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  • Looking forward to Thailand accepting proof of a good covid vaccination so some can skip most if not all quarantine
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • Thai tourism officials welcome Miss Grand International 2020 contestants

      Contestants of the 8th Miss Grand International pageant have completed the mandatory quarantine enriched by the Amazing Thailand Happy Quarantine activities

      The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to welcome the organisers and all 63 contestants of the Miss Grand International 2020 beauty contest, following their completion of the 14-day mandatory quarantine in Thailand.

      H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, presided over the welcoming ceremony, which took place this afternoon at the TAT Head Office. Also present at the event were Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, and members of the TAT’s management as well as staff.

      Minister Phiphat presented a token of appreciation to Mr. Nawat Itsaragrisil, President of the Miss Grand International and Ms. Valentina Figuera, Miss Grand International 2019.

      “I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the organisers of the Miss Grand International 2020 pageant for strictly following Thailand’s public health measures in their arrangement for this year’s contest. I am delighted to see that all contestants are staying healthy and getting ready for the contest in the next two weeks,” Minister Phiphat said.

      After arriving in Bangkok on 28 February, all Miss Grand International 2020 contestants have spent two weeks in Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) in Thailand as required under nationwide regulations to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

      To help break the boredom of quarantine for the contestants, TAT has helped to enhance and enrich the Amazing Thailand Happy Quarantine activities by providing a ‘Happy DIY Set’ for each of them to explore their creativity while waiting to clear quarantine.

      The Happy DIY Sets include an iconic Krajood woven bag from the Thale Noi Community in Phatthalung province; a set of cloth mask with neck strap (either a batik cloth mask from the Sao Thong Tong Community in Nakhon Si Thammarat and a pearl neck strap from Phuket, or an indigo-dyed cloth mask that comes with a neck strap made from an indigo-dyed bobbin from the Nakham Community in Sakon Nakhon); a pair of woven water hyacinth slippers from the Ban Non Champa Community in Buri Ram, and a set of Benjarong ceramic from Ban Don Kai Di Community in Samut Sakhon.

      In addition, the contestants have experienced “Thainess” through some fun activities; such as, the Thai cooking class by trying their hands at making Phat Thai, Som Tam and grilled chicken.

      Miss Grand International 2020 is the 8th Miss Grand International pageant, scheduled to be held on 27 March, 2021, at Show DC Hall in Bangkok. Prior to the grand finale, all 63 contestants are currently enjoying a series of activities that showcase the charm of Thailand’s culture and attractions.

      Amazing Thailand Happy Quarantine:

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • It’s official (for Bangkok Post)
        • Quarantine period cut to 10 days

        Thailand has shortened the quarantine period for arrivals to 10 days from 14, effective next month.

        Starting April 1, both Thais and foreigners coming to Thailand will be isolated for 10 days, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), which posted the updates on its Facebook on Monday.

        During the period, they will be tested for Covid-19 twice — one during day 3 to day 5 and the other on day 9 or day 10.

        The exception is those from countries where there are mutations of the virus in which case they will be isolated for 14 days.

        People in quarantine may leave rooms during certain hours and for some purposes such as to use fitness centres or swimming pools; exercise outdoors; or buy food and products, but must remain in the quarantine facilities.

        In addition, the required paperwork before trips will be slightly changed.

        For foreigners coming to Thailand, fit-to-fly documents will no longer be required. Only RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours are needed.

        Thais may choose to submit either fit-to-fly documents or RT-PCR test results, according to the CCSA.:

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • Airlines seek July reopening date

          Covid-19 vaccinations for airline workers have to proceed within the next two months to be aligned with the tourism sandbox in Phuket aiming for July, says the Airlines Association of Thailand (AAT).

          "A tourism rebound will largely depend on the pace of inoculations which can build confidence among both workers and passengers," said Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, AAT president.

          The AAT consists of seven local airlines; Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Thai Smile Airways, Nok Air, Thai Lion Air and Thai Vietjet with a total combined workforce of 16,000.

