Archive for the ‘Thai government’ Category

Thailand Will Soon End The Use Of The Sinovac Vaccine

October 19, 2021

Thailand will end the usage of the Covid-19 vaccine of China’s Sinovac when its modern-day inventory finishes, a senior Public Health Ministry reputable stated on Monday, having used the shot appreciably in aggregate with Western-developed vaccines.
Thailand used over 31.5 million Sinovac doses when you consider that February, beginning with two doses to frontline workers, high-risk groups, and residents of Phuket, the excursion island that reopened to vacationers in July in a pilot scheme.
In July, Thailand commenced inoculating human beings with Sinovac as a first dose accompanied by using the Oxford University-developed AstraZene”We anticipate to have disbursed all Sinovac doses this week,” stated Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, the Department of Disease Control director-general, including the software will change to combining the AstraZeneca vaccine with that made with the aid of Pfizer and BioNTech.
Thailand subsequent yr plans to purchase a hundred and twenty million Covid-19 vaccine doses incomplete and has already booked 60 million doses of AstraZeneca, a vaccine it manufactures locally.
Thailand has stated it will solely procure vaccines high-quality in opposition to new variants.ca. Thailand was once the first us of to mix Chinese and Western shots, an approach its fitness officers stated has proved effective.
It has so a ways vaccinated 36% of the estimated seventy-two million humans who stay in Thailand and hopes to attain 70% through year-end.
U. s . is forging in advance with a quarantine-free reopening format subsequent month of 17 provinces to vaccinated arrivals from low-risk countries. Included will be locations like Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok.
Thailand has recorded almost 1.8 million instances and 18,336 fatalities overall, greater than 98% in the past seven months.

New Poll Says People Are Not Ready For Reopening

October 18, 2021

A new poll from Suan Dusit Rajabhat University expresses the majority opinion that Thailand is not ready for a reopening to international tourism. The Suan Dusit Poll was conducted from October 11 to 14 with 1,329 people from all over Thailand responding online.
The poll was conducted to gauge the people of Thailand’s feelings about PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announcing that the country would undertake a large reopening on November 1, less than 2 weeks from now.
When the poll administers asked respondents the more vague question of if Thailand is ready to reopen to international travelers without any quarantine requirement, and when asked the more specific question of if November 1 was the right date to commence this reopening, the answer was nearly identical.
For both questions, 60% of the poll respondents said no and 40% said yes, indicating that the majority of Thai people don’t think November 1 is the right time to reopen and further believe that the country is just not ready for a reopening.
Some key questions and answers from the Dusit Poll on reopening:

WHAT ARE THE NECESSARY CONDITIONS FOR REOPENING?

75% – more than 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated with quality vaccines
69% – the ability to contain the pandemic
68% – health services, hospitals, and medical personnel must be ready
66% – mandatory testing of people before entering places
65% – confidence in safety in airports, public transport, restaurants, and hotels
WHAT ARE UNFAVORABLE CONDITIONS AGAINST REOPENING?

72% – Thai population has not yet been fully vaccinated
70% – Covid-19 could spread further in the country
66% – tourists could bring in the virus
61% – worry over new variants
56% – no clear plans if Covid-19 spreads
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REOPENING?

77% – revival of the economy
75% – the return of employment and salaries
68% – national income from tourism
64% – revival of tourism-related businesses
58% – restore confidence in Thailand for investors and business operators
WHAT ARE THE UNFAVORABLE EFFECTS OF REOPENING?

83% – Covid-19 infections might again rise
75% – lockdown could be reinstated
60% – health services might not be prepared
55% – illegal border crossings might increase
48% – people’s living conditions might be affected

