The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

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Gaybutton
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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Fri Apr 22, 2022 4:31 pm
what is the point, if it doesn't cover quarantine and the medical cover is pitifully low ?
My guess is Thai insurance companies pressure to the government to continue the requirement so they can keep making their profit by it.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

As you probably know, the "Test and Go" process will end as of May 1. Now they are talking about trying to end the "Thailand Pass" by June, saying that would attract 2-million more tourists. I don't have any idea what that number is based on.

What I have not seen is what the rules are for those who hold the retirement visa and are either returning to Thailand after having been gone for a long time or those who leave Thailand for short periods of time, but hold reentry permit. Maybe you know how that works, but I haven't spotted anything.
_______________________________________________

TCT wants Thailand Pass scrapped

2m extra arrivals if scheme dropped

by Dusida Worrachaddejchai

April 28, 2022

The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) said the Thailand Pass scheme should be scrapped from June 1 to gain an additional 2 million tourists from tour groups and help the country to achieve 10 million tourist arrivals this year.

TCT vice president Vichit Prakobgosol said the Thailand Pass still obstructs tour operators from bringing inbound tour groups due to the high level of paperwork which agencies have to submit individually, even though other restrictions are set to be lifted starting May 1.

If the Thailand Pass system is revoked by June, the country will definitely gain 10 million arrivals this year.

The number of tourists might even reach 12 million under the best-case scenario in which the Chinese market would be able to resume outbound trips by the end of the year.

He said this scenario depends on the Chinese government, particularly its stance towards its zero-Covid policy after a surge in infections recently.

However, the number of inbound tourists could be as low as 8 million if the Thailand Pass scheme remains in June.

He said the additional 2 million tourists could be fulfilled by tour groups.

"July is summer break for the short-haul market because families will plan overseas trips, particularly to celebrate after university entrance examinations, so Thailand has to prepare in advance to capture this opportunity," Mr Vichit said.

Mr Vichit, who is also chairman of CCT Group, one of five tour firms under the Go Betong consortium, which is set to support Betong tour packages, said cross-border tourism, especially in terms of Betong and Malaysia, will see an influx of group tours once tourists do not have to apply for the Thailand Pass.

Early this month, tourism operators signed a memorandum of understanding with Nok Air to resume the Betong operation for three months, starting from April 29.

He said bookings for Betong tour packages next month had already reached 70%, which is a good start.

However, operators will have to wait and see a clearer outlook in June and July.

Pruek Wongnamroj, president of the Betong Hotels Association, said the health insurance coverage requirement, which has been reduced to US$10,000 from $20,000, is the main obstacle to attract more tourists due to high travel costs as Malaysians normally visit Betong for only 1-3 days.

The occupancy rate for 30 hotels in Betong, generating over 2,000 rooms, is expected to stay at 40-50% in May compared to 20-30% this month, thanks to the Amazean Jungle Trail during May 6-8 and the beginning of the tourism campaign.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/23 ... s-scrapped

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

US$10,000 Thai insurance bond for inbound visitors creates confusion

By Barry Kenyon

April 26, 2022

Effective May 1, prospective arrivals will require a simplified online registration with Thailand Pass together with proof of vaccination and of minimum Covid insurance of ten thousand US dollars. However, no local or international insurance company has yet altered its premium to cope with the reduction from US$20,000. And the reality of the cover can be very confusing.

Policies for one month cost anywhere from around 650 baht to 12,000 baht and details vary enormously. Some include “deductibles” which are a self-pay percentage of the potential cost liability, some don’t cover unless you have had a recent RT-PCR test, others deny cover if you are “asymptomatic” and still others have age restrictions. “It’s a minefield”, says Greg Watkins who heads up a consortium of UK travel agents.

Critics say that that many of the cheaper policies don’t offer realistic Covid cover and are effectively an extra entry fee which everyone must pay. Although the official Thai position is that entrants must have cover for the totality of their stay, most visitors require only 30 days because extensions and renewals at immigration offices are exempt from insurance requirement. However, this flexibility may not extend to one year retirees with an O/A visa and a couple of rarely used alternatives (Special Tourist Visa and 10-year O/X).