          He said airline operators would like the reopening plan to be implemented within July instead of waiting until October, according to the government plan.

          The tourism sandbox which has a clear timeline will allow airlines to prepare for flights to low-risk countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and neighbouring countries.

          Mr Puttipong, also Bangkok Airways president, said if the country can reopen by Oct 1, the airline capacity for international routes in December will gradually increase to 20% from zero.

          The airline is also considering joining the test run of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, a digital health certificate for international travel.

          THAI Airways International and THAI Smile Airways have already joined this project.

          He said every local airline may adopt IATA's Travel Pass which will be used globally as a tool, but the entry policy will depend on the government of each country.

          Mr Puttipong also suggested the government simplify the redemption method in the air ticket subsidy by applying the same procedures as hotels because people likely book their air tickets first.

          Ms Nuntaporn said international flights may come back slowly in the third quarter between countries which Thailand has bilateral agreements with, such as Singapore, Taiwan and China.

          On Tuesday, the AAT agreed to jointly work together with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) under the Amazing Thai Travel Fleet campaign to drive domestic trips with hefty promotions.

          TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the additional two-million room nights in the subsidy campaign was delayed to May as it has to wait for a new face scanning system which will take six weeks to be ready for fraud prevention.:

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • Arkhom: 40m arrivals by 2024

            Thailand is expected to return to the pre-pandemic level of international arrivals of almost 40 million in five years, according to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

            Speaking at a seminar held on Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), he said the tourism sector is expected to recover gradually, with a great number of foreign arrivals in 2023 once the country opens to more international tourists as the pandemic spread eases.

            Foreign tourist arrivals reached 6.7 million last year, generating revenue of about 300 billion baht, a far cry from almost 40 million arrivals in 2019 generating revenue of almost 2 trillion baht.

            Tourist receipts account for 12% of Thailand's economy, the second largest tally in Southeast Asia.

            Once the economy recovers, Mr Arkhom pledged his ministry is set to ramp up the tax base, enticing as many people as possible to enter the tax system to create government revenue.

            Regarding Thailand's capital market development, he said the market has been fully digitalised and he wants responsible bodies to pay heed to two vital issues: cybersecurity and cyber-resilience of the capital market.

            Cyber-resilience is the ability of an organisation to enable business acceleration (enterprise resiliency) by preparing for, responding to, and recovering from cyberthreats. A cyber-resilient organisation can adapt to known and unknown crises and challenges.

            Personal information protection is also crucial, as any privacy disclosure requires prior consent from users, said Mr Arkhom.

            He said to develop the country's capital market, the Finance Ministry has proposed to related authorities using existing mechanisms or market networks to help businesses hit hard by the pandemic. The goal is to create a level playing field for enterprises of all sizes to gain easier access to the financial and capital markets.

            The ministry also proposed amendment of strict capital market laws and regulations, in line with the changing context of digital assets and cryptocurrency.

            The capital market should be promoted for fund mobilisation for social and environmental businesses, and as a venue that promotes good corporate governance, said Mr Arkhom.

            He suggested the capital market beef up its digital infrastructure development, applying digital innovations to build the market, while speeding up promotion of digital capital mobilisation via security token offering (STO) through altering regulations to accommodate such fundraising. An STO is a type of fundraising where a company offers tokenised securities.:

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • Phuket 'to reopen by July'

              The government is expected to give the green light today to allow tourists who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 to visit the island of Phuket without having to undergo the mandated quarantine period, starting in July.

              Supattanapong Punmeechaow, deputy prime minister, said the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), will today consider a reopening plan approved by business operators on the island.

              The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the plan could serve as a model for the reopening process for other provinces that rely on tourism.

              Local entrepreneurs and communities have agreed the island province could reopen to foreign tourists, Mr Supattanapong, who is also the energy minister, said.

              He said these entrepreneurs and communities are confident Phuket's tourism infrastructure is still able to accommodate "quality visitors."

              "Phuket has been recognised by foreign tourists," Mr Supattanapong said. "But local businesses and people have suffered during the second wave the Covid-19 pandemic.

