Here's a way you might be able to go to Thailand - but would you want to do this?

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Re: Here's a way you might be able to go to Thailand - but would you want to do this?

Post by Gaybutton »

gerefan wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:53 am
Where is the reference for this?
"especially those from the countries where coronavirus disease had not been spreading in past months"

Seems clear enough to me.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding. One way to find out - apply for the visa and see if you get it.

gerefan wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:58 am
In brief who is going to pay for 90 days accommodation in advance
If that is they way they're going to do it, if someone is being admitted as a tourist, over a period of 90 days if it were me I would want to travel to other cities too. 90 days staying in the same hotel in the same city? I see that as kind of a quarantine in itself.

Also what if something unforeseen happens at the hotel or condo that causes a necessity to find somewhere else to stay? Good luck getting your money back.

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Re: Here's a way you might be able to go to Thailand - but would you want to do this?

Post by gerefan »

Sorry Gaybutton but I thought when you wrote ...

“ Apparently, due to the spread of the virus, you will not be eligible for this visa, assuming you would even want it, if you come from the USA or the UK

...you were quoting from some official statement, rather than just an opinion. That’s the way it reads.

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Re: Here's a way you might be able to go to Thailand - but would you want to do this?

Post by Gaybutton »

gerefan wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:02 am
...you were quoting from some official statement, rather than just an opinion. That’s the way it reads.
I'll try to make that I am stating an opinion more obvious next time.

Meanwhile while some may consider this a good offer, if the whole thing indeed does have to be advance paid, then for me it wouldn't be good enough. Maybe the fact that I live here influences me, but nevertheless that's my opinion.

Besides, why would the whole thing have to be advance paid in the first place? What is the logic behind that? I could see it if you're traveling on a package deal, but traveling individually do they really think people are going to jump through whatever hoops, pay to go to Thailand, and then not pay the hotel when they get there or stop paying later? In my opinion that is on the strange side.

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Re: Here's a way you might be able to go to Thailand - but would you want to do this?

Post by Gaybutton »

I thought this tourist visa idea was already a done deal, but not quite yet. Also, according to the article, there is opposition to this idea - an idea that I predict won't do much good anyway.

Reading these articles, there seems to be no shortage of confusing and conflicting information about just what and how much needs to be advance paid. It's confusing me, anyway.
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Long stay visa: Cabinet decision today on "premium" visitors who will have "freedom" of Thailand

September 15, 2020

Than Settakij -Thailand's business media - reported that proposals to open up Thailand to long stay foreign tourists would be discussed by the cabinet today when a decision on the plan is expected.

While the TAT and the private sector are broadly in favor, opposition still remains on the ground and in the medical community, notes Thaivisa.

In many ways it will be a soft opening with only hundreds expected per month and is seen by many as a cautious and appropriate way to proceed in opening up the country.

The long stay visa will be for 90 days but can be extended twice so that the visitor can stay up to 270 days.

Tourism of Thailand governor Yutthaasak Suphasorn described the potential recipients of the visa as "premium long stay" tourists and described it as a test for the reopening of Thailand.

Visitors must follow all the health department regulations just as Thais do and must go to hotels for the 14 day quarantine under the Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) guidelines. They must also have health certificates like "fit to fly" within 72 hours and adequate insurance.

If the cabinet agrees the kind of visitor will be anything from the FIT traveller (fully independent ones) to those on tour groups, said Yutthasak.

He said it will provide the visitor with the "freedom to explore" Thailand once the health regulations are completed.

Visas can be applied for at embassies and consulates around the world though consideration will be made about what countries and territories are included based on their handling of the Covid-19 situation. Low risk countries will be preferred.

He said that the TAT are working with the private sector, airlines and agents on charter flights.

He expects a limited opening of Thailand to just 100s of visitors per month.

He said this was not a business visa.

He noted the devastating effect of the pandemic on the tourism sector. Foreign tourism is two thirds of the total and 20% of GDP and 2.5 million people in the tourism workforce face redundancy if the country is not opened up in the fourth quarter.

The private sector in the shape of Dr Bun Wanasin, a senior executive at Thonburi Heathcare Group (THG) was in agreement with the plans saying it was easier to focus on long stay tourism first.

Short stay tourism would be the next stage. Convincing Thais especially those in tourist areas to open up was the key before a wider opening of the country.

Yet there is still opposition to the plans, notes Thaivisa.

Thais in tourism areas are not in full agreement and just yesterday a leading researcher at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok Dr Thira Woratanarat said that Thailand should wait SIX months before opening up to tourists.