The Tourism Council of Thailand says that the Thailand Pass scheme and its insurance requirement should be scrapped in order to boost tourist arrivals. Vice-president Vichit Prakobgosol claims that the pre-departure registration hassles are deterring group travel and sorely inconveniencing short-term visitors staying in Thailand only for a few days. He pointed out that neighboring countries, especially Malaysia, provided bona fide tourists but were still subject to Thailand Pass unless they were guest workers, subject to separate regulations.

ThaiVisaCentre says it’s still waiting for a new set of pricing to be released by major insurers while maintaining a useful general price comparison tool at https://AQ.in.th/INSURANCE Separately, immigration authorities are stressing that the registration with Thailand Pass is required for land travellers as well as those arriving by air. Although most land border posts remain closed to tourists, there are limited exceptions for travellers to Thailand from Malaysia and Laos. Cambodian-Thai talks on border reopenings are said to be reaching agreement.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ion-396335

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Jun »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2022 2:46 pm
Critics say that that many of the cheaper policies don’t offer realistic Covid cover and are effectively an extra entry fee which everyone must pay.
It's an entry fee paid to Insurance Companies. Who is getting the backhanders from this ?

I did a check with Axa Thailand, who wanted over 9000 baht for 3 months. The policy offered 100,000 baht cover, BUT IT DID NOT COVER COVID QUARANTINE HOTEL COSTS.
So there is a policy which offers a pitiful level of medical cover, in the case where you need a lot of medical treatment (due to severe covid, nasty road accident etc). At the other end of the scale, it doesn't cover quarantine hotel costs. So it's no use for anything !

For 9000 baht, I would expect to get a good quality and comprehensive policy from a UK provider. It's just a matter of whether the wording will be OK for the Thai Pass.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2022 3:55 pm
For 9000 baht, I would expect to get a good quality and comprehensive policy from a UK provider.
If it were me, I would be looking for a Covid policy that covers everything - hotel and/or hospital, all medical fees, all prescriptions - all of it and for a reasonable cost, reasonable deductible or better still zero deductible.

Why do I think such a policy would not only be very difficult to find, but is unlikely to even exist?

Of course, if anyone does know of such a Covid policy, please post and let us know.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2022 4:47 pm
If it were me, I would be looking for a Covid policy that covers everything - hotel and/or hospital, all medical fees, all prescriptions - all of it and for a reasonable cost, reasonable deductible or better still zero deductible.
There's a fundamental difference here, with 2 different markets -tourist & expat.

You're an expat. Probably looking for comprehensive medical cover 365 days a year. Which might include repeat prescriptions.

I'm a tourist. I have 2 requirements:
1 A policy that will cover major medical expenses, in case I have an unexpected & very expensive emergency. I don't care about prescription charges, as I don't expect to permanently be in Thailand (for now). What I want is protection against an abnormally expensive incident cutting a big hole in my retirement fund.
2 A policy that will satisfy the requirements to get me into Thailand, with reasonable pricing compared with what it offers.

If these stupid rules are in place the next time I want to go to Thailand, I'll spend some time trying to find a proper UK insurance policy that gets me into Thailand and satisfies #1.

I'm also interested in expat insurance, as I don't rule out moving to Thailand at some point.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Tue Apr 26, 2022 7:36 pm
You're an expat. Probably looking for comprehensive medical cover 365 days a year.
Yes. I was trying to agree with you. That's why I wrote if it were me, meaning if I was going to Thailand a a tourist.

Realistically, at the present time I believe the odds are certainly in favor of fully vaccinated tourists going to Thailand without ending up with Covid.

Meanwhile, as you pointed out I am not a tourist. I'm an expat. Along with the many articles trying to explain the entry to Thailand requirements beginning May 1, all of them explain the requirements for tourists. But so far I have found none, not a single one, that explains how these rules would apply to expats holding retirement or other visas who wish to leave Thailand and then return. Just what are the rules for expats ?Are expats subject to these rules? Would simply obtaining a reentry permit suffice? Are there different rules for expats under those circumstances?