              "They have joined forces and offered to be a reopening model for major tourist provinces," he added. "There are flights to the province and hotels to attract quality tourists.

              "They believe if the government supports the plan, the province should reopen before October," the deputy prime minister said.

              Previously, provincial authorities and the local private sector came up with a reopening plan, known as the Phuket Tourism Sandbox, to allow inoculated foreign tourists to visit the province from July 1, brought forward from the original planned Oct 1.

              Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), previously said the reopening plan will depend depend largely on vaccine allocation to the Andaman Sea island.

              He said herd immunity must be achieved by inoculating 70% of the population before foreign visitors are allowed in by the reopening date.

              The plan is said to include a vaccination proposal, complete with the number of doses needed and an inoculation timeline suitable for a safe reopening of the tourist island.

              Mr Yuthasak said communities are expected to support this plan more so than last year's Phuket model as the current one is more elaborate and able to guarantee health safety measures.

              According to the sandbox proposal, at least 466,587 residents living on Phuket need to receive two doses each. The proposal aims to secure 933,174 doses.

              To reach the herd immunity goal within a specific time frame, the first round of inoculations should start on April 15, while the second should be rolled out from May 15.

              Under the plan, tourists who want to join the proposed quarantine-free programme are required to show a vaccine certificate, vaccine passport or International Air Transport Association (IATA) travel pass.

              However, foreign tourists are still required to take a PCR test at the airport and activate the ThailandPlus tracing app while in Phuket, according to the plan.

              Kusak Kukiatkul, Phuket's public health chief, on Thursday said the island will receive its second batch of 100,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses on Monday to prepare for the planned reopening.

              Dr Kusak said tourism is the main source of income for Phuket.

              Priority groups to receive the jabs first will include public health officials in close contact with Covid-19 patients, employees in the local service industry, such as hotel, airport and dock workers, and people with underlying health problems.

              The second batch of vaccines will arrive on Monday and the vaccination plan will start on Thursday, Dr Kusak said, adding that Phuket residents have been urged to register for vaccination at the provincial public health office.

              "Don't worry because the outcome of the first round of vaccinations was very satisfactory -- with little side effects reported," he said. "It is similar to general vaccinations."

              He added that if the 100,000 doses can be administered to people in Phuket within one month, the number of jabs is expected to be increased during additional rounds of vaccination to achieve the 70% immunity goal in the province.

              The government plans to distribute 800,000 doses of China's Sinovac vaccine, which will arrive in 22 provinces in the kingdom in April.

              The first group includes Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Tak, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi, while the second and third include tourist and border provinces, such as Phuket and Surat Thani and Songkhla, Sa Kaeo, Chiang Rai, Mukdahan, Narathiwat and Ranong.:

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • Royal Thai Embassy, Washington D.C.

                𝐑𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐱𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐡a𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐞

                𝐅𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝟏 𝐀𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐥 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏,

                1. Quarantine period will be 𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝟏𝟒 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 (𝟏𝟓 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬) 𝐭𝐨 𝟏𝟎 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 (𝟏𝟏 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬). 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐯𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬, 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝟏𝟒 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 (𝟏𝟓 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬).

                2. While undergoing quarantine, 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞l𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐞𝐢𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝 namely exercising in the fitness room, outdoor exercising, swimming, bicycling within a controlled area, and ordering goods and food from outside,.

                3. 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐧-𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐢 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐬, 𝐅𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐅𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐧𝐨 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐝. However, 𝐚 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚 𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝, using RT-PCR method, issued no more than 72 hours before departure, 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐝.

                𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐢 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐬, submission of 𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐅𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐅𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭 will be required to travel to Thailand.

                For further information, please contact the Embassy through 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫@𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐝𝐜.𝐨𝐫𝐠 or telephone numbers 𝟐𝟎𝟐-𝟔𝟒𝟎-𝟓𝟖𝟗𝟕 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝟐𝟎𝟐-𝟒𝟑𝟏-𝟎𝟖𝟖𝟐.:

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • Bangkok officials survey marine tourism attractions to prepare for return of tourists

                  Bangkok Governor Pol General Aswin Kwanmuang along with executives of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) on Friday embarked on a boat trip from Thonburi district towards the Bay of Bangkok in Bang Khun Thian district to survey routes that could be developed for tourism once the pandemic situation improves.