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/118256 ... -thailand/
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Long-stay tourism in sight

First steps agreed to reopen for foreigners

by Chatrudee Theparat & Wassayos Ngamkham

September 16, 2020

Thailand is moving cautiously to reopen its borders with a new plan to allow foreign visitors to stay in the country for 90 days, extendable up to 270 days under a special tourist visa scheme (STV), which is projected to generate 12 billion baht a year.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday the cabinet had approved the STV in principle and it was aimed at long-staying tourists who arrived intending to travel extensively around the country or access Thailand's healthcare facilities, regarded as among the best in the world.

The policy is expected to become effective next month and last until November next year.

Gen Prayut described the scheme as a possible answer to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. "I would like to call on Thai people to support this project because it can contribute to the economy," he said.

The PM said those awarded the special visa would be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a hospital or certified alternative state quarantine (ASQ) hotel upon their arrival.

Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy government spokesperson, said the STV had been proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The scheme, she said, was intended to lure quality visitors and prop up the tourism industry and related businesses hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Traisuree said the government was forecasting the scheme to require one to three flights a week for STV tourists, generating an extra one billion baht every month.

Long-staying visitors would be keen to travel to Thailand and undergo quarantine due to its success in bringing the coronavirus under control, she said.

She stressed that the special visa would only be issued to foreigners who agreed to undertake the mandatory 14-day quarantine and comply with the country's disease control measures.

They must also have proof of their long-stay plans, such as paying for accommodation or evidence of ownership of condominiums, where they will stay after completing their quarantine, plus a Covid-19-free certificate and sufficient travel and health insurance.

Ms Traisuree said the visa would last for 90 days and cost 2,000 baht but it could be extended twice, each for a further 90 days. Those interested would need to apply to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Meanwhile, a total of 421 people who came into close contact with the Uzbek football player infected by Covid-19 have been tested and most of them have been confirmed negative, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

The 29-year-old football player at Buriram United tested positive on Sept 10 after finishing his 14-day state quarantine.

The DDC has already identified 508 people who came into close contact with the infected player. Altogether, 100 people were identified as being at high risk of infection and 421 were tested. Negative results were recorded for 382 people and 39 others are still awaiting their results.

In another development, the Immigration Bureau (IB) is preparing to sue a Twitter user who claimed that most foreigners arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport were not being quarantined.

IB commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang said Immigration Division 2 has been assigned to gather evidence and take legal action against the user for spreading false information.

Pol Col Choengron Rimpadee, deputy commander of Immigration Division 2, said on Tuesday foreign visitors were obliged to undergo quarantine, even if they were only arriving for health treatment. Those visitors were being quarantined in hospital and were required to provide trip itineraries, as well as the relevant permits from Thai authorities.

In Tak province, 10 Myanmar nationals were arrested near the border in Mae Sot district on Tuesday, all without travel documents.

The seven men and three women were found by a patrol of police, soldiers and immigration officials. All have tested negative for the virus.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... m-in-sight
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Cabinet okays 9-month visas for foreigners

Sep 15, 2020

The Cabinet has approved a proposal of issuing long-stay visas for foreigners visiting Thailand.

Deputy government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Tuesday (September 15) that the Cabinet has agreed to allow foreigners to live in Thailand for up to nine months per trip, provided they can prove they have spent 14 days in quarantine.

The first visit will allow 90 days of stay, which can then be extended twice totalling nine months.

This measure will start from next month, and up to 1,200 tourists per month will be granted this extended visa.

Qualifications for the visa will be based on:

• Tourist’s compliance with measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 and agreement to spend 14 days in an alternative local state quarantine site;

• Evidence of long-term residence in Thailand such as hotel reservation, rental contract in traveller’s name or that of family members residing in Thailand or title deed of a purchased unit.

This special tourist visa will cost Bt2,000 per 90-day extension and will be available until September 2021.

The deputy spokesperson added that this visa will be applicable to visitors from countries that have been able to control the Covid-19 outbreak. Related state agencies will draw up the final regulations and the Interior Ministry will announce official details soon.

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30394581
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Gov’t Adopts Plan to Reopen Country to Foreign Tourists

By Khaosod English

September 15, 2020

BANGKOK — The Cabinet on Tuesday formally approved a proposal to permit foreigners to enter the country amid the global coronavirus pandemic that wrecked much of the tourism industry.

Government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said the plan, called “Special Tourist Visa,” will allow long-stay tourists to travel around the country after spending 14 days in quarantine. She said the visa will help recover the country’s economy, which is expected to lose billions of baht this year due to border shutdowns.

“Foreign tourists were our main source of income,” Traisuree said. “They generated more than two trillion baht in revenue in the past, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector, as well as other sectors, are being affected.”

“Therefore, we have the policy to resume tourism while maintaining our virus control measures.”

The announcement did not mention when the Special Tourist Visa will be implemented. The final draft of the plan is pending a deliberation by the tourism ministry.

Association of Thai Travel Agents president Vichit Prakobgosol welcomed the news but said the government should also embrace short-term tourists from countries where there has been no local infections.

