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 »

Looks like the blame and finger pointing game has begun. That won't help the situation and these latest articles make it seem, at least to me, that we can expect things to get much worse before they get better. At the rate the Omicron variant is spreading, it doesn't look good for the bars, and maybe not even the restaurants - the real restaurants.

What worries me the most is from where I sit, rules or no rules, enforcement or no enforcement, things seem to be getting more and more out of control despite efforts to bring the latest outbreak under control.
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Pattaya bars owners have only selves to blame for coming alcohol ban

By Pattaya Mail

January 7, 2022

Pattaya bar owners have only themselves to blame for the postponement of the full opening of Thailand’s nightlife sector, the city’s top nightlife executive said.

Damrongkiat Pinitkarn, secretary for the Pattaya Entertainment & Tourism Association, said “selfish” bar and restaurant operators who failed to follow disease-control rules created the environment for the omicron coronavirus variant to spread like wildfire during the holiday season.

Chonburi on Thursday reported 769 new confirmed cases, with 339 of those coming in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya. The city has seen more than 300 new official cases – with likely many more unofficial infections – for each of the past five days.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Thursday that the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Friday would likely reimpose a ban on the sale of alcohol in restaurants to stunt the omicron outbreak, which shot the national daily confirmed-cases total to 5,775 from fewer than 3,000 Monday.

It’s also possible the CCSA will ban dine-in service at restaurants and declare Chonburi and other hard-hit provinces as “red” coronavirus control zones again.

Damrongkiat said he had been worried about this happening as he looked around the city at the beer bars, go-go bars and watering holes that used questionable certifications and licenses to reopen at “restaurants.”

Many of these didn’t enforce capacity limits, didn’t space tables apart and were lax on ensuring mask use, temperature checks and hand-washing, he said.

Damrongkiat said he understood the desire bar owners had to reopen after being closed since April, but he said their selfishness and failure for everyone to work toward the same goal – operating while keeping the virus in check – led to the hammer coming down Friday.

https://www.pattayamail.com/news/pattay ... ban-385420
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Alcohol ban averted, CCSA rejects Pattaya ‘sandbox’

By Bangkok Herald

January 7, 2022

Restaurants can sell until 9 p.m.; Nightlife, Test & Go remain suspended

Thailand’s major tourist areas avoided a total ban on alcohol sales in restaurants, although starting Sunday Jan. 9, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration shortened sales hours to end at 9 p.m.
The Public Health Ministry had pressured the CCSA to halt alcohol sales again with Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the ministry’s Disease Control Department, telling the media late Thursday the CCSA would halt restaurant-booze sales in “orange” and “red” coronavirus-control zones.

Not only did the CCSA on Friday only lop two hours off the existing alcohol-sales hours, stopping them at 9 p.m., but the health panel didn’t designate any province as a red zone. All the country is now orange – a moderate control zone – with the exception of the “blue” tourism-pilot zones.
The blue zones are Bangkok, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phangnga, and Phuket.
Alcohol sales are now forbidden in orange zone restaurants.


Nightlife reopening delayed

As expected, the CCSA also postponed the official reopening of bars, clubs and other large nightlife venues, although the majority of bars already have reopened as pseudo-restaurants.
Those bar-cum-restaurants have been identified as the source of the latest Covid-19 outbreak, which is increasingly being driven by the omicron coronavirus variant.
The Sukhumvit Soi 7 beer bar complex in Bangkok has been traced to more than 50 infections and Pattaya’s Tree Town market has every day this year seen 10-25% positivity rates in Covid-19 testing done at the Soi Buakhao bar area.


Test & Go: still suspended, no cutoff date

Also postponed, as expected, was the resumption of the misleadingly named “Test & Go” tourist-entry scheme, allowing fully vaccinated foreign tourists to enter Thailand with only one night of quarantine and an on-arrival RT-PCR coronavirus test.
Test & Go is suspended indefinitely, although tourists with already approved Thailand Pass QR codes can still enter the country for now. The CCSA rejected the Public Health Ministry’s request to cut off Thailand Pass arrivals on Jan. 15.

