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Thai Visa’s while under Covid

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  • S Landreth
    Vaccination in Phuket to be speeded up ahead of July 1 reopening to foreign tourists

    The government would accelerate vaccination in Phuket to create herd immunity before reopening the country to foreign tourists on July 1 this year, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Saturday.

    Vaccination in Phuket to be speeded up ahead of July 1 reopening to foreign tourists

    He was speaking after overseeing the operation to administer Covid-19 vaccines to people in the province.

    Anutin and government officials also delivered Sinovac vaccines, Fah Talai Jone (Andrographis Paniculata) medicine and personal protective equipment to medical staff at Vachira Phuket Hospital.

    Phuket is the first province under the government's plan to reopen the country to foreign tourists in a bid to boost the country's economy.

    To achieve the goal Anutin said 70 per cent of the province's population, or 466,587 people aged 18 and above, tourism staff and immigrant workers, must receive their Covid-19 jab.

    He added that the government would administer the first jab for them by June and the second jab by August.

    "So far, the government has delivered 203,480 doses of vaccines to Phuket; 100,700 people have received their first jab and 93,265 people their second jab," he said.

    He added that about 350,000 doses of vaccines would be delivered to the province this month in a bid to create herd immunity and gain confidence among foreign tourists.

    "The government and private agencies have already prepared measures to support the plan to reopen the country in every aspect," he added.:

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  • serrollt
    There is no virulent Indian strain, so Delhi-Phuket makes perfect sense.

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  • S Landreth
    Thai Adds Phuket Flights Ahead Of Planned July Reopening

    Thai Airways has added four non-stops routes from Europe to Phuket – including from Heathrow – along with two from within Asia. The reason: the opening up of Phuket from July, which is set to be a testbed for the wider country. They’ll also be non-stop because they must be, at least for now.

    Thai Airways will use the B777-300ER, as shown here, on non-stop services from Heathrow and Frankfurt to Phuket. Photo: Getty Images.
    Thai Airways has put on sale the following six routes, with the summer period coinciding with the low season in Thailand.

    Copenhagen-Phuket: once-weekly from July 2nd-September 24th using the A350-900
    Delhi-Phuket: twice-weekly July 2nd-September 26th; A350-900
    Frankfurt-Phuket: once-weekly July 2nd-October 1st; B777-300ER
    Hong Kong-Phuket: once-weekly July 2nd-September 24th; A350-900
    London Heathrow-Phuket: once-weekly July 3rd-September 25th; B777-300ER
    Paris CDG-Phuket: once-weekly July 2nd-September 24th; B777-300ER

    In the recent past, Thai Airways has served Phuket non-stop from Copenhagen, Delhi, Frankfurt, and Hong Hong. Frankfurt, for example, began in November 2016 but became winter-seasonal in 2019, so its summer flights are a return to this flying. Copenhagen, meanwhile, has always been winter-only, until now.

    One-way travel

    Aircraft will route to and from Bangkok, with Phuket available non-stop only in one direction: to the island. This is because it is a requirement is to fly non-stop into Phuket, at least until connections over Bangkok are permitted once again. For example, Heathrow is scheduled as:

    Bangkok-Heathrow: 00:55-07:15
    Heathrow-Phuket: 12:30-06:10+1 (the next day)
    Phuket-Bangkok: 07:45-09:15

    Why is it happening?

    Thailand’s borders have remained closed for a long time, with a tentative reopening date of July 1st. This is likely to change further depending on the progress of Thailand’s third wave of coronavirus.

    Vaccinations will be all-important to visiting Phuket, among various other requirements, with Phuket expected to lead the country’s recovery effort ahead of other areas. As is often the case with COVID, uncertainty surrounds the situation. In an article published on May 11th, The Points Guy pointed out that the quarantine-free agreement has been reversed.

    Of course, returning home may also prove problematic, especially as Thailand is not on England’s green list of countries. Instead, it is amber, which requires passengers to quarantine at home.

    Europe to Phuket

    It’s no surprise that Thai Airways has chosen these six routes to Phuket. After all, most routes were served by the airline before the pandemic hit, showing how important they were to both the island and the carrier.

    Indeed, across all airlines, passenger traffic to/from the four European destinations is strong, based on 2019 booking data obtained from OAG Traffic Analyzer.

    London: approximately 160,000 point-to-point round-trip passengers
    Frankfurt: 145,000
    Paris: 130,000
    Copenhagen: 66,000

    TUI Airways will resume Gatwick-Phuket on a once-weekly basis from this October, while TUI Nordic is set to restart Copenhagen-Phuket from November.