“Tourists will definitely come,” Vichit said in an interview. “The approval came in time for the upcoming high season. Tourists will come to Thailand for a winter escape even though there is mandatory quarantine.”

“However, not everyone will be happy with the quarantine, so I think we should also welcome tourists from countries where the outbreak is contained,” he continued.

The government said it expects to attract 1,200 tourists entering the country per month and generate more than 1.2 billion baht in revenue. All previous attempts to reopen the country have failed so far.

Spokeswoman Traisuree said tourists who wish to enter Thailand under the plan must agree to be quarantined upon their arrival in Thailand for 14 days, and pay for the accommodation themselves. They must also pay for a 2,000 baht visa fee.

Tourists holding the “Special Tourist Visa” will be permitted to stay in the country for 90 days, after which they can apply for two extensions at 90 days each.

The Kasikorn Research Center estimated that the absence of foreign tourists will cost the country 1.69 trillion baht in loss this year.

https://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/cri ... -tourists/

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Re: Here's a way you might be able to go to Thailand - but would you want to do this?

Post by Gaybutton »

I agree with Barry's entire article, especially the part that hadn't occurred to me. Suppose you want this visa and find yourself eligible for it. With scheduled flights still out of the question, how are you supposed to get to Thailand, not to mention home again? At the moment there is no way to know how long it will be until Thailand allows scheduled passenger flights or even how many airlines and which ones will fly to Thailand unless there are enough customers to fill their airplanes.

Just minor little details, but whoops . . .
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Some unanswered questions about the new Special Tourist Visa

By Barry Kenyon

September 16, 2020

It may be several days before all the tell-tale detail will be available concerning the latest government idea to reopen Thailand to selected tourists for holidays of up to 270 days. Until now, Thai airports have been closed to all foreigners except those in a special category such as work permit holders, seriously-ill medical tourists and aliens with Thai wives and families to support. Thai land borders will remain closed to human traffic for the foreseeable future.

But now the Thai Cabinet has agreed in principle a scheme, likely to begin late next month, to allow long-stay general tourists to enjoy national travel, Thai hospitality and sunkissed beaches for up to nine months in one visit. The precise detail is being left to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) which has several doctors and medical advisers who are very cautious in matters concerning any loosening of the coronavirus restrictions.

So far, we know that the new tourist visa will be for an initial three months, issued by the Thai embassy in the country of departure, and be extendable at Thai immigration offices for a further 90 days, and then another if needed (90+90+90). Thai embassies are not yet ready to issue the initial visas as they are awaiting instructions about the required paperwork. The visa and each extension of stay will cost 2,000 baht. There is no requirement to stay the entire 270 days, but “at least” three months.

But we do know that applicants must be ready to pay in advance of departure for a 14-days compulsory quarantine in a Thai hotel (known as an Alternative State Quarantine or ASQ) and provide proof they have paid in advance for accommodation for the first month, or can provide unambiguous evidence they own a condo, have a lease on a property or live with close relatives. Other requirements include a Covid-19 free certificate, issued shortly before departure, and sufficient travel and medical insurance. It is not yet known whether the required medical cover will be as expensive as the minimum US$100,000 policy required for already-approved categories of travellers. If so, that will rule out most advanced-elderly tourists who are shunned by insurance companies.

Although some local media in Thailand and overseas have already greeted the Special Tourist Visa (STV) as the savior of the tourist industry, this is a case of jumping the gun. Government spokespersons have already indicated that they expect only about 300 tourists a week under the scheme with expected income of about one billion baht on a monthly basis. This suggests that participants will be expected to fly in by special charter flights from cities which have been virus-free for at least two months. Whether individual travellers will be allowed by finding a seat on evacuation flights returning Thais to their home country is not yet clear. Currently, there is a ban on scheduled open flights coming into the country.

Geoffrey Fletcher, a London-based spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents, said, “This is a very cautious approach and the Thai authorities look to be concentrating on short-haul visitors from Asia via charter flights,” stressing that compulsory quarantine ruled out most general tourists, whilst comprehensive medical insurance would likely prove expensive. He pointed out that if the tourists arrived by charter flight, problems would arise when they wanted to go home at different times.

Social media in Thailand is already debating some of the ambiguities. Thus clarification is awaited on whether foreigners currently enjoying visa amnesty status until September 26 will be able to transfer to the new visa. Immigration sources told Pattaya Mail this was unlikely as the STV had to be applied for abroad and approved by the appropriate Thai embassy. Nor is it clear whether the STV could be used to transfer holders to other long-term extensions of stay such as retirement, marriage or becoming a student. In other words, a lot of water has yet to pass under this particular bridge.

https://www.pattayamail.com/featured/so ... isa-315036

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Re: Here's a way you might be able to go to Thailand - but would you want to do this?

