By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Jun wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:46 pm
Quarantine is not much fun. I would simply spend the 11 nights in another country without a red list.
That was a question I asked in an earlier post, but nobody answered. If traveling from a red list country, even to countries without a red list - Ireland was mentioned - are there any restrictions or quarantines upon arrival? There might be such problems no matter what country you arrived from.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:52 pm
That was a question I asked in an earlier post, but nobody answered. If traveling from a red list country, even to countries without a red list - Ireland was mentioned - are there any restrictions or quarantines upon arrival? There might be such problems no matter what country you arrived from.
The answer was implied in earlier posts. Going from Thailand to (for example) Ireland, there is no quarantine. There might be minor hurdles like testing.
Just because the UK has this stupid red list, it doesn't mean every other country does something similar.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Bangkokian »

Exactly. Well put.
Do people still believe that the vaccine is to prevent you getting the disease?

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Jun wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:28 pm
There might be minor hurdles like testing.
Let's hope you don't flunk the test . . .

I can't imagine many countries are letting people just walk in as if Covid doesn't even exist. They're not really going to risk planeloads of people bringing in the virus, are they? I would think they're going to be doing something - and I would think that includes Ireland.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Bangkokian wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:45 pm
Do people still believe that the vaccine is to prevent you getting the disease?
Yes. Quite a few people, actually. It's the result of objective observation and rational thought.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Slashing quarantine won’t solve Thailand’s tourist dearth

By Barry Kenyon

September 26, 2021

Thailand’s disease control committee has proposed a halving of the two-weeks’ hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated tourists. Health ministry official Opas Karnkawinpong said that Covid tests would still be required and explained that the move would help business travel and foreign students, not just tourism. The unvaccinated will still be subject to 10 days hotel isolation (air) or 14 days (land).

But travel agents point out that most foreign governments are not remotely keen on their nationals coming to Thailand right now. The US issued a red negative alert for Thailand and the UK even forces its own returning residents to quarantine in an hotel if returning from the Land Of Smiles. The cost is an extra 2,285 pounds payable in advance. EU countries have not banned visits to Thailand, but most warn of the Covid risks and/or the lack of entertainment opportunities after dark. Australia has banned its nationals from going on holiday anywhere abroad.

There has been speculation that China and India will fill the void. But China does not permit group tours, the mainstay of the market prior to 2020, and warns of up to three weeks’ compulsory quarantine for individual visitors returning from abroad. It is true that India does not require automatic quarantine for returning Indians. But the country’s health ministry website requires prior uploading of negative PCR report, thermal health tests at the Indian airport and the “possibility” of quarantine in individual cases.

Thai tourist authorities have also raised the possibility of a mass Russian return. The Moscow Times points out that returning Russians are screened on arrival and must self-isolate until they can prove they are negative for Covid infection. Separately, there has been talk of an upcoming travel bubble between South Korea and Thailand. But, so far at least, it’s just talk. Vietnam has recently agreed to resume international air routes with several Asian countries, but not yet Thailand.

The Phuket-Samui Sandbox showed that around 30,000 foreigners did make it to Thailand in the last three months, although some of these appear to have been returning residents who cannily used the initiative to avoid formal quarantine and get back home. It’s equally true that these numbers are a tiny drop in the ocean if aggregated across Thailand. In 2020, the overall number of visitors neared 40 million.

A start has been made. Covid infection numbers in Thailand appear to be falling and progress in vaccination is now plain to see. The next two months could witness Thailand being burdened with fewer restrictions imposed by the governments of its erstwhile international tourist markets. But, to date, only about a quarter of the 72 million people living in Thailand have been vaccinated, according to World Health Organization figures. Not enough of course.

The remaining Thai tourist problem is what vacationers will do once they get here. The beaches are mostly fine in the main resorts and there is a host of commendable opportunities to visit historic temples, exotic gardens and proud monuments. That takes care of mornings and afternoons. But the country’s ongoing obsession with banning alcohol remains a major stumbling block. A country which threatens punishment of diners for having a glass of wine with their evening meal is not ready to open its international gates. Not by a long way.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... rth-373401

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:21 pm
A country which threatens punishment of diners for having a glass of wine with their evening meal is not ready to open its international gates. Not by a long way.
That is for sure, and it isn't just the diners. It is also the restaurant owner, manager, and even the waiter - along with anyone else who can be held responsible.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with every word in Barry's article above. In other words, Pattaya resembling any semblance of its former self is still a long way off. And even if Pattaya does reopen in November, based on the points brought out in Barry's article, that isn't going to help very much.

