Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Jun
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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

The Phuket News wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:09 pm
It is unclear how long one would need to wear the smart band while a tourist.
Well, tourists are supposed to spend 14 days in quarantine at the start of the visit. The only requirement to go beyond the quarantine period ought to be based on the risk of people still carrying Covid after quarantine.
Would there be any justification for this any more than 7 days after the quarantine period ?

I also wonder what sort of smart band will be provided ? The image shows something roughly like an Apple watch. If they actually issued some kind of tamper proof tagging device that cannot be removed without evidence, then it would also help to monitor compliance with the quarantine regime. Which would be fine with me, as long as they don't need it beyond 2~3 weeks.

Requiring tourists to wear this permanently would be discriminatory and without any scientific basis.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible - but maybe not if you are from the UK. The latest is "do-able", but won't be easy, especially if you haven't had a good £13000 sitting untouched in your bank account for the past six months. The article doesn't say why that amount of money or why six months, but there it is.

The bad news is Thailand's powers-that-be decided to keep the quarantine period at 14 days despite the calls to reduce the quarantine period to 10 days.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Leisure tourist Brits now have a visa route back to Thailand

By Barry Kenyon

November 11, 2020

The Thai embassy in London has now amended its website to show that British and Irish nationals can now apply for a 60 day tourist visa which can be extended at Thai immigration offices for 30 days more. The same information appears on the websites of some mainland European countries.

Previously, British nationals could apply only for a non-immigrant visa if they came within the ten or so categories of permissible returnees, mainly business and work permit groups, some property owners, the super-rich and those with Thai dependants. Incidentally, the new offering Special Tourist Visa (STV), which offers a stay of between 90 and 270 days, is not available anywhere in Europe because of second-wave infections.

However, the 60 day tourist visa has a long list of documentary requirements such as Covid-19 medical insurance, various fit-to-fly and health tests, air ticket, proof of accommodation in Thailand and evidence of payment for Alternative State Quarantine in a registered hotel for a fortnight on landing. There is also the need to show a UK bank account with a continuous balance of around 13,000 pounds for the past six months. Most of these documents have to be shown when applying for a certificate of entry from the embassy and again at airport check-in.

British travel agent Greg Watkins said that the latest proposal offered hope for Brits who want to spend Christmas here with relatives or friends which had formerly been impossible for tourists. Tourism Authority of Thailand deputy governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said that tourist visas are the most viable option at this point as there is no risk-rating on countries of origin for these applications.

In other developments, the first travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore, for people testing negative for the virus, will have able from next month to travel between the two cities without any quarantine. Hong Kong is planning further bubbles with Thailand, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland and Vietnam. Travel experts say that a full tourist recovery won’t happen without a vaccine, but these tentative steps could give the industry a much-needed shot in the arm.

https://www.pattayamail.com/featured/le ... and-333229

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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There are apparent inconsistencies in the rules that need to be considered.

They state a covid test is needed, with the certificate issued less than 72 hours before departure. That's possible.
Then some of the ASQ hotels state that this covid test must be completed less than 72 hours before arrival at the hotel. Finding a company which will guarantee to turn the documentation around quickly enough is more difficult.

Also, many of the ASQ hotels have abusive cancellation rules, which might leave one liable for 50% or 100% the full 15 day bill, even if the flight is cancelled or something like that.
I have yet to find a hotel which charges you for just a single night or allows unrestricted free rescheduling in case of a delay. That's after e-mailing 14 of them.

The ASQ hotel has to be booked before the visa application, even though the ASQ booking is again checked with the COE application.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Jun wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:56 pm
There are apparent inconsistencies in the rules that need to be considered.
I'm glad they make it so easy for people . . .

This is not something I would want to do. Too many hoops to jump through and too many ways to lose a lot of money even though it may be no fault of your own, such as flight cancellations. In order for this to be successful everything would have to work perfectly, with no room for anything at all going wrong. I can't even remember the last time I made a major trip without at least something going wrong.

