By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
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Pattaya thankfully opens up, but unclear who is coming

By Barry Kenyon

October 17, 2021

Lots of good news about Pattaya is pouring out. November and December will see lots of mass attractions including music and cultural festivals, fireworks displays and a thrilling countdown to new year 2022. The curfew lingers for now 11 pm – 3 am, but might have a short future. Legal booze will be back on December 1, barring virus hiccups, and chrome pole dancers can start writhing once again in Sexy Soi Six.

Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome admits that the opening up will appeal to domestic tourists, principally Bangkokians, who already crowd parts of Pattaya at weekends as curfew enforcement and the booze sales ban seem to have a few holes in their respective buckets. The mayor also anticipates 200,000 foreign tourists per month in the immediate future, an optimistic view echoed by Pattaya’s entertainment and tourism association.

Exactly how wannabe tourists will enter the country is not yet crystal clear. We know that the hated certificate of entry provided by embassies will be replaced by a website-based app Thailand Pass to receive the uploaded application documentation. TP will then issue to successful applicants an email letter of confirmation, not a traditional visa, which passengers will show airline staff and Thai airport immigration officers who can access all computerized details by scanning the passport.

The all-important detail on what documentation is required has not yet been published but will likely include Covid insurance and a self-declared health and vaccination history to be scrutinized remotely by Thailand’s Department of Disease Control. Provided there are no mammoth internet site collapses, the new system will be a simplified version of the embassy-controlled and familiar bureaucracy. But hopes that tourists will once again vacation in Thailand armed only with a passport and an air ticket, without prior vetting, are most improbable.

Most of Thailand’s international tourists in 2019, the last normal year, were from China, India and Russia. Russia has already agreed to restart flights to Thailand, including charter, although no detail agreed yet. Chinese embassy spokesperson Yang Xin told the Bangkok Post that reopening talks could begin, although currently Chinese group vacationers cannot travel abroad. The situation in India is similarly blurred. It is likely to be December at the earliest before Thai airports notice much difference.

British sources are adopting a wait and see approach too. The overall European contribution to the Thai tourist trade has been dropping steadily for many years and was less than 10 percent two years ago, with the UK counting around one percent. The BBC noted that Thailand was getting ready for reopening, but commented only on the end of lengthy quarantine for fully-vaccinated Brits. The British government has removed Thailand from its red-zone danger list, but remains cautionary about vacationing there. Some vaccines used in Thailand, notably Chinese brands, are not acceptable for entry to the UK. Thailand’s tourist door is indeed being unlocked, but it may take a while yet for sun worshippers to ring the bell.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ing-376017

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Barry Kenyon wrote:
Sun Oct 17, 2021 6:03 pm
The all-important detail on what documentation is required has not yet been published but will likely include Covid insurance and a self-declared health and vaccination history to be scrutinized remotely by Thailand’s Department of Disease Control.
For comparison, to get my COE last year, I had to attach scans of:
1 Passport main page
2 The visa
3 The Covid insurance
4 Proof of ASQ booking
5 Flight booking
6 Bank statement

According to the speculation, the new "simple" Travel Pass is ADDING health & vaccination history. What they delete is what matters !

Now, 1,2, 3 & 6 should already be on their systems from the visa application, so entering a passport or visa number should surely mean repetition is not necessary ?
Arrival at Suvarnabhumi ought to provide evidence that I had a flight booked (5), so why do they need that ?
That only leaves (4) ASQ, which is supposed to be abolished soon.

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Jun wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:07 pm
entering a passport or visa number should surely mean repetition is not necessary ?
You didn't really suppose they were going to do anything that makes good common sense, did you?

If you expect precisely the opposite, now you're on the right track . . .

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Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:19 pm
You didn't really suppose they were going to do anything that makes good common sense, did you?
If you expect precisely the opposite, now you're on the right track . . .
Yes, the Thai immigration department have no idea how to do software.
Most of it could be automated, therefore allowing their employees to be "released" to do something more productive for a different employer. That's how productivity and GDP rise.

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Jun wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:14 pm
the Thai immigration department have no idea how to do software.
Most of it could be automated, therefore allowing their employees to be "released" to do something more productive
That doesn't work either. For the past few days I've been trying to do my 90-day address report online. Not working. The same happened 3 months ago for the last one. If they are not going to keep their software working properly, then why offer it in the first place? I still have a few more days until the deadline for my report, so I'll keep trying. Meanwhile I fully expect I'll have to go to immigration to do the report.

I've made appointments at immigration using the QueQ app - which also doesn't work properly . . .

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Putting together information from the CCSA verbal explanation and the slide, it seems the Thailand Pass will need the following documents:
1 Passport
2 Vaccination certificate
3 Covid 19 Insurance
4 SHA/ASQ reservation
5 T8
6 TM6

Presumably "quarantine free" is actually short term quarantine whilst waiting for the covid test ?


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I agree with Barry's last sentence and I would add that I wonder whether Thailand wants O-A retirees. If Thailand is trying to attract people to come and spend their money or keep retirees already in Thailand and spending their money, seems to me quite a bizarre way to go about it - especially since they pick now to add new rules and costs.

Time to dig out my "I Don't Get It" list . .
________________________________________________

Thailand’s confusing insurance rules for visitors continue

By Barry Kenyon

October 21, 2021

Today’s announcements by the Ministry of Health about new entry rules leave vital insurance questions up in the air. A new condition specifies that all entrants should have US$50,000 insurance, either from Thai or foreign-based companies, but does not specify whether such a policy should be Covid-specific, or for general medical cover, or for both.

Meanwhile, the same ministry confirms it is expanding its health insurance ceiling to US$100,000 for non-immigrant 0/A visa holders who formerly were subject to a policy worth only 400,000 baht inpatient and 40,000 baht outpatient cover. Again, there appears to be no clarification whether such a new policy is Covid-specific or must cover other medical emergencies. But the policy can be Thai or foreign.

0/A annual visas for retirees, issued by Thai embassies, cover less than 4,000 elderly individuals. It is a mystery why they have been singled out for harsher treatment. Most retirees in fact hold other visas, including “0”, marriage visas or Elite. Some are even permanent residents who don’t need a visa in any case (although they do require a re-entry permit if they leave Thailand).

It is also unclear whether the new insurance rules will be in force only at Thai embassies abroad, or will additionally apply at Thai immigration when applicants seek extensions of stay which can vary from one week to 12 months according to the specific visa. Traditionally, Thai immigration offices (which do not report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which supervises embassies) have operated semi-independently.

Insurance for foreign tourists is understandably and rapidly becoming standard in the new-normal of a Covid-infected world. Thailand is one of the countries most dependent on tourist income. New rules such as PCR testing, paying for hotel accommodation whilst test results are known and a separate 500 baht arrival tax are all extras on top of insurance costs. Air fares are rising too in line with hiked oil prices. The confusion over insurance just adds to the muddle about whether Thailand really wants the tourists back.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... nue-376514

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Gaybutton wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:28 pm
Air fares are rising too in line with hiked oil prices
Nonsense. Those of us looking at air fares from Europe to BKK are seeing prices lower than before covid. For example London To Bangkok with Emirate £488.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Grrrrrr

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