Don't forget, if Pattaya reopens it is the city that reopens, but that doesn't mean the venues within the city are going to open so fast. Many venue owners are saying it is pointless to reopen until there will be enough customers to make it profitable and worthwhile to reopen. Then there is the question of how many venues survived long enough to be able to reopen at all.

Certainly few of the gay bars, especially the go-go bars, are likely to open while the 9:00pm curfew is still in effect. For most of the bars, 9:00pm used to be opening time. Once the curfew is lifted they might be able to make it selling non-alcoholic drinks until the alcohol ban is also lifted. I think the priority attraction is the boys, not the booze . . .

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:40 pm
Don't forget, if Pattaya reopens it is the city that reopens, but that doesn't mean the venues within the city are going to open so fast. Many venue owners are saying it is pointless to reopen until there will be enough customers to make it profitable and worthwhile to reopen.
To get enough customers to allow some venues to re-open, Thailand just needs to sort the basics:

1 Remove all restrictions on business opening, sale of alcohol etc.
AND
2 Allow tourists in with no covid restrictions at all, other than perhaps one covid test. Even having a test is fairly pointless if Thailand is not making a reasonable attempt to check for new variants. Although having a covid test does make the incoming visitors LOWER risk than the untested locals.
AND
3 Make it easy for tourists to stay for longer, to partially offset the reduction in numbers. So instead of granting people 30 days visa free, make it 180 days (for example).

Then the only question ought to be WHEN Thailand would be ready to adopt the above recommendations.
So we need to look at the vaccine programme. It appears Thailand has delivered approximately 50 million doses of vaccine and is targeting 1 million doses per day over the next month. That takes them up to 80 million doses at the end of October. With a little extrapolation, we would get past the 100 million doses mark in November, which ought to roughly correspond to 70% of the population being fully vaccinated.

So a rational policy could be to adopt all 3 policies listed above from (say) 1 December, with some partial relaxation in advance.

However, there is not much sign of the current government following rational policy.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:48 pm
They're not really going to risk planeloads of people bringing in the virus, are they?
The virus is already in Thailand.
So as long as the people on the plane get a covid test, then at the point of arrival in Thailand, they are on average less likely to have covid than the people already in Thailand. So one covid test should do.

Incidentally, not only was Thailand off Ireland's quarantine list, but Ireland has now abolished all quarantine and is releasing the 50 inmates in quarantine at present.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:48 pm
Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:48 pm
They're not really going to risk planeloads of people bringing in the virus, are they?
The virus is already in Thailand.
I meant places like Ireland. No matter where a plane might be coming from, are you saying that the people on that plane will be allowed to just walk into Ireland without any tests or restrictions at all? If that is what you are saying, I find that very hard to believe.

Jun wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:40 pm
To get enough customers to allow some venues to re-open, Thailand just needs to sort the basics
I'd say the chances of Thailand actually following all of your suggestions within the foreseeable future are virtually nil.

I see it as trying to decide whether the chicken or the egg will come first. It could be that businesses will be allowed to reopen, but many won't until decent tourist numbers start to return. On the other hand it also could be the decent tourist numbers won't start returning until the businesses that attract them are open.

I have no idea what will happen, but if it were me, I wouldn't be planning my trip until I can be certain the things that attract me are going to be open - and running reasonably normally. If I am traveling halfway around the world for a holiday, I want to be quite sure I'm likely to enjoy it. I definitely am not looking for disappointment or trying to make the best of it.

I genuinely believe the Thai government is sincerely trying to control Covid and at the same time rescue the tourist industry. That is no easy task and I'm glad I'm not the one who has to make any of the decisions. I think it is inevitable they're going to get some things right and some things wrong. But whatever they decide to do none of it will be a miracle cure. I would not want to be in their position because no matter what they decide, it's the wrong decision . . .

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