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

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

Post by gerefan »

Could this be the answer...

As we all know numerous bars have been renamed “restaurants” so they can sell alcohol.

So in an effort to stop the spread of the disease the Governor is mandating testing before entering any “restaurant”.

It is well known that the powers that be believe that this thing is caught in pubs and bars.

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

Post by Gaybutton »

gerefan wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 12:40 pm
Could this be the answer...
Why not? That is as good a possibility as any.

Whatever makes the least sense probably is the answer . . .

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Based on what I am hearing and although there has been no official word or anything I've spotted in the media, I am guessing this edict perhaps applies only to restaurants that serve alcohol. I wonder if that is what really is going on.

Even if that is correct, I still have never seen any correlation of alcohol to the spread of Covid and it does not alter the fact that Chonburi is still the only province in all of Thailand doing this.

I hope the media will publish clarification on this. I have some restaurants I'd like to go to where I can simply walk in and sit down to eat. Personally I don't give a damn about alcohol. I hardly ever drink, but I am well aware that many of you appreciate a glass or two of wine with dinner.

I wish the powers-that-be would take into consideration that most people are responsible drinkers and take responsible anti-Covid precautions rather than treating us as if we are all irresponsible teenagers with whom self control is non existent. I never did like making life difficult for everybody else because of the actions of a few. I'm not holding my breath.

I certainly understand why they want to prevent the spread of Covid as much as they can and I am all for it - when it is done sensibly, but I just don't see any good reasons to go to the extremes they often do. To me, trying to solve one set of problems by creating another set of problems is not the right answer.

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Part of the latest Pattaya Mail article says:
While places checked by police and the media were following the rules, there were copious reports online Monday from Pattaya residents who visited restaurants and bars in Jomtien Beach, Naklua and elsewhere away from the media spotlight that, as expected, weren’t bothering with the onerous new rules without any authorities bothering to check or enforce them.
https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ate-385101

Those of you currently in Pattaya, what are you encountering? You don't need to mention the name of the restaurant, but it would be nice to know if restaurants are complying or not, and in which part of town. I'm hoping Jomtien restaurants are not bothering with this because when I go out to eat, the Jomtien area is where I usually go, although since this nonsense started I have not gone to a restaurant yet.

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

Post by Jun »

No tests were needed in JC last night. I did see test kits, but didn't see anyone using them.

I'm not intending to take any test where I need to show my ID card first, such as at the "free" test centres. A test where I can walk away after failing and not be traced would be tolerable.

They might just get better compliance if there was some clarity about what happens if we fail. e.g being asked to isolate at home until passing a lateral flow test would be reasonable. On the other hand, being sent to a quarantine centre is something I'd want to avoid.

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Pattaya mayor: No lockdown

4 January, 2022

There is no plan to lock down Pattaya city or its beaches, but businesses that violate disease-control measures will be closed down, Pattaya mayor Sontaya Kunplome said on Tuesday.

Despite a surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant in Pattaya and Bang Lamung district, a lockdown would not be imposed, the mayor said.

However, authorities would close down any entertainment venues that refused to adopt safety measures ordered by the provincial communicable disease committee, as that could lead to the spreading of the virus.

All staff, musicians and other performers must be given an ATK test before being allowed to work each day. Customers must provide evidence of a negative test within the previous 72 hours before entering these premises, Mr Sontaya said.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... o-lockdown

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

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Thailand’s bars unlikely to reopen Jan. 16 with more restrictions possible

By Bangkok Herald

January 4, 2022

Restrictions on bars and nightclubs won’t be lifted on Jan. 16 and, in fact, could go the other way, with alcohol again banned, as the government’s panic over the omicron coronavirus variant deepens.

While no decision has been announced, the writing clearly is on the wall for those hoping to a return to normalcy in Thailand.

Public Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Kiattiphum Wongjit told the Thai-language Daily News on Monday that it’s unlikely the much-anticipated “reopening” of bars, nightclubs, karaoke joints and soapy massage parlors will happen Jan. 16 as earlier announced as omicron sweeps across the country.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told the paper the issue had not been decided yet, but hinted that the number of new Covid-19 cases tied to the entertainment venues – which supposedly are closed but, in reality, have reopened as “restaurants” – will determine whether those bars still closed will remain so.

The fact is, most bars in Thailand already are open, using suspect certifications and payouts to operate as before. Only the largest clubs – think major huge nightclubs, fully operational go-go bars and soapy palaces – remain shuttered, although even some go-go bars in Pattaya and Phuket have reopened as restaurants without dancing.