                  The boat departed from Yod Phiman Pier in Phranakhon district at 9.30am and cruised along the Chao Phraya River into the Bangkok Yai Canal before they got off at Talad Plu Pier. The afternoon trip saw the BMA executives depart from Talad Plu Pier and enter Sanam Chai and Chaloem Chai Phattana canals, Baworn Prachanun Park and Phitthaya Longkorn canal and disembark at 5.30pm at Rak Thale Bang Khun Thian Bridge, which is where the canal flows into the upper Gulf of Thailand in the area known as Bay of Bangkok.

                  During Friday's trip, Aswin also met over 100 representatives from communities along the canals in Thonburi district to discuss tourism and other related business opportunities. “We believe that in the next 1-2 months, the outbreak situation will be much better and tourists will start pouring in,” he said. “This is a good opportunity for people residing along the canals to improve their neighbourhood and gain additional income from tourism-related businesses.”

                  Aswin added that the BMA is considering deploying electric boats in canals of Thonburi district to help improve the quality of public transport as well as reduce noise and air pollution.

                  What will they do about the stench?:

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • Phuket aims to vaccinate 100,000 people in April in preparation for July 1 reopening

                    The governor of Phuket held an urgent meeting on Sunday with agencies and community leaders to discuss the allocation of the Covid-19 vaccine, urging all Phuket residents to prepare for the inoculation and sign up on the health officer website.

                    The meeting set the goal of vaccinating 100,000 people in April before the opening of the province on July 1, according to plans for accepting vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine.

                    Governor Narong Woonclew said that 300,000 doses of vaccine would arrive in May according to the government’s promise, 200,000 in June, and 260,000 in July, totalling 920,000 doses. He urged local people to quickly register for vaccination within five days, before March 31. If the number of vaccinated people did not reach at least 50,000, it might affect vaccine procurement plan in the future, he said.:

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • Thai PM mulls quarantine 'bypass'

                      Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has agreed to consider a proposal by the Phuket business community to allow foreign visitors to the island province who have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 bypass regular quarantine.

                      From next month, foreign tourists who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to visit six tourism provinces, namely Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga, Surat Thani (Koh Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai.

                      Those who have been inoculated, however, must still be quarantined, although the mandatory isolation period has been reduced from 14 to seven days.

                      In July, Phuket will be the first province to waive the quarantine requirement for vaccinated foreign visitors who have been vaccinated, as part of the government's plan to reopen the country.

                      As Thailand has to compete with other nations in luring back foreign tourists while Phuket has been designated the country's first tourist destination to fully reopen to vaccinated foreign visitors, the government now needs to ensure its massive inoculation programme runs smoothly and proceeds as planned, said Gen Prayut on Tuesday after the weekly cabinet meeting.

                      "The point is how we can we ensure the safety [of this reopening programme].

                      "Phuket, for instance, has proposed that vaccinated tourists should be exempted from the mandatory quarantine. Well, if possible I'm ready to take care of that," he said.

                      Gen Prayut said a digital platform needs to be created to register the tourists.

                      As for the national Covid-19 vaccination programme, he said, the Finance Ministry and Krungthai Bank have been assigned to jointly develop a digital platform to help with the proper and effective allocation of vaccines.

                      Allocation is handled mainly by the Public Health Ministry, he said.

                      Gen Prayut also stressed the need for the owner of every fresh market in the country to strictly follow Covid-19 containment protocols, including body temperature checks and wearing face masks by both vendors and shoppers, he said.

                      He was responding to the discovery of several Covid-19 clusters which originated in wet markets.