Post by Gaybutton »

Private jets and charter flights, plus a 14 day quarantine. Why am I not expecting anyone reading this board to travel to Thailand under this offer? And if anyone does accept the offer, do what once you are released from quarantine?
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New Thai tourist visa restricted to charter flights and private jets

By Barry Kenyon

September 18, 2020

Hopes that the latest long-term visa plan will allow general tourists into the country on a grand scale have been dashed by the Tourism and Sports minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn. He clarified that Thai embassies abroad will only issue the special visa and a certificate of eligibility to foreigners who are travelling either by charter plane or by private jet.

It had been assumed by many – wrongly as it has turned out – that the new Special Tourist Visa (STV), which allows a stay of between three and nine months, could be used by entrants to slip into the country on a repatriation flight. Ordinary scheduled flights are still banned from entering Thailand.

Another hope was that foreigners already in Thailand, who have benefitted from the six months’ visa amnesty ending on September 26, might be able to apply to local immigration here for the STV as an option to extend their stay yet again. This will not be possible as the visa can be issued only by Thai embassies abroad.

During the first stage of reopening next month, charter flights will be limited to three flights a week with a maximum of 100 passengers on board each plane, presumably to observe some form of physical distancing. Even allowing for increased capacity in a later phase, the entire plan will do nothing to rebound the moribund tourist industry in Thai resorts.

The reference to also allowing private jets illustrates that the government at this stage is not remotely intending to return to the days of mass tourism, but to concentrate on “top quality” visitors which means “super rich” in this context. But they will all still need to provide payment for 14 days quarantine, US$100,000 medical insurance, health and Covid-19 certification and proof of a booking on a charter flight or private jet.

Geoffrey Fletcher, spokesperson at the Association of British Travel Agents, said, “There will be near-zero interest in this proposal in traditional Thai tourist markets such as Europe and America.” He predicted that there will be some interest amongst rich individuals in parts of short-haul Asia – including China, Singapore and South Korea – who have been lobbying the Thai government to exempt them from the tourist ban. They would likely spend their 14 days quarantine being pampered in Bangkok’s most luxurious hotels.

Recently, Thai authorities have been silent about other tentative plans to reopen general tourism such as the Snowbirds from northern Europe or the special travel bubbles to Phuket. For the foreseeable future, the emphasis will be on the very wealthy who will spend their mega-cash in the most expensive facilities Thailand can provide. If the owners of bars, cafes, transvestite cabaret shows and massage parlours of the land think their empty seats will soon refill, they’d better think it out again.

https://www.pattayamail.com/featured/ne ... ets-315309

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Re: Here's a way you might be able to go to Thailand - but would you want to do this?

Post by Gaybutton »

CCSA panel to approve visa scheme to allow foreign tourists into country

27 Sep 2020

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday will approve a Special Tourist Visa (STV) to draw foreign tourists, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul says.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Public Health and various other units were fully prepared for the STV, Ms Traisuree said.

Prior to travelling to Thailand, foreign visitors are required to have a Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before departure, buy Covid-19 health insurance, and sign a letter of consent agreeing to comply with the government's Covid-19 measures.

Foreign travellers with a STV must still be quarantined for 14 days, she said.

Asked about the tourism and sports minister's idea to reduce the quarantine period for foreign tourists to seven days, Ms Traisuree said the government had not considered the idea yet, confirming the government would start with a 14-day quarantine before considering easing lockdown measures gradually.

STV travellers must travel by charter plane and every flight carrying them must receive permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or CCSA operation centres, she said.

She said 1,200 STV travellers are expected to enter Thailand each month after the country reopens, bringing in more than 1.03 billion baht. In one year, the number of STV travellers will likely reach 14,400 people, generating tourism revenue of about 12.4 billion baht for the country, she said.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has ensured the enforcement of stringent aviation measures in airports and on domestic and international flights during Covid-19.

CAAT standard manager Klot Senalak said foreign visitors must present essential documents, such as a letter of confirmation issued by the Thai embassy or consulate at their country of origin, a letter that confirms their test for Covid-19, at least 72 hours prior to travel, is negative, and they must have a US$100,000 (3 million baht) Covid-19 insurance policy.

After their arrival, they must screen for Covid-19 symptoms and download an application to monitor their health. A 14-day quarantine is compulsory for all arrivals, he said.

During flights, passengers must wear face masks at all times. Airlines must provide sufficient alcohol-based hand gel. All cabin crew must wear personal protective equipment and rubber gloves throughout the journey, Mr Klot said.

Newspapers, magazines and leaflets will not be available on the plane. No products will be sold on board, he said.

Flights shorter than 120 minutes are prohibited from serving food and beverages. Longer flights can serve items in closed containers, he said.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/19 ... to-country

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