By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19156
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1053 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Rapid Covid testing in Pattaya gets off to a slow start

By Barry Kenyon

January 8, 2022

Contrary to expectation, Pattaya and a few other tourist-orientated areas have survived the total ban on the consumption of alcohol in restaurants effective nationally on January 9. The new deadline in Pattaya is 9 pm to replace the current one of 11 pm. However, the military-run Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration is mandating a host of health and safety rules for staff, with one also requiring all customers to show a rapid antigen test taken within the last 72 hours.

There is currently very little evidence of any checks whatsoever in popular tourist areas such as Walking Street, Soi Buakow and Sexy Soi Six. The sole testing booth in Walking Street is a private sector booth offering swab tests with the timed and dated result transferred to your mobile phone for 100 baht. Only two establishments, one a dance hall and the other a music bar, appeared to be showing any interest in whether customers were qualified to enter or not.

Over on Soi Buakhao, which has the busiest nitery scene in town, there is no sign of the promised local authority free testing booth and no evidence of any check on customers in the numerous bars. On our visit, several were crowded and mask-wearing obviously being ignored. It was the same story on Sexy Soi Six where several gogo bars have turned themselves into open-front restaurants. The only evidence of food on display was the occasional pile of peanuts.

However, the game changes on January 9 when booze time ends at 9 pm. The CCSA spokesman hinted at the significance when he said that nightlife would soon be ending much earlier. It is well known internationally that sales of alcoholic beverages pick up as the evening gets later. So the real issue is now whether the police will enforce the 9 pm quasi-curfew on serving booze. Watch this space.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... art-385603

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19156
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1053 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 7:36 pm
So the real issue is now whether the police will enforce the 9 pm quasi-curfew on serving booze.
My guess is if the police bother enforcing it at all, other than the occasional raid or if there are truly flagrant violations, it will last about as long as usual - a week or so, if that long.

We'll see.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19156
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1053 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

For the moment, Pattaya nightlife back on life support

By Barry Kenyon

January 10, 2022

With the Christmas and New Year booze free-for-all firmly behind us, Pattaya is facing up to a sober alcohol prohibition starting at nine o’clock prompt. Health officials, police and even the army have been out and about in the last 48 hours advising imbibing customers and “restaurant” staff to call it a day as the doom clock strikes. No arrests or closures to date.

In true Thai tradition, the latest rules are tinged with ambiguity. The Bangkok governor maintains that drinking alcohol (as well as serving) must stop at nine and suggests that customers could carry home any dregs in a plastic bag for home consumption. Others have maintained that there should be a “drinking up” period lasting, say, half an hour after serving ceases. The jury is still out debating this scary subject.

Bars and clubs are supposed to be firmly closed 24/7, but some have found a way of transforming themselves into eateries, notwithstanding the total absence of kitchenware or even of knives and forks. One enterprising bar on Beach Road can provide you with chicken-rice or even a plate of chips, but customers must wait for 15 minutes whilst a motorbike taxi man brings them from an unknown destination.

The provincial health authority has proclaimed that “restaurants” must specifically test all customers (as well as staff) with an ATK kit to ensure they are virus-free. A Pattaya radio station carries an impassioned exhortation to avoid like the plague any eatery which declines to enforce the rule. In practice, only a tiny number of prestigious dining outlets are cooperating. The rest point out that the whole enterprise is expensive, unpopular and means nothing. One cafe abandoned the idea in haste after two staff who were in charge of testing customers turned out to have Covid-19.

For these reasons, law enforcement is concentrating on the nine o’clock booze-curfew which is relatively easy to police. The more difficult subjects such as checking whether an eatery is well-stocked with ATK self-test kits, or is fully licensed under the complex Safety and Health Authority Plus regulations, are secondary matters. Whether you are a proper restaurant or a bar specializing in peanuts and crisps pales into insignificance compared with the all-important matter of ceasing booze sales at nine in the evening.

Some districts haven’t even bothered to try. Boyztown is in total darkness apart from one bar with customers in short supply to say the least. Most of Walking Street is still barred and bolted with only a small number of businesses open in the middle section of the street. “It’s just not worth opening at all,” says Zac who is currently a doorman at a music club. “A good night out needs to start at nine, not end there.”

