Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18241
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 984 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

Quarantine stays can now be booked on Agoda

Nov 27, 2020

The Public Health Ministry is joining forces with online hotel booking platform Agoda to help Thais and foreigners book their stay at an alternative state quarantine facility.

The deal was launched on Friday at the Mövenpick Hotel BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok by Deputy Public Health Minister Dr Satit Pitutecha. Also present were Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, director general of the Department of Health Service Support, and John Brown, Agoda’s chief executive officer.

Under the new link up, people wanting to return to Thailand can conveniently look for and book quarantine packages that are suitable to their needs.

This cuts down on time required for booking a hotel room under the Public Health Ministry’s regulations.

The platform works in 39 languages, with 24/7 support and customer care provided in 21 tongues, including English and Chinese, as well as a quick and easy payment process.

Dr Tares said 113 ASQ-certified hotels are now able to generate more than Bt1.2 billion in revenue for the country. The number of hotels providing alternative quarantine stays has expanded from 37 to 100, and are expected to attract at least 30,000 tourists and generate more than Bt1 billion in revenue.

Thanking the ministry for its forward thinking, Brown said this collaboration will inevitably contribute to other projects in the future and also respond to the needs of people.

https://www.gaybuttonthai.com/viewtopic ... 73#p103173

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18241
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 984 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

From everything I have been reading about Thailand opening up to foreign tourism, none of it is very encouraging. The talk about travel bubbles, meaning even if you could get here the areas where you would be allowed to go would be limited, even for Chinese. And both Pattaya and Bangkok are not exactly top priority destinations for travel bubbles despite the pleas from the tourism industry.

No one knows yet whether Thailand will budge on quarantine restrictions even if a reliable vaccine becomes available. No one knows whether Thailand will ease all the hoops you would have to jump through just to get clearance to travel to Thailand at all, even with the Elite visa.

Now, according to an article on Thaivisa there will be no possibility of any kind of mass tourism until at least March, 2021. And on the list of countries that will be acceptable for tourism, no European countries are listed in the article and the USA is also not listed, although both Australia and New Zealand are on the list.

In other words, we really hardly know a thing and whatever we predict will only, at this point, be guesses - based only on hope and opinion, but not on any reliable information Thailand's powers-that-be are providing.

According to the article, Thailand does not expect a return of pre-pandemic numbers until 2024. Just what that means - well, we can only guess . . .

For the article, see: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/119549 ... ns-ongoing

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 3085
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 415 times
Been thanked: 204 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

Speculation & predictions don't seem to be much of a guide to what will happen.
There was lots of talk about the STV scheme, which turned out to be not a very good idea at all.

Then, out of the blue, they start issuing Tourist Visas, including in the US and Europe. So for anyone intent on staying for up to 90 days, suddenly there is an option.

Who knows what might happen next ? Once they have processed a few thousand people through quarantine, they can see how many fail the 13 day PCR test, then potentially adjust the quarantine period down.
Then add travel bubbles for countries with low infection rates.

However, I would imagine the serious loosening of policy would occur, either when they have vaccinated all the high risk people, or are close to the date when that will be done.
In the case of the UK, the government advisor said that once all the people on the priority list have been vaccinated, the death rate in the event of covid spread should reduce by 99%. The UK priority groups are the over 50s and younger people with underlying health conditions.

I can't see the sense in any country maintaining severe economic restrictions once they get to the point where vaccination has cut the covid death rate by 99%.
Other causes of premature death, like pollution and road traffic accidents continue to get very little attention in Thailand.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18241
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 984 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:37 am
Other causes of premature death, like pollution and road traffic accidents continue to get very little attention in Thailand.
No dispute about that, but for many reading this, that is beside the point. I believe the majority reading this are primarily interested in when they can travel unrestricted to Thailand and return home unrestricted. None of us know when that might be. Again, from what I am reading it will not be any time soon. The more I read the further away that date gets. Maybe the vaccines will solve the problem, but pinning hopes on that - I'm not holding my breath. We can only hope the reasons why gay farang want to go to Thailand will still be in operation.

The thing is, Thailand has had a total of 60 deaths so far and the powers-that-be want to keep it that way. So do I, but I don't always agree with the methods. The powers-that-be weigh the risks of bringing the pandemic into Thailand against rescuing the foreign tourism industry. It is obvious which one wins. Also, if the virus does make it into Thailand in the kinds of epic proportions happening in other countries, Thailand is simply not prepared to be able to deal with it.

At least there is always the hookup apps . . .

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18241
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 984 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

Light at the end of the tunnel?
__________________________

Foreign Ministry to relax entry requirements from three groups of foreign countries to enter Thailand with visa-free travel

By Nop Meechukhun

12 December 2020

Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to relax entry requirements from several listed countries to increase the number of foreign tourists in Thailand, acting on calls from Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O’Cha.