The Public Health Ministry and Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration are conferring today on the bar issue as well as whether to extend the suspension of the Test & Go tourist-entry scheme.

Inside the nightlife industry, no one expects a Jan. 16 reopening to happen.
“There’s zero chance,” said the owner of two go-go bars in Bangkok. “Not a slim chance. Zero.”
While official confirmed-case numbers continue to hover around 3,000 – Thailand officially reported 3,091 new Covid-19 cases and 12 deaths on Tuesday – the sense is that the actual number of infected is significantly higher.

“[Expletive] Covid everywhere,” an exasperated owner of both restaurants and nightclubs in Bangkok said Monday. The go-go bar owner agreed, saying he personally knows of seven people currently infected.

Government officials, both provincial and national, apparently feel the same way. Not only will bars not reopen fully this month, but restrictions on businesses and society already are returning.
Chonburi over the weekend imposed a mandate requiring not only staff at the city’s “restaurants” to be tested daily for Covid-19, but customers as well.

The Khon Kaen Communicable Diseases Committee last week again banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants for until Jan. 7, a measure likely to be extended after 143 cases were reported in the Issan province Monday, up 40 from Sunday. The province also closed all its schools until at least Jan. 14 and canceled Children’s Day festivities.
Phuket followed suit Tuesday, announcing its schools will return to online-only until at least Jan. 14.

In Ubon Ratchathani, the governor of the Northeast province on Monday ordered the closure of all schools, cinemas, gyms and sports stadiums and fields and banned dine-in service at air-conditioned restaurants.
The province has been reporting several hundred new coronavirus cases a day with more than 600 of them tied to a bar operating as a restaurant.

The curbs on alcohol sales and dine-in service in Issan may preface similar restrictions coming to Bangkok and even nationwide soon. While the CCSA’s operations chief reaffirmed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s earlier pledge that there would be no more national lockdowns, he said provincial governors have the power to shut down their own jurisdictions.

Bangkok’s governor has never been shy about kneejerking his way through disease control.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ble-385173

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

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Pattaya mayor says no plans for lockdowns, widespread business or beach closures as city deals with rising Covid-19 cases

By Goong Nang(GN)

4 January, 2022

The Pattaya City Mayor stated today, January 4th, 2022, that widespread business or public area closures will not be part of the plan to deal with many confirmed Covid -19 cases in the Banglamung area, many of which seem to be the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

Mayor Sontaya Kunplome told TPN media, “There are many more confirmed Covid -19 cases, mostly the Omicron variant based on random testing so far, found in the Pattaya and Banglamung area. However, I am confident there will be no lockdown or overall closure of the city BUT closure will be ordered for individual businesses, not entire sectors, that do not follow our compulsory Covid -19 measurements.”

“Every staff member, including singers and performers, at restaurants that sell alcohol must take an ATK (rapid antigen Covid-19) test every day they work until further notice. Business operators must provide an ATK test for their customers or customers must show proof of an ATK test within 72 hours, regardless of their vaccination status. We have implemented free courtesy testing checkpoints around the city to make this easier.” The mayor explained, referring to the controversial tougher measurements.

“We don’t want other businesses that have fully followed Covid-19 measurements to have to close because of a small group of venues that do not follow the rules.” The mayor continued.

“We are confident that the Omicron variant can be controlled. Most people who are positive for the variant locally are fully vaccinated and the Omicron symptoms are not severe. The vast majority of infections we are seeing are very mild or asymptomatic. We are exploring more options for self-isolation and home isolation to avoid filling hospitals in the area with mostly younger, healthy, asymptomatic people who must be quarantined under Thai health department rules.” The mayor concluded.

TPN media notes that although the words of the mayor, following worried beach operators and tourist association bosses “warning” the city not to enact an economically devastating lockdown, reassured many it has to be noted that any decision to “lockdown” would likely come from a higher authority, such as the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA. So far, however, the CCSA has also stated they plan to focus on control measures and not widespread closures or lockdowns.

https://thepattayanews.com/2022/01/04/p ... -19-cases/

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

Post by Gaybutton »

I can't help but wonder how many people will really fully comply or even partially comply. I believe if people and venues don't comply - fully comply - then my guess is it will be much longer before we see go-go bars opening and boys on stage dancing.

If new measures are imposed, of course they will be posted as soon as we know what they are.
__________________________________________________________

New Measures Might Be Implemented After CCSA Meeting on Friday

By snoop1130

January 6, 2022

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) could impose new measures on Friday after an assessment is made for the Covid-19 situation after the New Year holidays.

Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had instructed officials to monitor the Covid-19 situation following the reopening of companies and government buildings following the New Year break. Information will be given to the CCSA during their meeting on January 7 for implementing new measures to prevent and contain the spread of new outbreaks.

The spokesperson said the government’s review of new infection cases will take four weeks, with the first two weeks focusing on the number of cases and the latter two weeks on severe patients and fatalities. The assessment will result in revisions to the regulations for dealing with the situation. He urges unvaccinated people, particularly those in high-risk categories like the elderly, chronic patients, and pregnant women, to get vaccinated as soon as possible, while also recommending others to register for booster doses to reduce the severity and danger of fatality from the virus. People who visited high-risk areas or traveled during the holidays must take a test for possible infection or enter quarantine immediately to safeguard themselves and others.

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of taking preventive measures after New Year like wearing masks, washing hands, maintaining social distancing, using ATK tests, and working from home for 14 days. People who need to work on-site must take ATK tests before going to work and again every three days for assurance. He assured that the government will keep a close watch on the situation and consider appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the Thai people.

https://aseannow.com/topic/1245651-new- ... on-friday/

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

Post by Gaybutton »

The CCSA held their meeting today, January 7, and announced the latest regulations and measures. For the Chonburi province - Pattaya's province - I saw no significant changes, only more of the same - anybody's guess how much longer. Restaurants can continue serving alcohol, but only until 9:00pm. They had been allowed to serve alcohol up to 11:00pm, but for whatever reason, now cut-off time is 9:00pm. Not so great, but better than nothing.

If you're wondering why nothing was mentioned about Pattaya's requirement for the Rapid Antigen test kits to eat in at restaurants, that is because that edict did not come from the CCSA and they have nothing to do with it. That requirement came from the Chonburi provincial governor, so don't get confused by thinking since the CCSA didn't mention it, the requirement is rescinded. WRONG! The requirement is still in place, apparently still being selectively enforced, and will remain in place until the governor says otherwise. No word yet about if and when the requirement might be rescinded and no new word about how many restaurants are actually complying with it.

Part of the first article says:
“Modified” restaurants from entertainment venues (pubs, bars, karaoke lounges, etc.) can now be officially operated only if approved by the Provincial/Bangkok Communicable Disease Committee before January 15th, 2022.
That gives them a week from the time of this post to get that approval. Nothing about go-go bars. My own interpretation is if go-go bars serve food and get that approval, maybe there will be go-go boys finally on stage and dancing, but I wouldn't hold my breath just yet. Maybe you'll get to watch go-go boys while waiting for your order of somtom and pad mung sen to be served . . .

The second article announces 3 more "sandboxes" will open, but they are all islands. Pattaya is not included. I was expecting that, but was taken by surprise at the additional "sandboxes". I suppose they opened islands because it would be much more difficult for people to just leave without permission to travel elsewhere.
____________________________________________________________________________

Thai Covid Center holds major meeting, makes Omicron measure related announcements

By Nop Meechukhun

7 January, 2022

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today, January 7th, announced the readjustment of color zoning in most provinces to the controlled area or the Orange Zone and other preventive measures to curb the domestic rapid spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.

According to CCSA spokesperson Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, all of the 30 provinces in the high surveillance area or the Yellow Zone will be moved to the controlled area, starting this Sunday (January 9th). The Blue (Business, Leisure, Ultimate Experience) Zone provinces, including Chonburi (Pattaya) and Bangkok, remain the same despite the significant rise of infections in most tourist pilot provinces.

Under the controlled area regulations, all of the 69 orange provinces are not allowed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages in restaurants. Large gatherings and exhibitions can be staged with not more than 500 attendees. Effective as of January 9th, 2022.

In the Blue zone provinces, alcohol is still allowed only at SHA+ and/or Thai Stop Covid qualified restaurants/eateries and can be served until 9:00 PM. (Effective as of January 9th, 2022.) “Modified” restaurants from entertainment venues (pubs, bars, karaoke lounges, etc.) can now be officially operated only if approved by the Provincial/Bangkok Communicable Disease Committee before January 15th, 2022.

The CCSA also agreed to extend the Work From Home scheme for government offices/departments until the end of January. Private sectors are also encouraged to comply with a similar scheme.

For international arrivals, the “Test&Go” tourist program remains suspended and only welcomes registered passengers who already approved before an impending cutoff date (Editor’s note: As of press time, there is debate on this date, we are seeking clarification). The government also will cancel its suspension of the arrival from eight high-risk countries in Africa as the Omicron variant has already spread across the globe, not just in a particular continent. They will be allowed to enter the country under the Sandbox program or hotel quarantine the same as arrivals from other countries, starting January 11th.