There are certainly some busier spots, mainly in Sexy Soi Six and Soi Buakhao, where the fun-seeking, budget-conscious Europeans tend to congregate. But these are prime target areas for police action if alcohol is indeed served past nine o’clock. A bar girl Porn frankly summed up, “I used to make good money after midnight, now I must hope my customer is drunk by nine o’clock.” Then she winks and bets this crackdown will be as short-lived as its historical predecessors. That’s the gamble.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ort-385853

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19156
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1053 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Pattaya’s Royal Garden is crowded by booster seekers

By Barry Kenyon

January 13, 2022

Hundreds of Thais and foreign nationals are queuing daily at the Royal Garden’s first floor, free vaccination center run under local authority auspices. It’s open daily 11.00-15.00 hours with registration the first step. Ask at the information desk for the procedure.

The center is open for first, second or booster anti-Covid jabs. Booster vaccine is mostly Pfizer. Expect to spend several hours there. After registration you might be vaccinated that day or, more likely, given a future time.


The Jomtien outdoor sports stadium is no longer operating as a vaccination center and the facility has moved to Banglamung hospital. But jabs there are for Thais only according to a nurse in a phone conversation. For those who are registered (or wish to) and have paid around 1,600 baht, Moderna boosters are being given at several private sector hospitals in Chonburi province over the next three months.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ers-386080

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19156
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1053 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

I doubt many holiday makers planning a trip to Thailand would cancel their plans because of this tax, but considering how badly Thailand needs to attract international tourists, to me this seems like a strange time to impose this tax. I wonder who came up with this brilliant idea and who decided this is the right time to levy this kind of tax . . .
__________________________________________

Confusion reigns over new tourist tax in Thailand

By Barry Kenyon

January 13, 2022

Thai government press releases are sometimes clouded by ambiguity. The decision to impose a 300 baht (US$9) on foreign “tourists” from April is no exception. It will be collected by a supplement on pre-arrival air tickets, but presumably people with a Thai-sounding name will be exempted. Or maybe not. Foreign residents and expats are not “tourists” so won’t need to pay. Maybe. Nobody yet knows how travel agents and online ticket sites will be able to distinguish between the various groups.

According to the Thai based tourism and sports ministry, no decision has yet been taken on how “tourists” arriving by sea or land will pay. There is a suggestion that they will download yet another app and use their credit or debit card. The issue is said to be non-urgent because there are few arrivals by water, whilst land borders are still closed to most international travellers and vacationers. However, it has been announced that guest workers from neighboring countries (Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos) will not have to pay.

The new fund – predicted to produce 1.5 billion baht in 2022 if 5 million international visitors actually show up – will be used to improve facilities at tourist sites (repairing temples, building toilets etc) and to provide “insurance for travellers”. However closer inspection reveals that this will be a discretionary, slush pay-out fund to be tapped in case of accidents such as minibus crashes or even murders of foreigners. It absolutely does not replace the need for general health and/or Covid insurance currently required of all foreigners entering the kingdom.

Thai pressure groups from the travel, tourism and hotel organizations are already lobbying the government to delay the imposition of the new tax until 2023. This is to allow tourism to recover before being thumped by a further cash burden. The Thai Hotels Association says that 300 baht may not sound a lot, but has a withering and psychological effect on potential vacationers. But insiders say that the government’s lust for cash revenue is likely to ignore pleas for a further delay. The new tax has already been postponed several times since 2019.

In a separate announcement, the government has indicated that 10 insurance companies will optionally sell to foreigners on arrival extra Covid cover. This is because some current policies bought by foreigners prior to entry do not cover all Covid-related expenses. For example, some do not pay for quarantine if the patient is asymptomatic, others only kick in if the coronavirus sufferer dies. Not to mention those which have a cash cut-off point well below the actual cost, or require the traveller to pay first and try to reclaim from the company afterwards. Further details are awaited with interest.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... and-386075

Post Reply