I have no idea. As I said, if anything at all has been published about that, I haven't found it. Some might say why not just go to immigration and ask. I suppose expats could do that - and then have to trust the answer you get will help if immigration at the airport tells you differently. I think most of us are well aware that what the rules are at one immigration office are not necessarily the same at other immigration offices.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by 2lz2p »

Currently all Expats unless they are enrolled in the Thai health system leaving Thailand and returning with a Re-Entry permit must get a Thailand Pass. Under the new Thailand Pass rules going into effect on 1 May 2022, a Covid insurance policy equivalent to at least US$10,000 (formerly US$20,000) is required.

Here is the requirements for a Thailand Pass from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showing requirements effective 1 May 2022:
Passport
Certificate of vaccination
(according to Thai Ministry of Public Health regulations)
Proof of insurance with at least 10,000 USD coverage for medical treatments in Thailand (for non-Thais only)
This question was recently asked by email of Barry Kenyon to clarify an article he had previously written for the Pattaya Mail which inferred that it was not required for Expats. Here is his response to the question - email dated 11 April 2022:
The only people who don’t need covid cover if returning to thailand are those who are enrolled in the Thai health system - foreigners with work permits and Thais. People on retirement do need covid insurance to get their test and go QR code . It is sufficient to get 30 days. Many policies online for ages 1-99. Expect to pay around 4,000 baht.

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

Post by Gaybutton »

2lz2p wrote:
Wed Apr 27, 2022 2:09 pm
Currently all Expats unless they are enrolled in the Thai health system leaving Thailand and returning with a Re-Entry permit must get a Thailand Pass.
Thank you very much. I, for one, am staying put. If I understand correctly, then the only thing the reentry permit actually permits is you will have to jump through most of the same hoops as tourists, but if you make it back into Thailand you won't lose your visa. No thanks.

Besides, I'm already living where most everyone here wants to go for their holiday.

As E.T. said to Elliott - "I'll be right here."

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Re: The Latest - restrictions, visas, entry requirements, etc.

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Thailand Pass to end on June 1

Move aims to revive global arrivals

by Dusida Worrachaddejchai

28 April, 2022

The cancellation of Thailand Pass registration is expected to take place on June 1, with tourists using their TM6 immigration form for vaccine declaration, says the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

After the Test and Go scheme is scrapped from May 1, the removal of Thailand Pass will create a more seamless travel experience and stimulate more travel to the country, said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

He said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul already agreed to terminate the Thailand Pass scheme.

Eliminating Thailand Pass means Thai embassies and consulates can reduce their workload, as they worked to help approve the required documents.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration must approve this proposal at its meeting next month for the requirement to void.

Tourists might be required to complete their vaccination record on the TM6 immigration form upon arrival, with immigration officers responsible for screening the form or vaccine passport, said Mr Phiphat.

However, the government hasn't decided to step up screening measures by mandating booster doses, as the vaccine coverage of each country differs.

"If the infection rate caused by the Omicron variant subsides by June 1, the remaining travel regulations must be unlocked as the country prepares to announce Covid-19 as endemic," he said.

Meanwhile, the plan to collect a 300-baht tourism fee from international travellers will be submitted to the cabinet within the next two weeks to implement in roughly three months.

Mr Phiphat said if there is no requirement for health insurance in the future, the tourism tax can offer insurance to tourists, covering medical costs for green-level Covid patients.

As the government set a target for foreign arrivals of 7-10 million this year, he said delegates from the ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand plan to visit Saudi Arabia to sign a memorandum of understanding with Saudia, the nation's flag carrier, in mid-May.

The Middle East market can help to fill the void in the low season thanks to Thailand's abundant natural resources and rainfall, which matches this segment's travel interests, said Mr Phiphat.

In terms of the "We Travel Together" hotel subsidy scheme, the ministry has to calculate how much of the budget is left from the fourth phase. He said at least 1 million room nights could be added to support the off-peak season between June and September.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/23 ... -on-june-1

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