand is to scrap all emergency provisions as it seeks to boost a very fragile economic recovery.

Thailand is to cancel all requirements concerning the virus emergency from October 1st including those for incoming passengers as the kingdom gears up to abolish the Emergency Decree introduced at the end of March 2020. It comes with a growing realisation that lasting economic damage to the kingdom's foreign tourism industry and the overall economy has resulted from the measure which will take at least another year just to see the country recover lost economic ground and at least another two years after that again before the kingdom has any chance of witnessing visitor numbers like that seen in 2019.

Entry into Thailand for foreign travellers will be the same as existed before the start of 2020 with just a passport and immigration check-in on arrival. Specifically, this will mean passengers arriving in Thailand will not be asked for any information related to the virus including vaccine certificates or test results.



Ignoring unrealistic medical advice...

Medical Council of Thailand advises Thais to avoid sexual contact with foreigners in order to contain the spread of monkeypox

Link Here3rd August 2022
People should avoid sexual contact with foreigners in order to contain the spread of monkeypox, the Medical Council of Thailand advised this week.

Amorn Leelarasamee, a member of the Medical Council of Thailand, said he was uncertain whether monkeypox would become endemic in Thailand as the disease can be transmitted from person to person and from animal to person.

Amorn asked people who develop fever, a red rash and blisters to immediately take a monkeypox test and isolate themselves for 21 days. He also advised Thais to avoid sexual contact with foreigners as most monkeypox cases worldwide have been found in gay men.



.Rap Against Dictatorship...

Thai court confirms the censorship of rap music video criticising the country's military dictatorship

Link Here9th July 2022
Full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime
A music video by Thai activist rap collective Rap Against Dictatorship has been blocked on YouTube in Thailand following an alleged legal complaint from the government.

The Patiroop (Reform) video, which was originally released in November, was filmed during the country's anti-government protests in Bangkok demanding royal reforms. The video featured the rap group walking with fellow supporters and protestors, and featured clips of the Grand Palace in the Thai capital.

On January 4 2022, Rap Against Dictatorship announced they had discovered the video's ban from YouTube in Thailand:

Our music video 'Reform' was ordered to be banned by the government, which notified YouTube to restrict access.

Since the video's release, it has garnered over 9 million views on YouTube (from outside of Thailand).

On 7 July 2022, Patiroob was again blocked on YouTube as a result of a Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) petition to the Court that it should be prohibited under the terms of the Computer Crime Act.

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the Court agreed that the song's lyrics, which seemingly allude to both the prime minister and king, have a bearing on national security. They also ruled that the song, which promotes the idea of equality, was filled with obscene language.

According to the ruling, the music video also elicited comments from netizens about the monarchy that were likely to affect public sentiment and national security. The Court dismissed arguments that the song was in keeping with constitutional freedoms of expression and that it was a creative work of benefit to society, saying that liberty must not cause damage to others, especially figures many people respect.

After the ruling, R.A.D. posted on its Facebook page that it would remove the Patiroob music video and song from all its public platforms.




Thailand ends mandatory covid masks

Link Here26th June 2022
The Thai Governmenthas dropped a divisive mask mandate in all public areas.

The mandate previously required one to wear masks in all public places, even outdoors or alone.

The Ministry of Public Health has moved to make mask wearing a voluntary practice.

It is recommended, but not mandated, to wear one in crowded areas, in large groups of people, and in poorly ventilated places. People at high risk of Covid-19, like the elderly, with pre-existing conditions, and at-risk should wear a mask properly at all times. However, this is not mandated.

The order is effective immediately and signed by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.

A quick survey suggests that Thai people are continuing to wear masks whilst farangs had generally stopped already.



Passing away...

Thailand announces the end of its Thailand Pass entry paperwork and the requirement for covid insurance

Link Here17th June 2022
Thailand's covid authority, the CCSA, has announced positive changes to Thailand's Covid restrictions. These have been confirmed after a meeting with Thailand's Prime Minister and the Ministry of Public Health.

The CCSA announced the complete cancellation of the pre-travel paperwork, called 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 at the entry airport. 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.

Thailand will also allow entertainment venues to open in all 77 provinces. Previously they were only allowed to open in tourist areas. Entertainment venues will be allowed to open until 2am, and 1am in some areas, which have not yet been specified. The CCSA said they will make a further announcement about when this change will come into effect.

The wearing of face masks seems to have been made voluntary, although wasn't fully spelled out.

Temperature measuring devices are no longer required at all venues in Thailand. They may still be used in some high risk places.



Updated: Welcome back!...

Thailand finally relents and allows testing/quarantine free entry to vaccinated visitors (at least by air)

Link Here25th April 2022
From May 1st, Thailand will allow vaccinated visitors to enter the country by air without any covid testing or quarantine requirements.

The authorities are encouraging visitors to do their own rapid test and report the result but that would be stupid as foreigners testing positive are then likely to banged up in very expensive private hospitals for a quarantine period now reduced to 5 days.