The CCSA said it would keep travelers informed if a cutoff date is decided. Otherwise, arrivals face no changes to requirements other than taking an additional, free PCR test.

The CCSA said 10,440 Thailand Pass holders are expected to arrive in Thailand from Jan. 7-15; 4,900 from Jan. 16-31; 3,757 in February and 468 in March. Those numbers were nearly four times less than the number of passes approved, but many people canceled their trips after Test & Go was suspended.


‘Sandbox’ provinces added

That leaves only two options for travelers looking to holiday or return to Thailand: Alternative quarantine hotels or “sandboxes”, which allow people to leave their hotels but remain in specified geographic areas.
Currently only Phuket – an easily controlled island – is a sandbox. But starting Jan. 11, islands Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Phangnga and Krabi will be reinstated as sandboxes.

That development will bitterly disappoint officials in Pattaya, which have pushed for Chonburi’s Banglamung and Sattahip districts to be reinstated as sandboxes. But Chonburi, with more new Covid-19 cases than any province in Thailand, has not done itself any favors with the national health officials. They see Pattaya’s lax enforcement of restaurants as a major reason for the new outbreak.
Chonburi on Friday reported 1,342 new Covid-19 cases, a whopping 712 of them in Banglamung, which includes Pattaya. The district has seen more than 2,000 new cases this week alone.

Nationally, official case counts doubled to a more-realistic 7,526 infections with 19 deaths. Confirmed cases finally outnumber suspected cases from antigen tests, as the past two weeks have seen widespread reports of Covid-19 infections found through home rapid tests without them showing up in official numbers.

One group of travelers who will be pleased with the CCSA’s meeting will be residents of eight African countries from where the omicron variant sprang. The total ban on arrivals from those nations can again come to Thailand starting Jan. 11 but must stay seven days in an alternative quarantine hotel without leaving.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... box-385513

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Here's a new term for you, folks - "Flurona". It means simultaneous infection with the Covid-19 and influenza viruses.

So far no flurona cases detected in Thailand.

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

Post by Jun »

Pattaya Mail wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 7:30 pm
Damrongkiat Pinitkarn, secretary for the Pattaya Entertainment & Tourism Association, said “selfish” bar and restaurant operators who failed to follow disease-control rules created the environment for the omicron coronavirus variant to spread like wildfire during the holiday season.

Chonburi on Thursday reported 769 new confirmed cases, with 339 of those coming in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya. The city has seen more than 300 new official cases – with likely many more unofficial infections – for each of the past five days.
1 Whatever daft legislation the authorities impose on bars seems to have the sole purpose of extracting more money from the bars, either by costs for SHA schemes or possibly bribes. If the rules were for COVID, then wouldn't the authorities just enforce them ? The fact they briefly close bars until a "settlement" is reached indicates that the authorities are the selfish people here, prioritising money above all else.

2. From their own data, only just over 20% of infections are from bars. So how can bars be at fault when almost 80% of the problem is occurring elsewhere ?

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:01 am
how can bars be at fault when almost 80% of the problem is occurring elsewhere ?
I agree. They can't. And I'm not even so sure 20% of the cases occur because of bars and/or alcohol. I have yet to see any credible evidence of that. I don't see how I would be any more likely to contract Covid by going to a bar than I would going to a 7-Eleven.

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Many people seem to think catching the Omicron variation is nothing to worry about. I disagree. While so far nobody has actually died, you can't be sure what damage it does. Also, if you throw caution to the wind, how do you know if you do get sick, that it is Omicron and not Delta or anything else?

It is a risk I, for one, am not willing to take for the sake of exposing myself to it. While nobody likes it, I don't think anyone needs me to tell that the safest thing to do is stay home, forget about going out drinking for awhile, either cook at home or order delivery, avoid going out as much as possible, and avoid crowds as much as possible.