I'd be a nervous wreck from starting the process until I arrive and am established in my ASQ hotel. Then, even if everything goes perfectly, not all that much that would interest me is even open - and I would have to be quarantined for two weeks before I could even get to those venues. Not my idea of a pleasant way to spend a holiday. For me, this would be another thanks but no thanks.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Gaybutton wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:06 pm
This is not something I would want to do. Too many hoops to jump through and too many ways to lose a lot of money even though it may be no fault of your own, such as flight cancellations.
I might do this if I can have some reasonable control on losses in case of cancellations, failing covid tests or changes in government policy. Which can be either government, since for us in the UK, overseas holidays are banned until 2 December by BJ.

Top of the loss prevention list are flights with full flexibility to re-schedule and an ASQ hotel that's not going to take me for the full fee if I have to re-schedule by just 24 hours. The hotels are a problem.

I can probably accept the risk of buying a visa, insurance and covid tests.

Looking beyond Thailand, the alternative holiday destinations are not that good.
To go to any other Asian country, I would need to blag a visa for "business" purposes.
Latin America has a lot of covid infections.
The Canary Islands look rather boring for a long holiday.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

There are differences in the application process according to the country you are in.

The embassy in the UK requires an online visa application, via a site with a Thai url, with proof of hotel booking and flights attached. Bear in mind the first hotel is ASQ and many have unfavourable refund terms.

The embassy in Austria refers customers to a paper visa application, with no hotel booking or flight details requested. That's logical, as the hotel booking (ASQ) is covered with the COE application and it's difficult to get to Bangkok immigration without a flight.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Jun wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:59 pm
There are differences in the application process according to the country you are in.
Thanks, but no thanks. Is anyone planning to do this?

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Gaybutton wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:44 pm
Is anyone planning to do this?
Yes, subject to details:
(i) ASQ hotel needed with acceptable room, cancellation terms and catering.
(ii) Clarification of rules ref timing of RT-PCR test & availability of a UK test provider to meet this.
(iii) Availability of fully flexible flights (presumably OK).

Unfortunately, I have not yet found a hotel with acceptable cancellation/re-scheduling terms. Despite e-mailing 25 of them.
The worst charge for all 15 nights, with no refunds.
The more promising ones allow late changes, subject to proof of flight cancellation, test failure etc, BUT that also is subject to room availability. They can claim whatever they want about room availability, therefore my expectation is more like a maximum of 1 night's charge if I have an enforced change of schedule.

It must also be noted that the test providers in the UK are not offering any form of guarantee on test results timing. Also, the company I had in mind for the test last week is no longer offering a service this week.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

Post by Jun »

I'm STILL struggling to find an acceptable ASQ hotel.

Here's another example of terms:
"Modification and Cancellation Policy
- FREE MODIFICATION for 2 times due to unexpected situations such as flight cancellation, denial of Certificate of Entry (COE) or positive of COVID-19 result by providing proof document and is required to be notified to the hotel by email at least 48 hours prior to arrival date"

Now, FREE MODIFICATION is very nice, except the 48 hour limit renders the offer almost useless in case of an enforced delay.

According to the strictest interpretation of the rules, the RT-PCR test needs to be taken less than 72 hours before the flight. Even though the rules say the certificate must be issued less than 72 hours before, there are reports of people not being allowed to travel as the test is more than 72 hours in advance.
So I take the test less than 72 hours in advance and get the result 24~48 hours later.
Assuming it's not one of the 3% where the test is unsuccessful and a repeat test is needed.
Either way, this is past the hotel deadline for modification of booking.

This is one of the better examples. Others may have 3-day or 7 day deadlines.

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Re: Traveling to Thailand - Mission Impossible

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Jun wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:04 pm
Either way, this is past the hotel deadline for modification of booking.
It seems obvious to me - if the slightest thing goes wrong, you just lost your money and the hotel will be keeping it.

I would think you must really want to go to Thailand very badly to go through all this and risk losing a lot of money.

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