The Director-General of the Department of Information of the Foreign Ministry, Thani Saengrat, said on December 10th, that the Ministry had introduced and supported the ad hoc committee of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to consider relaxing the traveling measures by allowing primarily three groups of foreign countries to enter Thailand without a visa.

The groups include: 1.) tourists from 56 countries (P30) who have been granted a 30-day visa. 2.) Those who are permitted under an agreement to stay up to 30 days from Hong Kong, Laos, Macao, Mongolia, Russia, and Vietnam. 3.) Nationals of Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Chile who can stay up to 90 days.

Some of the 56 countries include nationals from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea as well as the United Kingdom and most European countries.

Due to the 14-day state quarantine requirements, the Thai authorities will continue to restrict the 15-day Visa on Arrival (VoA) until December 30th from certain countries, including Cambodia and Myanmar.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also proposes extending visas from 30 days to 45 days for nationals of the 56 countries to make up for the state quarantine period to the Ministry of Interior for further discussion, according to Thani.

Both proposals are expected to be formally approved by the Thai Cabinet next week and will be implemented until the end of September 2021 if agreed.

https://tpnnational.com/2020/12/12/fore ... ee-travel/

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 3085
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 415 times
Been thanked: 204 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

So in 9.5 months, they propose to revert to visa free travel for countries which had visa free travel pre-covid?

If they want to relax restrictions, I would suggest:
1 A longer visa free period e.g. 60 or 90 days. Or introduce a 90 day e-visa. The type where we apply on line and get the approval by e-mail within a couple of hours. That could be done right now.

2 Delete the COE, although to be fair, they are processing these within hours of application.

3 Relax covid test and quarantine requirement as soon as high risk people in Thailand are vaccinated. However, in order to do something before then, the most immediate option is to relax quarantine requirements as far as they safely can. Currently people get covid tests on day 5 and 12. The results for the second test are delivered on day 13 & the prisoners are allowed out on day 15. I see no reason to prolong the internment after the second result is received on day 13. Also, they could review the failure rate from the day 12 test and consider moving it forward.

4 Delete "fit to fly" certificate right now. As a reminder, visitors are required to have a RT-PCR test and a fit to fly certificate. The PCR test can be justified because of covid, but once we have established that the traveller has no covid, there is no reason to assume he is less fit to fly than at any other time in the last few decades. So delete this dumb requirement. Admittedly some of the better test companies offer the fit to fly free with the PCR test. Others charge 50 pounds. I presume the nurse deduced I was fit to fly on the basis that I passed the covid test and managed to walk into the test centre, since nothing else was checked.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18241
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 984 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:23 pm
Relax covid test and quarantine requirement as soon as high risk people in Thailand are vaccinated.
I will be very surprised if they do that. Thailand may have plenty of problems, but it would be hard to dispute the excellent job done preventing Covid in Thailand. Vaccinations or not, I don't see them letting anyone in who can't show proof of vaccination, which vaccination it was, how recently they got it, can prove they are Covid free, and can prove they have adequate insurance in case they become ill anyway. I also don't see them eliminating the quarantine period. They might reduce it, but eliminating it entirely? I don't see that happening any time soon.

I also don't see them eliminating the COE (Certificate of Entry) any time soon either, along with all the hoops to jump through just getting it.

I could be wrong, of course, but that is the way I see it.

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 3085
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 415 times
Been thanked: 204 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:03 pm
I also don't see them eliminating the quarantine period. They might reduce it, but eliminating it entirely? I don't see that happening any time soon.
Well Thailand needs some kind of plan to exit restrictions.

The priority groups for vaccination in the UK would see the UK death rate reduce by 99%. That's over 50s and people with pre-existing conditions. I envisage no restrictions at all in the UK once we get to that point. I suspect that's about 25 million people vaccinated. Hopefully well within 6 months, if additional vaccines get signed off by the regulator.

Now with a similar population and median age, Thailand has so far declared plans to vaccinate 13 million people. That's not going to get a -99% death rate in an open for travel scenario. So I presume they need more vaccines, since tolerating a higher death rate seems unlikely. At a few $ per dose, the Astra Zeneca vaccine would be very affordable for Thailand, particularly compared with the cost of restrictions. So I don't understand why they are not negotiating more doses. They did say it was going to be made under license in Thailand, so one would think they would set up with a suitable production rate.

So I envisage a 2 step process:
1 Reduce quarantine duration, IF the data shows this is possible. 20 international flights arriving today. So must be at least 1000 people per day to gather data from.
2 Eliminate quarantine once all high risk people have been vaccinated. Probably by September 2021 ?

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18241
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 984 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:27 pm
Well Thailand needs some kind of plan to exit restrictions.
You don't really need me to tell you how that's going to work, do you? Maybe - emphasis on maybe - Thailand will come up with just such a plan. Then it won't take very long before that plan changes. And then changes again. And then again - until nobody knows what is going on.

After all, why break with the norm . . . ?