                      Deputy Bangkok governor Sophon Phisutthiwong, in his capacity as the head of Bangkok's Covid-19 Situation Administration Centre, said each district office has been told to rein in the markets and determine if they meet the ventilation and hygiene standards.:

                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • Thailand to reopen in four phases beginning April 1st

                        The Thai government is considering easing quarantine requirements and restrictions on travel to Thailand, which will be split into four phases.

                        The spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office, Anucha Burapachaisri, said that the first phase will start on April 1st. The quarantine period for foreign tourists travelling to Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga, Chiang Mai and Pattaya will be 7 days, provided that they have been inoculated against COVID-19 and hold a vaccine certificate.

                        In the second phase, starting July 1st, foreign tourists travelling to Phuket, who have been inoculated, will not need to be quarantined. Vaccinated tourists travelling to Krabi, Phang-nga, Chiang Mai and Pattaya will still need to enter 7 days of quarantine.

                        In the third phase, starting October 1st, foreign tourists travelling to Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga, Chiang Mai and Pattaya, who have been inoculated and hold a vaccine certificate, will not need to go into quarantine.

                        In the final phase, starting January 1st, 2022, any foreign tourist who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 and holds a vaccine passport, can enter Thailand without having to enter quarantine at all.:

                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • First foreign tourists in over a year arrive in Phuket

                          A group of foreign tourists, mostly German, arrived on Thailand’s popular resort island of Phuket on Saturday. They are the first in more than a year. They are here under the “Sandbox” travel bubble program, which is aimed at gradually reopening Thailand to foreign arrivals as the COVID-19 situation improves.

                          The visitors flew from Frankfurt on scheduled Thai Airways International flights. THAI’s sales director, Jesada Chanterama, said that most of the German tourists landed at Suvarnabhumi international airport, with rest landing in Phuket.

                          Under the first phase of the Sandbox travel program, the arriving passengers must show a certificate, indicating that they have been inoculated against COVID-19, and will be required to quarantine, at their own expense, at their hotels for seven days, after which they can venture out, with their whereabouts being electronically tracked.

                          Nantida Atiset, vice president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said that, currently, only about 30% of the hotels on Phuket are operational, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but more are expected to resume operations as arrivals increase.:

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • Meanwhile, in the real world -


                            • slowly tourists will arrive back in Thailand
                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                              • Thailand to explore travel bubble with Singapore

                                The Ministry of Tourism and Sports aims to discuss with Singapore a travel bubble between the two countries.

                                Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said that the discussions would take place within this week with the Embassy of Singapore.

                                “We have acknowledged that Singapore has previously run the travel bubble with Australia and New Zealand. If Singapore agrees to run the scheme with Thailand as well, we would probably be able to receive tourists from Australia and New Zealand, in addition to Singaporeans,” the minister said.

                                He added that his ministry aimed to discuss the travel bubble with other Asean countries as well, such as Vietnam and Laos where Covid-19 new cases were low.

                                The travel bubble was expected to be organised from October 1, the minister said, adding that his ministry planned to attract more tourists from China if the country allowed its people to travel abroad.

                                Phiphat also urged tourism entrepreneurs in Thailand to contact their previous customers from the Middle East, to see if they want to visit Thailand after Ramadan, or from the middle of May.

                                The minister explained that several people in the Middle East had been vaccinated, and to bring them back to Thailand was important.

                                Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said that Hong Kong had asked the TAT about the travel bubble, as well as with Singapore.

                                Thailand has decided to reduce its mandatory quarantine period for foreign arrivals from 14 days to 10 days from April 1.

                                The quarantine period will be further reduced to seven days for travellers who have been inoculated against Covid-19.

                                However, travellers from high-risk countries will still be required to quarantine for 14 days.

                                Meanwhile, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration decided on March 26 to launch the Phuket “tourism sandbox” for vaccinated tourists from July 1, as proposed by the TAT.

                                Under this scheme, tourists who can verify they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into Phuket and move around freely without having to quarantine.

                                Similar schemes will be applied to other destinations such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani later, once more people have been vaccinated and preventive measures are put in place.:

                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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