Sandbox programs will be implemented in an additional five areas, namely Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Phang Nga, and Krabi. Sealed routes (ability to travel between the islands) will be applied in the Sandbox program from January 11th onwards.

Travelers in the Sandboxes are required to conduct 2 RT-PCR tests, quarantine at a SHA+ hotel, and stay in the limited areas. Fully vaccinated travelers can travel in the country after a 7-night quarantine or 10 nights for unvaccinated travelers at hotel quarantine.

The CCSA also mentioned the 2022 vaccination plan that people aged 12 years and over who are not fully vaccinated are welcomed to receive a walk-in injection at qualified vaccination centers nationwide. For children aged 5-11 years, Pfizer vaccines are sufficient for voluntary injection. They can receive the vaccination under parental approval.

A second booster dose, or the fourth dose, will be provided initially for medical personnel and people in the high-risk groups and/or with health conditions. The type of vaccine and the period of the injection will be according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Public Health.

Dr. Taweesilp also urged the public to remain calm regarding the significant increase of domestic infections in Thailand as the number of fatalities and serious cases remain low and recent infections are mostly suffering from mild or asymptomatic conditions. Meanwhile, the government would closely monitor the situation and take serious action to solve the high number of infections as effectively as possible.

This story may be updated with more clarifications on some rules from relevant agencies this afternoon.

Story and graphics: https://thepattayanews.com/2022/01/07/t ... uncements/
___________________________________________________

Test & Go suspended indefinitely, 3 more sandbox provinces

7 January, 2022

The suspension of the Test & Go no-quarantine programme for air travellers has been extended indefinitely, but three provinces will be added to the sandbox scheme that currently applies only to Phuket.

The decisions were made at a top-level policy meeting on Friday, with the government opting for a compromise between needed tourism revenue and fears of a new Covid-19 outbreak.

The additional sandbox destinations are three islands in Surat Thani province - Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan - and the entire provinces of Krabi and Phangnga. No date was announced for its commencement.

Disease controls were also strengthened in 69 provinces, and the ban on nightlife continued.

The announcement came out of a closely watched meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

"All measures have been comprehensively considered, the health concerns and the impacts on people," CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said after the meeting.

- Tourism conditions -

Dr Taweesilp said the CCSA agreed to prolong the suspension of the Test & Go one-quarantine-night-only entry programme until further notice, with Jan 15 the last date for all pre-approved arrivals.

About 10,000 people registered with the programme have not yet entered the country, he said.

The government had said earlier that all successful applicants must arrive in Thailand by Monday.

"Test & Go is a loophole for the virus to enter the country," the spokesman said.

Most new infections of the Omicron variant have been linked to people who entered under the Test & Go scheme, according Public Health Ministry officials.

There were 26,402 tourist arrivals in January, most of them through the Test & Go programme, according to CCSA figures up to Wednesday. Last year there were 416,160 foreign arrivals, most of them since Test & Go started on Nov 1 and before it was suspended on Dec 22.

Test & Go and the sandbox schemes for all destinations except Phuket were all put on hold on Dec 22, as the government tried to control a spike in coronavirus cases and the arrival of the Omicron variant.

Dr Taweesilp said the additional sandbox destinations were Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan in Surat Thani and the entire provinces of Krabi and Phangnga. He did not say when the addition of the three provinces would take effect.

He said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul had given a guarantee that public health would not be imperilled.

"The public health minister confirmed public health safety," he said. Travellers would be required to use only designated transport and routes and stay in designated hotels, the CCSA spokesman said.

The CCSA kept the status of the eight provinces approved for tourism promotion unchanged, meaning they are allowed to serve alcoholic beverages at eateries until 9pm.

The provinces are:

* Bangkok
* Chonburi
* Kanchanaburi
* Krabi
* Nonthaburi
* Pathum Thani
* Phangnga
* Phuket

- Domestic measures -

Dr Taweesilp said the CCSA decide to step up public health controls in 69 other provinces. That included a ban on alcoholic drinks in restaurants.

The closure of all night entertainment - including pubs, bars and karaoke palours - across the country was extended. The CCSA had indicated they may be allowed to open in mid-January, the spokesman said.

"Authorities will take stern action against all shops that violate public health regulations," he warned.

The government advised that all offices continue the work-from-home format until the end of this month where possible, he added.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... -provinces

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