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

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Keep your face masks, folks. The Thai cabinet has rejected ending the face mask mandate and the face mask requirement is still in effect.
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Face masks back on as cabinet votes down end of mandate in June. Nightlife trade slams reopening

May 31, 2022

Nightlife business owner says his customers are not happy with seeing masseuses with face masks on while other operators slam the nervousness of the government and the restrictions on trade which they want to see liberalised even further than things were in 2020 to give their businesses a badly needed shot in the arm after two years of losses and debt. This comes as the economic recovery is showing signs of slowing again in 2022 while the foreign tourism industry is making a slower than expected comeback.

The Thai cabinet, on Monday, blocked a proposal to remove the face mask mandate in respect of outdoor environments. The decision comes amid growing criticism from the country’s nightlife sector over the public health measures being imposed on businesses, at this time, including the need for staff to wear face masks and a midnight closing time. Thailand’s economic recovery, this year, is also beginning to stall with exports falling from March to April and the government’s budgetary position tightening as stimulus efforts and financial supports dry up. Many now fear that the reticence of the government may already be impeding a badly needed full foreign tourism recovery which is taking longer than expected to gain traction.

The Thai cabinet on Monday dealt another blow to efforts to regenerate the country’s foreign tourism industry as it put a halt to plans to do away with the outdoor wearing of face masks proposed in June at a recent meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The decision sees Thailand as an outlier as mask-wearing mandates have been rescinded worldwide even in neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia.

The wearing of masks is still mandated, however, in Vietnam, a fellow member of ASEAN and a one-party socialist republic ruled by the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Decision in line with policy announced earlier this month by Public Health Minister Anutin who said the face mask mandate must be retained after July 1st

The retention of face masks is known to be a sought after policy of Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul who earlier this month tasked his officials with finding a way of keeping them mandatory even after the virus is declared endemic after July 1st next.

https://www.thaiexaminer.com/thai-news- ... -decision/

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

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Phuket cancels easing of mask mandate at outside places like beaches and parks

By Goong Nang

3 June, 2022

The Phuket governor has canceled an order allowing relaxed outdoor usage of masks at places such as beaches and parks to requiring that one MUST wear masks at all public spaces, even if apart from other people.

Yesterday evening (June 2nd) the Phuket Governor has released a new order and canceled the previous order about facemask mandates relaxing slightly.

The new order states that people must still wear face masks in all public areas (except as noted below), especially in closed areas with no airflow, and when joining activities with many people.

According to the order, one can take off their face mask while:

* Drinking or eating
* Exercise in an open area with airflow away from other people
* To verify identity at the request of a competent official.

The Phuket Express notes that the exception Number 4 in the previous order which stated “At beaches, public parks, and sports stadiums with two meters distance from others.” has been removed.

The order takes effect from yesterday (June 2nd) until further notice. No reason was given for the change which has got nearly universal criticism on TPN media’s English speaking social media channels.

https://thepattayanews.com/2022/06/03/p ... and-parks/

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

Post by Gaybutton »

I'm somewhat reluctant to post this and I am not posting any of the supporting articles because right now everything is in the talking about-rumor stage, which does not in any way guarantee anything will actually happen, and I want to make that clear.

The two major issues being discussed:

1. Ending the Thailand Pass
2. Ending the mask mandate

If anything comes of it, we'll let you know. In the meantime all the rules and edicts are still in place.

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

Post by Jun »

On the subject of the Thai Pass, here is an article listing some insurance options: https://www.nationthailand.com/pr-news/ ... TFYeEbS6Ps
They even have options to filter by age and trip duration. Link: https://asq.in.th/

They haven't mentioned that people are getting the Thai Pass with proper non-Thai insurance policies, which actually offer worthwhile cover and therefore are better value for money.
I suggest applying for the pass with a non-Thai policy should be the first step, unless organising a trip at the very last moment. My last trip was with a non-Thai policy and I'm not alone.

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 4:36 pm
I suggest applying for the pass with a non-Thai policy should be the first step
How do they actually check to be certain your policy covers their requirements? I assume they don't simply take your word for it.

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

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 4:47 pm
How do they actually check to be certain your policy covers their requirements? I assume they don't simply take your word for it.
I believe that's an unknown.

Whilst there are ways it could be done, such as manually checking the first policy from each insurer and then using AI to identify further submissions of that policy, I very much doubt the people doing clunky Thai government software are up to that.
My GUESS is that they now approve any policy. The list of "recommended policies" on the Thai Pass website might be sufficient to herd a few sheep into the pen & the rest might get through with a proper insurance policy.

The obvious solution is to apply for a Thai Pass as soon as possible and at least 2 weeks before travelling. Then if they do bounce it, there is time to either explain how the policy complies or try with one of the scam policies.

I would only consider a scam policy if making a last minute application. Bear in mind the Axa Thailand policy now doesn't cover hotel quarantine costs and if you got run over by a bus, the medical care limit would be pretty useless too. It would be difficult to buy a policy worse than that in my country.

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

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Jun wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 6:09 pm
I very much doubt the people doing clunky Thai government software are up to that.
My GUESS is that they now approve any policy.
Sounds like you can show virtually any health insurance policy, tell them it covers their requirements, and welcome to Thailand. Maybe I was wrong and essentially they really do jut take your word for it.


"The level of incompetence here is absolutely radiant!"
- George C. Scott (Dr. Herbert Bock), 'The Hospital'

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

Post by Gaybutton »

At the time of this post this is only in the proposal stage. We'll see what comes of it. My guess is it will easily pass.