Visitors will still be required to upload certificates of vaccination and certificates of $10,000 worth of covid insurance prior to travel via the Thai Pass scheme.

Note that non-vaccinated vistors will still be required to go into quarantine on arrival.

And in other good news, the Thai authorities will now allow bars (still having to masquerade as restaurants) to open until midnight.

Update: Bordering on confusing

25th April 2022. See article from

Note that Thailand is not so welcoming to visitors at a land border.

Vaccinated visitors who want to enter Thailand for more than 3 days must still take an antigen test. As usual it is not clearly stated what dire consequences would befall a person who tests positive.



Thai Government no longer requires pre-travel PCR test...

But still requires a one day quarantine and a test that may result in a 2week incarceration at a very expensive private hospital

Link Here 20th March 2022
Thailand's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved the lifting of the pre-travel testing requirement for international arrivals beginning 1 April, 2022.

Visitors using the TEST & GO, Sandbox, and Alternative Quarantine (AQ) schmes will be allowed to enter Thailand without the need to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of travel.

Sandbox staying period reduced

Reduced to 5 days from currently 7 days. After completing five days within the Sandbox destinations, travellers will be allowed to travel domestically within Thailand.

AQ quarantine period reduced

Quarantine reduced to 5 days and an RT-PCR test on Day 4-5.



Slightly less dangerous Thailand...

Thailand reverts to 1 day quarantine for visitors with a high risk of quarantine prison for positive covid tests

Link Here23rd February 2022
From the 1st of March, the requirement for the 2nd pre-paid PCR test on Day 5 after your arrival in Thailand will be dropped. But it will instead be replaced with a rapid antigen test you can take yourself.

In addition, the required Covid insurance will be reduced from $50,000 to $20,000.

Quarantine hotel reservations will only be required for the 1st day as travellers wait for the results of their PCR test. If that test is failed, then depending on circumstances, a visitor may be whisked off to very expensive private hospital.



Bangkok to Krung Thep...

Thailand set to encourage the world to use the actual name of their capital

Link Here17th February 2022
Bangkok is not actually called Bangkok. The actual name of the city is Krung Thep, (albeit a shortened version of a much longer official name). Thais only use the word Bangkok when addressing foreigners who mostly don't understand the name they use.

Now Thailand is looking to encourage the world to use the Thai name for the city. There is a proposal to the government to adopt a slighter longer form of the Thai name, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (meaning Great City of Angels).

Ministers are expected to rubber stamp the request from the Royal Academy according to reports from the newspaper Thai Rath.

The academy felt that Krung Thep Maha Nakhon would be more modern and in line with real usage.

The full name of Bangkok, that starts with Krung Thep Maha Nakhon goes on to have about 145-150 letters in English script and is widely recognised as the longest placename in the world. Here is one version:

Krungthepmahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathatiya Witsanukam Prasit.



Warning against traveling to Thailand...

Nightmare experiences of visitors testing positive for covid whilst in Thailand

Link Here3rd February 2022
Travel website ScandAsia is warning against travel to Thailand:

Travelers to Thailand whose PCR tests return a positive are in a very high risk of being caught up in a web of rules that nobody warned them of before their departure.

The SHA+ and ASQ hotels where the travelers are required to stay, must all have contracts with a specific hospital, usually a private hospital. If a traveler staying at their hotel tests positive, the guest has no choice but to be hospitalized at that specific hospital for 7-10 days at their own cost -- usually around 10.000 THB (£230) per day. In most cases, tourists are requested to pay upfront this amount and coordinate insurance claims by themselves later -- holding the risk of not being compensated for their hospital expenses.

Sharing a hotel room in close contact with a COVID patient also subjects you to quarantine 7-10 days as a high risk close contact person. This is usually not included in the insurance coverage so it would be completely at your own cost.

The PCR tests are performed by the hospital who has the exclusive rights to receive all the patients from the hotel they stay at. You must do two PCR tests on the first day and the fifth day of your traveling, and the authorities prefer that you test both times at the same hotel.

Some travelers question, if the PCR tests follow same procedures as back in their home countries, since many find the positive result when arriving Thailand, when they just tested negative 48 hours ago before flight departure.

All travelers believe they are adequately insured because when they applied for the Thailand Pass, their health insurance was approved. But when the traveler arrives here, it some times turns out that although the Thai embassy or consulate had accepted their insurance policy, they are not covered anyway because of the fine print in the insurance policy. Sometimes, the insurance only covers if the patient has symptoms or is hospitalized in a hospital, not a hospitel. The Thai hospitals will keep the patient in quarantine regardless of symptoms and for the maximum days they can charge for, all solely depending on the opinion of the doctors' team at the assigned hospital your hotel is associated with.

In other situations, it has turned out that the insurance only covers if the patient is admitted to a public hospital. But the patient has no right to refuse to be hospitalized at the private hospital or hospitel facility which has obtained an exclusive contract with their hotel. Also in this case, the traveler will have to pay the amount at around 100.000 THB themselves.