    London to Phuket
    Thai Airways carried the most London to Phuket passengers in 2019, with about 53,000 estimated to have connected over Suvarnabhumi. It was the carrier’s largest transit market, with the rest of its top-10 being London to Ko Samui, Krabi, Auckland, Hanoi, Perth, Ho Chi Minh City, Bali, Melbourne, and Siem Reap.

    The Gulf carriers have really grown in Phuket in recent years, with up to 45 weekly departures in 2019. It is therefore no surprise that they were also important in reaching Phuket, although Qatar and the UAE are now on the UK’s red list of countries.

    Qatar Airways via Doha saw the second-highest number of London passengers, followed by Emirates via Dubai. Then it was:

    Singapore Airlines and SilkAir via Singapore
    Etihad Airways over Abu Dhabi
    Malaysia Airlines via Kuala Lumpur
    Air China over Beijing Capital
    Aeroflot via Moscow Sheremetyevo:

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  • S Landreth
    Thailand - Government sets the ball rolling for resumption of international flights in November

    Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob on Friday told the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) to coordinate with related parties and prepare for the opening of the country for international flights in November.

    “During a meeting with CAAT executives today, I have ordered them to work with public health offices, airlines and airport operators to prepare for international flights as planned in November,” he said.

    “The Airports of Thailand Plc, U-Tapao International Airport and Bangkok Airways Plc, as the private operators of airports in Thailand, were also told to draft measures for international travellers in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration in opening the country.”

    The CAAT meeting on Friday also acknowledged the results of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme and the Universal Security Audit Programme of the International Civil Aviation Organization, as well as the International Aviation Safety Assessment of the Federal Aviation Administration on airlines and airports in Thailand.:

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  • S Landreth
    Right on time for Monsoon season
    • Phuket to open to fully vaccinated, COVID-19 free foreign tourists without quarantine in July

    The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will proceed with its plans to attract foreign tourists to the resort island of Phuket, without compulsory quarantine, starting July 1st this year, with flight promotions as an incentive.

    The plan offers the first quarantine-free option for international arrivals in Thailand since the pandemic started last year, to help the crippled tourism industry.

    The TAT aims to attract 129,000 visitors to Thailand in the third quarter of this year, through the “Phuket Sandbox” project, where fully vaccinated tourists, who have tested negative for COVID-19, can visit Phuket for a minimum period of seven days, before travelling to other provinces with airports, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said today (Thursday).

    For interprovincial air travel, the TAT plans to cover the fares for one-way tickets, priced at no more than 2,000 Baht, while further details are still under discussion.

    The project will focus on attracting tourists from long-haul countries, such as the United States, EU countries and the United Kingdom which, according to the TAT, will allow their citizens to travel to abroad from this Monday (May 17th).

    Discussions are underway for travel from Phuket to nearby areas, while Bangkok, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Buriram, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan are expected to open for quarantine-free visits, following the Phuket model, in October.:

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  • S Landreth
    Phuket banking on 129,000 arrivals

    Phuket is set to welcome 129,000 international tourists in the first three months of the quarantine-free programme, while the government will team up with airlines to subsidise 100,000 one-way domestic air tickets, says the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

    TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the reopening initiative -- Phuket Sandbox -- is expected to attract 30,000-40,000 tourists per month with long-haul markets being the main target.

    He said seven-day tour packages in Phuket will cost around 150,000-200,000 baht per person, which is significantly higher than average spending per of around 50,000 baht per trip prior to the outbreak.

    Tourists have to board a direct flight to the island to ensure safety, but if time slots at the airport are fully booked, tourists can transit at Suvarnabhumi airport via a sealed terminal.

    TAT also discussed with Thai Airways and Thai Smiles Airways a subsidy scheme for domestic air fares of 1,000-2,000 baht for tourists who visit Phuket via the sandbox programme and will expand this joint promotion with all local airlines.

    Mr Yuthasak said tourism would gear up towards this year's tourism goal of 3-4 million visitors in the fourth quarter after another nine areas in the reopening plan are included.

    The agency plans to propose standard operating procedures (SOP) of entry process for international arrivals, such as procedures on Covid-19 testing and guidelines for sealed routes to the Centre for Economic Situation Administration for approval within this month.

    After the SOP is approved and once there is an official announcement in the Royal Gazette, tour operators can proceed with sales and marketing plans.

    TAT also has to work on supply development and vaccination plans, including risk management in the case of an emergency.