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 18241
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 984 times

Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Gaybutton »

The following is by Adam Judd or The Pattaya News:
____________________________________________

Feature: Will having proof of taking a Covid-19 vaccine let you enter Thailand without a quarantine, insurance, etc?

By Adam Judd

15 December 2020

The following is a feature article which gathers statements that have been made so far by the Thai Government in regards to Covid-19 and a Covid-19 vaccine.

In countries across the world Covid-19 vaccines have begun to go out and people are slowly beginning to visit their local doctor or hospital and take the vaccine with many, many more expected over the next several months.

This, of course, has increased the number of comments and questions we have had at The Pattaya News in regards to “Will a Covid-19 vaccine let me enter Thailand without (or with a reduced) quarantine/restrictions/requirements?”

To currently enter Thailand one needs a number of requirements, with the biggest hurdle for most people being a mandatory fourteen day quarantine at a variety of alternative state quarantine hotels at their expense. This is in addition to Covid-19 insurance worth at least 100,000 USD, a fit to fly certificate and a certificate of entry for their local embassy, along with a Covid-19 test. Although nearly every country can now visit, high financial requirements have been dropped and the amount of paperwork is being streamlined and made simpler, the quarantine requirement remains.

Thailand has been maintaining a strong “elimination” strategy of the virus, which means that even one locally spread case is unacceptable vs. the suppression strategy of many countries. Thailand is appealing to many people currently as, internally, there are no lockdowns, business restrictions, etc. and all venues, including entertainment and leisure are open, albeit with requirements on wearing masks and some other Covid-19 protection measures. Thailand even has announced that New Years Eve countdown parties and festivals can take place and nightclubs have been open since July.

Due to these factors, it is understandable why many people want in with the Pattaya News getting dozens of messages a week. However, the quarantine, insurance and cost is unacceptable for many for a variety of different reasons, including time. The current process to get into Thailand, although significantly better than several months ago, is designed at appealing to long term tourists/snowbirds, digital nomads, regular residents, retirees, those with Thai family, girlfriends, wives, kids, etc. A traditional “one to two week tourist” would not be able to maintain the quarantine, especially if they have work obligations in their home country.

So, back to the original question…Will a Covid-19 vaccine let me enter Thailand without (or with a reduced) quarantine/restrictions/requirements?

At this time, the answer is No. (There also is no answer on if a vaccine will be required in the future to enter Thailand, this is a complicated question also as vaccines may not be available in some poor countries for some time.)


Those who have followed scientific information on Covid-19 vaccines know that at this point it is unknown by how much the vaccine stops potential spread of the virus/ability for one to carry it and be infectious, although it is known the level of protection for oneself. With Thailand following the “elimination” strategy, a spread of the virus before they are able to vaccinate their own vulnerable population would be unacceptable. The World Health Organization is studying vaccines ability to stop the spread of the virus, not just protection, but this data will likely not be available for months.

Thailand has stated they will not be starting to vaccinate their population until April/May due to a variety of reasons but primarily based on supply vs. demand. The Prime Minister, Prayut Chan O’Cha, has stated the government is looking at ways to move forward the timetable as they are well aware that restarting international tourism is a significant driver of the Thai economy.

Thailand has already made many moves to make the process to enter the country easier as stated above, but the quarantine aspect is highly unlikely to vanish for several months, although there is a chance of reduction based on what is happening around the world with the virus situation. Meanwhile, both top tourism and hospitality industry executives are pushing for opening borders soon (especially with the peak tourism season of Songkran and Chinese New Year approaching), but Thai doctors are strongly against this until the factors above (study of protection of infection to others, vaccinating Thais) can take place.

What about travel bubbles for low risk countries that have the virus under control officially like Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc?

Another good question, and one the Thai Tourism Authority and hospitality industry is pushing hard for some action on, especially China. However, prominent doctors with the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration have shown that, if anything, they are being exceedingly cautious. They have made it this far without a major outbreak in the country and, other than their tourism and hospitality related industries, the rest of the Kingdom is open even as many countries have second, or even third, draconian business destroying lockdowns over the holidays. Thailand is determined to not have to shut down again and impact the rest of their economy. Travel bubbles in the future are possible, but likely only as the virus begins to come under control globally.

It is likely that quarantines will eventually be reduced/eliminated from low risk countries but not in the IMMEDIATE future.

The Pattaya News is aware this isn’t the answer many people want, however, the situation has improved greatly over the past several months. Just a few months ago only foreigners with a work permit in some fields could enter at one point. At another point one had to have 500,000 baht in a bank account for six months. At a previous point only low risk countries (mostly China) could come. All those requirements have now been dropped/relaxed and as more people get vaccinated globally it is likely that Thailand will start to re-open, but as with everything in the pandemic they will be cautious, watch what other countries do and take it a slow step by step vs. a giant leap.

https://tpnnational.com/2020/12/15/feat ... rance-etc/

Post Reply