Thailand Wants To Celebrate Reopening In Style

October 16, 2021

Thailand is planning on throwing a massive extravaganza to celebrate the country’s reopening. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is planning on hosting concerts in Bangkok and Phuket, with a budget of 500-600 million baht. The concerts will feature famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, and Thai K-pop singer Lisa Monaban. Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says bringing the 2 artists to the country is beyond economic value.
“Particularly Lalisa ‘Lisa’ Monaban, the young Thai K-pop singer, who is a huge inspiration for the youth of the country.
He also confirmed that Lalisa Monaban will be singing in Phuket at the Sarasin Bridge, while Andrea Bocelli will be performing in Bangkok at the Sanam Luang public square. The government and private sector are co-sponsoring the event by spending 200 million baht. The rest of the funding is from private sponsors. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has requested for the artists to perform as part of a New Year’s celebration, and is waiting to hear back from the artists’ agents. But Piphat says Covid-19 protocols must also be taken into account.
“We also need to discuss with the Public Health Ministry the number of audience members allowed and other health and safety protocols for such big events when we are still battling an outbreak.”
The CCSA has recently announced that vaccinated visitors from certain countries could enter the country without undergoing a quarantine, starting November 1. These visitors will also be allowed to travel wherever they want, instead of being restricted to certain parts of the country. Additionally, Bangkok has approved a plan to allow business events with 500 participants or fewer.
The president of the Thai Spa Association and head of the Hua Hin Recharge programme, Krod Rojanastien has high hopes for the reopening plan. He says that opening up Hua Hin to international travelers will double the city’s occupancy rates, from 20% to 40%.
Krod says that official timelines should be published to make it easier to plan for both tourists and tourism operators alike. He also said that guests are waiting for these official announcements to be made before making plans to come.

Thai Pm Wants To Reopen Country More In November

October 12, 2021

Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday he will push for the opening of the country to fully vaccinated foreign tourists from at least 10 countries by November 1.
General Prayut said in a national broadcast that fully vaccinated tourists from at least 10 low-risk countries would be allowed to enter Thailand by air without quarantine.
The United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, China, and the United States are among the first countries to benefit from the move.
The CCSA and the Ministry of Public Health have been instructed to urgently consider allowing international visitors to enter Thailand without quarantine from Nov 1 if they are fully vaccinated and arrive by air from low-risk countries,” he said.
The president promised to open the gates to more countries by Dec. 1, and to target others by Jan. 1.
Tourists from countries not on the low-risk list would be admitted, but they would have to quarantine, he said.
Singapore and Australia also loosened the restrictions for citizens to travel overseas after the announcement.
With the decision to open the country next month, Gen Prayut hopes to attract foreign tourists to Thailand over the next three months, including the upcoming year-end holidays
They would revitalize the sector and related businesses that employed millions in the country, he said.
The government had earlier planned to open only Bangkok and several provinces for foreign tourists on Nov 1. The other provinces are Chon Buri (Pattaya City, Bang Lamung district, and Sattahip district), Phetchaburi (Cha-am district), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin district), and Chiang Mai (Muang, Mae Taeng, Mae Rim, and Doi Tao districts).
Monday’s announcement indicated that the reopening would cover all parts of the country
The announcement came after the country saw the number of fatalities drop below 100 in recent days, with new cases hovering around 10,000.
Although the situation was improving in most parts of Thailand, a surge of new infections continued in Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala. The southern border provinces were in the spotlight of health authorities who were mulling additional measures to clamp down on the spike in the areas.
Tourism was the main economic engine of the country before the pandemic hit last year. The industry contributed about 20% of GDP if both local and foreign visitors are included. Foreign tourists alone accounted for 15% of GDP, as the country welcomed almost 40 million visitors from abroad, especially Chinese.
Bank of Thailand estimates only 200,000 foreign arrivals this year, rising to 6 million next year.