If you want the ATK test kit, plenty of places sell them. I bought mine at 7-Eleven - 59 baht each.
________________________________________________________

Chonburi releases new orders around Covid-19 measures and rules

By Adam Judd

Sunday, 9 January 2022
____________________________

PM rallies forces for Covid battle

Governors, troops, police on alert

9 January, 2022

A new Chonburi order has been released this morning around the new Covid19 measures first announced by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) last week.
-=-=-=-=-===-=-=-=-=-=-
Here are the orders, which is all in alignment with previous announcements made by the CCSA:
-=-=-=-=-
-Only restaurants that have passed SHA plus OR Thai Stop Covid Plus 2 (health assessments/certifications) can sell alcohol in Chonburi as a blue zone.
-=-=-=-=-=-
-Alcohol must stop being served at restaurants and converted restaurants (see below) by 9 PM. This doesn’t mean the venue needs to close at this time, stop serving food, etc… their normal closing times as under previous orders apply. But no alcohol sales after 9.
-=-=-=-=-=-
-Government agencies and officials work from home until January 31st. The private sector is encouraged to work from home if possible.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-As stated last week bars, pubs, clubs, and entertainment venues are legally closed but may temporarily convert to a “restaurant” with permission from health officials and passing the certifications listed above and rules below until these venues are legally reopened.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
-Employees of converted “restaurants” must still have a rapid antigen test kit daily. This includes musicians and performers. This is squarely aimed at venues mostly focused on alcohol.
-=-=-==-=-=-=–=-=-
-Customers visiting converted “restaurants” and venues that sell alcohol/alcohol focused must show proof of being negative for Covid-19 from a rapid antigen test within 72 hours. This can be on-site at a venue or official checkpoint located in some busier areas like Treetown or Walking Street. This doesn’t apply to restaurants that don’t sell alcohol which can operate normally. Again, this is squarely aimed at converted “restaurants”.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-=-
-Not in the order but worth mentioning is the head health officer of Chonburi has soured on home test kit results/photos/self-testing and is asking venues to cooperate with testing customers on-site or requesting patrons go to an official checkpoint or certified test location like a clinic with proper documentation. Positive tests should also be officially reported to the health department. This came from an interview with the press last night.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
-If a venue cannot or does not want to comply with the rules, especially around the customer and employee antigen testing, they should shut until/if the rules are eased.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Order is now until further notice.
-=–=-=-=-=–=
Questions? Call 1337, the city call center 24 hours a day.

https://thepattayanews.com/2022/01/09/c ... and-rules/
______________________________________________________________

PM rallies forces for Covid battle

Governors, troops, police on alert

9 January, 2022

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed all provincial governors to brace for a possible surge in the number of new Covid-19 infections, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Saturday.

In their capacity as chairmen of provincial communicable disease committees, governors must be ready to enforce Covid-19 control measures in a new fight to contain the virus, said Mr Thanakorn.

The PM had also ordered all state-run healthcare facilities to prepare staff for a rise in the number of new patients who may need inpatient treatment, he said.

As for those who develop mild symptoms, they will be isolated at home or in the community with support provided by the National Health Security Office (NHSO) through its home- and community-based isolation programme for Covid-19 infected patients, he said.

Gen Prayut also urged everyone to take care of themselves and get a rapid Covid-19 test regularly, said Mr Thanakorn.

Deputy Defence Minister Chaichan Changmongkol, meanwhile, relayed a similar order to armed forces and the Royal Thai Police at a meeting on Saturday.

While security authorities must stem the flow of illegal migrants into Thailand, they are also instructed to support the government's work to contain Covid-19, said Gen Chaichan.

In the event of a serious outbreak, the military may have to facilitate transfers of Covid-19 patients from communities to proper healthcare facilities, he said.

The military will also help set up emergency Covid-19 operation centres in Bangkok and other provinces in case of a widespread outbreak, he said.