By the way, that 300 baht tourist tax has now been postponed until at least the fourth quarter of this year.
_________________________________

Proposal to ease visa rules put forward

TAT, tourism operators agree to present united front to CCSA

by Narumon Kasemsuk

June 11, 2022

Tourism operators have reached an agreement with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to propose a visa fee exemption for international arrivals and an eligibility extension for visitors from nations not requiring a visa to enter the country from 30 to 45 days during the second half of this year.

A joint meeting between the TAT and more than 100 representatives from 10 tourism associations yesterday ended with five proposals that are expected to be presented to the subcommittee of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) next week.

"All tourists should have been treated on an equal basis. If possible, we should also provide a fee waiver for multiple entry to allow them to visit neighbouring countries during the same trip," said Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association.

"This could be a good opportunity for us to lead the reopening of CLMV [Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam]."

At present, Thailand grants a visa exemption to 56 countries whose citizens don't have to apply for a visa or pay the 1,000-baht fee, but the stay is limited to 30 days.

However, most countries, including potential markets such as India, still require visitors to apply for a visa and pay an application fee for a stay of no more than 60 days.

The visa-on-arrival (VOA) option, which is the leading choice among visitors who do not wish to deal with the inconvenience of visiting a Thai consulate, costs 1,500 baht. However, this option only allows a visitor to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 15 days.

The 30-day limit may be insufficient for the current environment as tourists nowadays wish to take longer trips, as seen by the increase in average spending per visitor from 47,000 baht to 77,000 baht, said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the TAT.

He said among high-spending tourists the visa fee amount may be insignificant, but if they can save on this cost it would leave them more money to spend while travelling around the country, which would directly stimulate the local economy.

As the government previously extended the right to remain in the country from 30 to 45 days during the period when quarantine was required, if tourism operators want to seek another extension, it should not be an obstacle, said Mr Yuthasak.

"We totally agree with the proposal to waive the visa fee for those who must apply for a visa, in addition to extending the length of stay for both visa-free countries and the VOA," said Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association.

"The longer they stay, the more they can spend more locally."

In addition to visa issues, the private sector also agreed to ask the CCSA to lift restrictions on night entertainment hours by returning to the same practices adopted by each area before the pandemic.

They also support the idea of promoting Thailand as a mask-free destination by revoking the mask mandate in all areas.

Masks can be suggested for congested spaces or indoors. Private operators, such as hotels or restaurants, can make their own decision on whether to require their staff to wear a mask, according to the meeting.

Most representatives also agreed with the Tourism and Sport Ministry's proposal to cancel the Thailand Pass system, meaning the only requirements for visitors to the country would be vaccine certificates and insurance.

Temperature checks at all locations should be halted as experience has shown this measure cannot practically identify those infected with the virus, said the representatives.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/23 ... ut-forward

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Seems to me the powers-that-be are getting a bit more realistic.
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CCSA to consider no mask, 2am closing hours next Friday

June 10, 2022

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will meet next week to consider removing the facemask mandate in public places and allow entertainment venues to close at 2am, chief of the CCSA operation centre Supoj Malaniyom said on Thursday.

He said CCSA requires more time to evaluate the situation and has tasked the Department of Health with drawing up new rules for facemasks, especially marking out areas where people can go without wearing a mask.

“Our aim is to help people resume normality as soon as possible now that Covid-19 is close to becoming endemic,” he said. “The same goes for extending operating hours for entertainment venues, as we found the situation to be under control after allowing bars, pubs, karaoke joints and massage parlours to reopen since June 1.”

He added that the meeting on June 17 will also consider reopening more border checkpoints.

“Though the situation in Thailand is improving, CCSA is still concerned as the number of people getting booster shots is low. We, therefore, urge those who have not received a booster to get one as soon as possible to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death,” Supoj said.

As of June 9, Thailand had administered 138.36 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, of which 56.81 million were first jabs covering 81.7 per cent of the population, 52.84 million second jabs covering 76 per cent of the population, and 28.69 million booster shots covering 41.3 per cent of the population.

On Friday, Thailand recorded 2,836 Covid-19 cases and 24 deaths, while 3,518 patients had recovered and were discharged from hospitals. Since January 1, 2022, Thailand has seen a total of 2,256,552 Covid-19 cases.

https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40016495

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

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‘Thailand Pass’ to be cancelled next month, postpone 300-baht tourism fee

By Pattaya Mail

June 11, 2022

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has announced that it will postpone the collection of the 300-baht tourism fee until the fourth quarter of this year and will propose the cancellation of the Thailand Pass starting next month.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn announced that the ministry has decided to withdraw the proposal to implement a tourism fee in order to conduct additional research on the matter. In light of tourists who only stay one or two nights in the country, he believes that the tourist fee for land arrival should be reconsidered.

The ministry will submit the proposal to the cabinet within two months, with the implementation of the fee taking place 90 days after the Royal Gazette publication. This suggests that the starting date could be between the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023.

Piphat stated that the proposal for the cancellation of the Thailand Pass registration for international arrivals to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) during its next meeting will attract more tourists, as they will no longer be required to purchase travel insurance or deal with complex entry procedures. The Tourism Authority of Thailand will also meet with tourism operators to discuss any pressing concerns that should be brought up at the next CCSA meeting.

https://www.pattayamail.com/thailandnew ... fee-401045

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