Poll Says Thai PM Should Resign By August

October 11, 2021

With the upcoming election, a new poll from the National Institute of Development Administration found that 40% of people feel PM Prayut Chan-o-cha should announce he is quitting as prime minister by next August. The NIDA poll asked political opinions from 1,311 people of various occupations and educations levels nationwide by phone on October 5 to 8.
The poll addressed the controversy over whether PM Prayut can be reelected as the Constitution says no one can serve as prime minister for more than 8 years, and Prayut has been in command of Thailand since the 2014 coup. But as the Constitution was established in 2017 so some argue that PM Prayut only officially took the office in 2019 election and is, therefore, eligible for one more term.
With the upcoming election, a new poll from the National Institute of Development Administration found that 40% of people feel PM Prayut Chan-o-cha should announce he is quitting as prime minister by next August. The NIDA poll asked political opinions from 1,311 people of various occupations and educations levels nationwide by phone on October 5 to 8.
The poll addressed the controversy over whether PM Prayut can be reelected as the Constitution says no one can serve as prime minister for more than 8 years, and Prayut has been in command of Thailand since the 2014 coup. But as the Constitution was established in 2017 so some argue that PM Prayut only officially took the office in 2019 election and is, therefore, eligible for one more term.
The NIDA poll found nearly 41% of people believe that PM Prayut should commit to stepping down by August 2022 while 38% believe the Constitutional Court needs to rule on the issue as quickly as possible. Only 15% believe nothing needs to be done and nearly 6% had no opinion.
The poll also found that only 22% believed that the House of Representatives does not need to be dissolved, while other respondents debated when the dissolution should take place. 40% believe the House should be dissolved immediately, while 30% said the election law should be revised in line with the Constitution before the House dissolves. Nearly 6% believe PM Prayut should just be sure to dissolve the House before he faces another vote of no-confidence next year. Just under 2% had no opinion.
50% of those responding to the NIDA poll felt that the Cabinet was in need of a major reshuffling while 24% believed only a minor shuffle was necessary to fill the 2 empty cabinet positions formed by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Thamanat Prompow and Deputy Minister of Labour Narumon Pinyosinwat being ousted one month ago. Of that 24%, half felt their replacements should be outsiders while the other half think members of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party should step into the positions. 6% had no comment.

Thai Crime: Thai Soldiers KIll Imsuregents in the Deep South

October 7, 2021

In the “Deep South” province Narathiwat, four suspected insurgents were killed in a gunfire exchange with soldiers on Sunday and an army officer was killed in another clash with insurgents the night before, according to the Bangkok Post. Reports say the insurgents killed in the incident were all wanted on court warrants, most of them facing charges for deadly attacks.
Soldiers reportedly first started their operation last Tuesday and a military unit surrounded a village in the Bacho district where the men were suspected to be hiding. On Saturday night, the insurgents reportedly tried to escape, leading to a clash with soldiers where a 35-year-old lieutenant was killed. There was another clash on Sunday where the four fugitives were killed.
One of the men was wanted on two warrants for shooting and killing a defense volunteer in the Bacho district in March and attacking a local police outpost in February. Another was wanted for a 2005 bomb explosion where three marines were killed. Another man was warranted for allegedly attempting to murder government officials in 2010 and 2013. The fourth man was wanted on charges relating to a clash with a government force back in 2014.

Fully Vaccinated Expats From Any Country Can Now Be Part of The Thai Sandbox Tourism Program

October 5, 2021

Thai authorities eliminated their list of “approved countries” to open up the sandbox tourism program to all fully vaccinated visitors from anywhere in the world. Thailand’s Tourism Authority has welcomed the decision, which means Indonesian and Malaysian tourists can now visit the country. According to Covid-19, Malaysia was Thailand’s second-largest source of foreign arrivals, with over 4 million Malaysian tourists arriving in 2019.
Furthermore, the recently-announced reduction in mandatory quarantine also applies to those participating in sandbox programs, with tourists now only required to spend 7 days in their original destination before traveling abroad. Now, Sandbox tourists can visit Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phang Ngan, Koh Tao, Khao Lak, Koh Yao, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, and Railay Beach.
Since the Phuket Sandbox Program was launched on July 1, it has welcomed over 38,000 foreign visitors and generated around 2.3 billion baht, according to officials. The Bangkok Post reports, however, that tourism operators on the southern island are pessimistic about the coming high season. 90% of the island’s hotels are closed, so they are urging the government to simplify the entry process and reduce the cost of mandatory PCR tests.
Foreign tourists are also deterred by the fact that Thailand is on a “no-go” list in some countries. The United States and the United Kingdom both warn their citizens against traveling to Thailand because of the high infection rate and low vaccination rates. The UK currently requires hotel quarantine and two Covid tests for tourists returning from Thailand.