Mlitary forces will work to support law enforcement against businesses which fail to comply with Covid-19 control measures, he added.

The air force has reopened its field hospital in Don Muang, equipped with 150 beds for Covid-19 patients, said ACM Phanphakdi Phatthanakun, the air force chief of staff.

Several provinces on Saturday began stepping up Covid-19 containment measures. In Ubon Ratchathani, provincial governor Phongrat Phiromrat sought cooperation from the people to avoid going out between 11pm and 4am and ordered a Covid-19 lockdown in five villages in Nam Khun and Na Yia districts for 14 days following sharp rises in Covid-19 cases there.

In Bangkok, Khachit Chatchawanit, the city clerk, said City Hall will today open 41 community isolation centres with a combined capacity to serve up to 5,158 infected patients. Unlike Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok has yet to discuss the need to encourage its residents to avoid going out at night, he said.

City Hall, however, is encouraging members of the public to report any pubs or restaurants which fail to follow the government's Covid-19 control measures.

Chiang Mai, meanwhile, has ordered 23 pub and restaurants closed for three days, after they were found to pose a risk of spreading Covid-19, said provincial governor Prachon Pratsakun.

When these businesses resume after the shutdown, they will be required to have their staff tested every three days and can only serve alcohol to customers in open-air spaces, he said. Chiang Mai recorded 310 new infections in the province on Saturday.

Police and municipality officials in Pattaya City in Chonburi on Friday night began evening patrols to ensure nightspots and restaurants follow Covid-19 control measures.

Elsewhere in the country, Khon Kaen has set up three more field hospitals and banned sales of alcoholic drinks in all districts.

Thailand on Saturday recorded a total of 8,263 new Covid-19 infections, including 351 imported cases.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... vid-battle

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

Post by Ruthrieston »

Thank you Gaybutton, I do so agree with you, so I am once again taking extra care. I certainly will not be going anywhere near the bars for now. Awaiting my booster dose of vaccine at the end of this month.

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

Post by Gaybutton »

Ruthrieston wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:05 am
Awaiting my booster dose of vaccine at the end of this month.
I'm not certain about this, but my understanding is even once you get the booster you still are supposed to wait another two or three weeks before it takes full effect.

At the rate Omicron is spreading, the bars may end up prohibited from opening by then, even the ones pretending to be a restaurant.

By the way, has anyone actually ordered food at one of those pretend bars? Was it any good?

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

Post by Gaybutton »

You know who is confused now? ME! I thought this ATK test kit is now a requirement for dining-in at all restaurants in Pattaya. According to this video, that requirement applies only to restaurants that serve alcohol.

Which is it?
__________


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

Post by Gaybutton »

No home Covid-19 tests allowed to enter Pattaya bars

By Pattaya Mail

January 10, 2022

Chonburi health officials inspected bars/restaurants on Soi Buakhao this week, the epicenter of Pattaya’s new coronavirus outbreak.

The province on Monday reported 767 new Covid-19 cases, 390 of which were in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya.

Chonburi Public Health Director Apirat Katanyutanon said all the bars/restaurants on the central Pattaya street and elsewhere must administer Covid-19 antigen tests to customers daily. Home tests are no longer allowed.

Apirat said customers were faking tests, using photos of old results or straight up faking photos. So, if someone wants a beer in a Pattaya restaurant, they have to take a test first.

Apirat acknowledged that the demand for antigen test kits has resulted in short supplies and high prices. He said the province is working to address both problems.

https://www.pattayamail.com/news/no-hom ... ars-385845

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

Post by gerefan »

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:57 am
You know who is confused now? ME! I thought this ATK test kit is now a requirement for dining-in at all restaurants in Pattaya. According to this video, that requirement applies only to restaurants that serve alcohol.

Which is it?
__________

I thought it was only restaurants that serve alcohol. But name a proper one that doesn’t!!

Anyway none of the ones I have been into have asked for anything let alone tests, signing in etc.

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