    He said the country has to watch out for new infection clusters, especially in Bangkok, as it may affect the vaccine distribution to Phuket.

    "The new outbreak in Thailand didn't affect tourism sentiment in foreign markets as the media in each country turned their focus towards the situation in India and domestic cases in their own countries," said Mr Yuthasak.

    "However, travel agents expressed concern that the virus situation may affect the reopening timeline which prompted TAT to confirm that everything is running as scheduled."

    He said travel agents are waiting for clear entry regulations, so they can offer packages to their customers.:

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  • S Landreth
    Thailand suspends entry certificates for all foreigners from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal

    The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to suspend issuance of certificates of entry (COE) to all foreigners travelling to Thailand from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal immediately.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Thanee Saengrat said today that the decision, by the operations centre of the CCSA, came after a pregnant Thai woman and one of her three sons, who returned to Thailand last month from Pakistan and entered state quarantine,were found to be infected with the Indian COVID-19 variant.

    He said, however, that Thais returning from these three countries, and India, can still enter Thailand, adding that the suspension of the issuance of COEs to foreigners is temporary,at a time when Thailand is on full alert to prevent the Indian variant or B.1.617.1 from crossing its borders.

    A similar measure was earlier applied to foreigners who want to travel to Thailand from India.

    Two groups of Thai people are scheduled to fly back to Thailand on four flights from India on May 15th and May 22nd.:

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  • S Landreth
    Flight passengers to Phuket on April 15-26 advised to have Covid-19 test

    Passengers who flew to or from Phuket between April 15th and 26th, on seven flights operated by three airlines, should check their seat numbers with the airlines and report for COVID-19 testing and self-isolate if their seat is affected.

    These are the seat numbers, flight numbers, airlines and dates affected:

    Air Asia flight FD3027 on April 15th, departing 5.50pm from Don Mueang to Phuket. Seat numbers 4-8.

    Vietjet flight VZ401 on April 16th, departing at 11.05am from Chiang Rai to Phuket. Seat numbers 13-17.

    Air Asia flight FD4110 on April 20th, departing at 12.06pm from Suvarnabhumi airport to Phuket. Seat numbers 18-22.

    Thai Smile flight W285 on April 21st, departing at 12.30pm from Suvarnabhumi airport to Phuket. Seat numbers 35-39.

    Vietjet flight VZ301 on April 23rd, departing at 1.40 pmfrom Phuket to Bangkok. Seat numbers 13-17.

    Vietjet flight VZ316 on April 25th, departing at 6.30pm from Suvarnabhumi airport to Phuket. Seat numbers 17-21.

    Vietjet flight VZ308 on April 26th, departing at 6pm from Suvarnabhumi airport to Phuket. Seat numbers 7-11.:

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  • S Landreth
    14-day quarantine mandatory for all arrivals in Thailand from May

    The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced on Thursday that all arrivals from overseas will be required to complete their 14-day mandatory quarantine regardless of their vaccination status or nationality.

    The CCSA said the 14-day mandatory quarantine will also apply to all those who hold a certificate of entry (COE) issued on or after May 1. Travellers who hold a COE that was issued before May 1 and who arrive before May 6 will be quarantined for seven to 10 days depending on their inoculation status. People arriving after May 6 will be quarantined for 14 days.

    Travellers checking into alternative state quarantine venues will be required to stay inside their rooms at all times. They will not be allowed to use any facilities the hotel may offer and are required to undergo three Covid tests during the quarantine period.:

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  • S Landreth
    Phuket still scheduled to reopen in July, says deputy PM

    Phuket will reopen to foreign tourists as scheduled in July, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow confirmed via Facebook on Tuesday.

    Under the Phuket sandbox scheme, foreign tourists who have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to visit the island from July 1 without quarantining.

    The scheme will then be expanded to Krabi, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Pattaya and Chiang Mai in October before the country reopens fully on January 1, 2022.

    Supattanapong, who doubles as energy minister, confirmed the schedule for reopening was still on track amid confidence that 50 million of Thailand’s 70-million population will be vaccinated this year.

    He also insisted the latest Covid-19 outbreak should be under control in the next two weeks, adding that the government would assess the situation to see whether more economic stimulus measures were needed.

    In the meantime, exports are growing well and the government is expediting budget disbursement at all ministries, he said.

    Supattanapong admitted the third wave of Covid-19 has rocked the economy’s fragile recovery but said the situation would improve in 1-2 months after the outbreak is controlled and mass vaccination is launched.