TAT Wants To Collect 500-baht From Tourists in 2022

October 4, 2021

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is poised to start collecting a 500-baht tourism fee for a “tourism transformation fund” next year, and the budget will use a co-payment model.
The Centre for Economic Situation Administration approved the creation of the fund last week. The fund will support high-value and sustainable tourism projects in order to transform the tourism industry.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), told reporters that it will begin collecting 500 baht per person next year with the goal of collecting 5 billion baht in the first year, assuming 10 million foreign arrivals by 2022.
Early this year, the National Tourism Policy Committee approved the establishment of the fund, with a proposed fee of 300 baht per person.
This additional $200 million will be used to fund projects initiated by the private sector, community enterprises, and social enterprises that wish to transform their business to meet the fund’s goals; help the country transition away from mass tourism to high-value tourism and a green economic model; and support environmentally responsible tourism.
“The government should use the fund to support projects that can have a significant economic impact. The proportion of public-private funding could be 50:50, 60:40 or 70:30, depending on how much we want to make the projects a success,” he said.
According to Yuthasak, it is also intended to fund insurance and development projects for foreign visitors that require government rather than private sector initiatives, such as those requiring matching grants from local governments.
Upon approval of the concept, the Tourism and Sports Ministry and TAT are required to hold discussions with relevant authorities about setting up the fund committee and funding mechanisms, such as how to collect fees from tourists, he said.
To determine which projects are eligible for financial support, the committee must develop criteria.
“The additional cost will not affect tourists as we want to focus on the quality market,” Yuthasak said.
This fund will contribute to a national tourism makeover that creates a more safe and clean environment.
In his words, the fund’s objective is not to deal with the financial impact of the pandemic, but rather to promote long-term economic growth within the region.

The Special Tourist Visa In Thailand Will Continue

October 3, 2021

The Thai Cabinet Committee approved the extension of the Special Tourist Visa in Thailand. This plan, which has already been in place for one year, will continue until at least September 30, 2022, and is intended to attract well-fearing foreign travellers to come to Thailand and spend big money while they’re here.
The Special Tourist Visa allows these elite travellers to stay between 90 and 270 days, which the Tourism Authority of Thailand hopes will attract big spenders to boost the Thai economy that has been so crippled since the Covid-19 epidemic began.
The idea of extending the Thai Special Tourist Visa was announced recently, but yesterday the Thai Cabinet Committee officially approved the extension. It has been in place for one year already, and will continue until at least September 30, 2022, and is intended to attract well-heeled foreign tourists to Thailand to spend big money while they’re on the island.
The Special Tourist Visa allows these elite travellers to stay between 90 and 270 days – 3 to 9 months – which the Tourism Authority of Thailand has hoped would draw big spenders to pump tourism revenue into the Thai economy that has been so lacking since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
By encouraging long-staying foreigners to boost the tourism economy, it could also boost the domestic economy, potentially creating jobs and income for locals and facilitating economic growth. The plan was enacted at the beginning of the stages of regrowing international tourism that came to a halt after Covid-19.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry reports that only 5,609 people travelled to Thailand on a long-stay tourist visa last year. However, officials claim that it generated over 1.2 billion baht in revenue for Thailand’s tourism industry. That equates to about 222,000 baht per traveller.
While the visa and extensions allow a stay of up to 270 days, the average stay for STV holders is around 90 days, according to a government spokesperson. Therefore, those attracted by the Special Tourist Visa spend about 2,500 baht a day on average.
Most of the tourists who entered Thailand under the visa scheme came from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, and Croatia. Most STV holders visited Bangkok, Surat Thani, Phuket, Udon Thani, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, and Rayong after undergoing quarantine.

Nakhon Si Thammarat Is Under COVID-19 Lockdown

October 2, 2021

Due to an increase in local Covid-19 infections, parts of the Muang district in this southern province will be under lockdown from Saturday.
Kraisorn Wisitwong, the provincial governor, announced the lockdown on Friday without specifying a reopening date. Entry into the area will be screened at checkpoints, he said, adding that only those on essential trips will be allowed in.
The province reported 526 new Coronavirus cases on Friday, up from 378 a day earlier. According to figures from the provincial public health office, the Muang district had the most infections with 195.
The National Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will include the most recent data in its daily report.
According to Kraisorn, the lockdown was intended to keep the pandemic under control in the district.
The disease has mostly been reported in southern provinces and Greater Bangkok.
Bangkok and adjacent provinces, however, have seen a steady decline in new cases, with Bangkok numbers dropping “significantly,” CCSA spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangson said.
During the previous 24 hours, 1,917 new infections were recorded in the four southern border provinces. That worked out to 17% of all new cases nationwide, up from 15% earlier.