If you have had Covid in the past 2-3 months before your arrival to Thailand then you must remember to bring along with you PCR proof and preferably a medical recovery certificate stating your Covid history in detail with a doctor's signature. This documentation may help you not to become yet another unfair victim of the medical care protocol. If you show this evidence and insist that your positive result is most likely because the test is picking up dead cells from your past infection, you may be able to avoid being detained.



Dangerous Ferries...

Officious covid testing points ready to whisk foreigners off to covid quarantine prison

Link Here24th January 2022
The good news is that Pattaya's bars masquerading as restaurants are now allowed to open until 11pm.

The bad news is that the authorities are getting more strict about these 'restaurants' following strict covid restrictions requiring a certificate of a negative covid test taken in the last 3 days. If you haven't taken a test gangs of hazmat clad people are waiting nearby to give you a test. Of course if you are unlucky enough to fail he test these same people will arrange for you to be hauled off to quarantine prison. Young asymptomatic victims may be lucky enough to able to self isolate at home but the rest are sent to quarantine. Note that proof of vaccination is not enough to avoid the tests.

The Thai press are reporting that such measures are not proving very good for business. A similar negative test requirement is required for people to travel to Koh Samet off Rayong. The Bangkok Post reports:

Pathida Limprasit, a tour operator from Surin province in the Northeast, said she brought 10 Swedish tourists to visit Koh Samet. When they arrived at the pier, she was asked to show the group's ATK test results.

She said she decided to cancel the trip because the 330 Baht (£7.50) service fee was too high, especially as the tourists had all been fully vaccinated and had passed quarantine.

Ferry owner Thara Bunkokeu said after the province announced the requirement on Jan 20, many tourists had decided not to visit the island.

Most tourists just plan a one-day trip so when they hear about the ATK fee, they decide not to bother, he said. I'm losing about 10,000 baht a day. I urge the authorities to either reduce the test fee or revoke the measure.



Thailand dreams up a new nightmare quarantine scheme...

1 day quarantine on arrival and another 1 day quarantine on day 5, both with PCR tests and the risk of being sent to quarantine jail

Link Here 18th January 2022
Thailand has dreamt up a new nightmare qurantine scheme that it misleadingly titles 'Test and Go'.

The scheme requires expensive onerous pre-flight paperwork for apre-flight PCR test and the booking of 2 PCR tests in Thailand on arrival and on day 5. Both of these tests require a one night stay in a quarantine hotel whilst waiting for test results.

And of course both of these tests will require those testing positive for covid will be immediately whisked away to state quarantine (which also separates children from parents). State quarantine is expensive but if one is lucky the mandatory insurancre may cove it, although there a re a lot of stories of insurance companies wriggling out of paying. There is now the possibility for some with a home in Thailand to be able to self isolate there.

The Thailand Pass 'Test & Go' program has been rebooted with nightmarish new conditions re-starting February 1.

Better news from Thailand is that bars pretending to be restaurants will now be able to serve alcolol up until 11pm. However dancing bars are still not allowed to open at all, so GoGos will be either shut or else opearting as a hostess bar, eg Pin-Up on Walking Street.



Dangerous Thailand...

Detailed rules and punishments re foreigners being forced into expensive hotel or hospital quarantine

Link Here15th January 2022
A kind Thai forum user has posted (translated) Swiss embassy advice about the possibility of foreigners in Thailad being forced into expensive hospital or hotel quarantine should they test positive for covid.

1. According to the Thai emergency decree, everybody who has a positive Covid test is required to inform the health authorities. Failure to do so can result in a fine up to 20K Baht.

2. People who are positive can be put in Quarantine in ASQ (alternative state quarantine) on their own cost. Refusal to go into quarantine can be punished with up to 2y in jail and 40K Baht fine.

3. People with severe symptoms will be sent to a Hospital. The Thai health authorities can decide whether to send the people into a field hospital or a "hospitel" (communal quarantine places).

4. People with no or light symptoms can be allowed to quarantine at home, only if

- they are less than 65y old
- they have no existing health problems that would put them on high risks
- they have a place to stay that is suitable for quarantine.

5. The Swiss Embassy is aware that some condo management companies have denied isolation in the condo block due to the risk for the other residents, in which case, the health authorities would then order the quarantine in a ASQ hotel, hospital or hospitel.



Dangerous Thailand...

A positive covid test or covid contact may lead to expensive incarceration in hospital with health insurance refusing to payout on the grounds that you are not actually in need of medical treatmant

Link Here9th January 2022
Insurance in Thailand can be a nightmare at the best of times with the chances of a payout often being very remote indeed. But now in covid times Thailand's mandatory quarantine in state facilities even when not actually in need of treatment leads to a horror show.

But there is worse, the worthless insurance that you have to buy to get an entry may be deemed insufficient for the immigration police checking your papers on arrival. So what do you do then?

Well the Thai authorities have now set up a facility to buy sufficient worthless insurance to get you in to the country should you be pulled up at the border.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Office of the Insurance Commission invited 10 insurance firms to sell COVID-19 insurance policies to the visitors who lacked such insurance coverage as they arrive.

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