    Meanwhile, the “Khon La Khrueng” (Let's Go Halves) shopping subsidy scheme was stimulating the grassroots economy and small businesses.

    However, the main economic drivers are people with high income and purchasing power, he added.

    “The principle is to motivate people with high incomes and savings to spend more, so more money is injected to support the foundation-level economy and small businesses, which we have accomplished in Khon La Khrueng."

    He said the most important thing was for Thais to work together to halt the latest outbreak as quickly as the previous two virus waves and make this the last wave before mass vaccination launches across the country in June.

    On Wednesday the government will meet with private sector representatives to discuss their procurement of vaccines on top of the 63 million doses already ordered by the government, said Supattanapong.:

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  • S Landreth
    Arrivals of all non-Thai citizens from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh suspended until further notice

    Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has temporarily suspended all arrivals of non-Thai citizens from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, in an escalated effort to prevent the spread of a new COVID-19 variant into Thailand.

    Arrivals of Thai nationals from these three South Asian countries are allowed, but they are subject to 21-day mandatory state quarantine, instead of 14.

    The tougher restrictions come after seven Indian nationals, who arrived in Thailand on April 17th among 149 passengers on Air India flight AI0332, were found to be infected and were sent to hospitals for treatment.

    The report of the infected arrivals triggered widespread criticism of the Thai government on social media for its policy of opening the country to arrivals from India, despite COVID-19 infectionsthere surging exponentially to over 300,000 cases per day, due a more contagious variant of the virus.

    For Thai nationals who want to return home, they must register first at Thai embassies or consular offices.

    The Thai government allows 11 groups of foreigners, from various countries, to enter Thailand. These include investors, businessmen, those who have Thai families, hold work permits and those who are seeking medical treatment in Thailand, but not for COVID-19 infection.

    Meanwhile, the Office of Civil Aviation of Thailand has denied a report on social media that a chartered flight from India,carrying a group of wealthy Indian citizens, was allowed to land in Thailand.:

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  • S Landreth
    Thailand - Tourism goals dashed after third Covid surge

    The government has halved its expected number of international visitors to 3-4 million this year and slashed its tourism revenue forecast.

    Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said this month's third outbreak of Covid-19 had battered tourism sentiment just as it was showing signs of rebounding after the second virus surge subsided.

    Total tourism revenue for 2021 was being revised down from 1.218 trillion baht to 850 billion baht, the minister said.

    Mr Phiphat pointed to yesterday's new daily record of 2,070 infections and the great uncertainty over how the pandemic would pan out.

    All things combined, he said, any hope of the country achieving its previous goal of attracting 6.5 million foreign tourists this year had been shattered.

    His ministry had now revised down its tourism revenue target from 348 billion baht to 300 billion, with the other 550 billion baht coming from the domestic market, down from its earlier forecast of 870 billion.

    The government is now expecting international arrivals in 2021 to be just 3-4 million, a little over half its previous forecast of 6.5 million.

    Meanwhile, local tourists are tipped to take about 100-120 million trips this year, down from 160 million in the previous forecast, after the pandemic destroying tourism sentiment during the Songkran holidays.

    However, authorities will continue with their plan to bring in vaccinated international visitors via a pilot project called Phuket Sandbox in July.

    The Tourism and Sports Ministry will help distribute Covid-19 vaccines to cover 70% of Phuket's residents to prepare for international tourists.

    The government is also gearing up to procure more vaccines to cover those in need.:

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  • S Landreth
    ^travel warnings

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  • serrollt
    Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
    The U.S. State Department ... nothing at all to do with "Thai Visa's while under Covid".

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  • S Landreth
    Thailand - Which provinces will fine you THB20,000 for not wearing a face mask?

    In response to the third wave of Covid-19 in Thailand, some provinces have ordered people to wear face masks in public. The penalty for violating this order is a fine of up to THB20,000, according to the Communicable Disease Act.

    The list of provinces that have issued the mask-wearing order includes Kanchanaburi, Prachinburi, Phetchaburi, Suphanburi, Ayutthaya, Samut Sakhon, Lopburi, Samut Prakan, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chonburi, Saraburi, Trat, Nonthaburi, Suratthani, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat Narathiwat, Pattani, Phang-nga, Phuket, Ranong, Satun, Songkhla, Yala, Sukhothai, Tak, Phetchabun, Uttaradit, Lamphun, Yasothon Nong Khai, Ubon Ratchathani, Chaiyaphum, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Sisaket, Surin, Udon Thani, Loei, Amnat Charoen, Buriram and Nakhon Phanom:

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