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News Forum - Thailand’s long road back to ’normal’


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OPINION Thailand is lagging behind the rest of the world with its turn tackling the Omicron variants of the coronavirus. The sudden surge, peaking, then dropping numbers of cases that define the waves of Omicron around the world have had their peaks at different times, in different countries. For the world, the peak was on January 21, for the US on January 13, for the UK on January 4, for France on January 25, for Germany on February 10, Philippines on January 15 and Australia on January 13 (worldometers.info). Thailand is still on the rise in regards to Omicron infections, […]

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Tim.

Not sure if you are relating your own opinion, based on your experience of the 'Thai way' however, I don't believe continued restrictions on tourists entering the country will have any effect, positive or negative, on the levels of infection in the country. The virus is in Thailand and spreading. The peak will come and go with or without tourists.

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20k new cases every day, soon rising to 100k. 5k tourists entering every day, with 3% positive cases. That's 150 new cases every day from tourists. Makes no sense to focus on those 150 cases. Makes even less sense to talk about dirty farangs bringing in covid.  It might be smarter to drop all restrictions imposed on tourists. No thai pass, no sha+, no pcr tests, no useless insurance. And maybe start using sweet words to encourage tourists to come back.

Edit: and no masks please...

Edited by Janneman
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5 minutes ago, Janneman said:

No thai pass, no sha+, no pcr tests, no useless insurance.

Maybe around October they drop one of these requirements (most likely Thai Pass or testing on arrival). Vaccine cards, PCR testing prior to departure (and sadly) useless insurance are here to stay for the long term (well into 2023). And if the West sees another surge prior to then, all bets are off.

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Great piece again Tim, very good analysis of the current situation!

As for handling the current omicron variant: in Holland we have determined that the omicron is not much more than a flu anymore (with most people vaccinated and/or recovered recently), so it is ok to have the infections go sky high without overfooding the hospitals. That is probably why so many tell Thailand to 'get on with it'.

In the end, knowledge and culture will determine how the Thais will deal with it all. As is their right; it is their country. We will be entering Thailand for the first time again in 2 years end of March and are willing toke take some chances with this trip; being tested positive on day 1 of 5, being tested positive before going on our return flight. We also took the extra expenses of a few hundred euros/dollars to make this 3 week trip. But I completely understand that most travelers will choose an alterative destination, expecially when other countries are now presenting a lot less hoops to jump through..

 

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What the THAI government and TAT need to do:

No outdoor mask requirement, indoor is fine.
Ease entry requirements including lifting the second PCR test.
Reduce quarantine time for unvaxxed to five days with PCR test before release.

A few simple steps and tourism will start to truly come back.

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5 hours ago, Graham said:

Sounds like Thailand are operating at Sloth Speed. 556

thais work and live at 2 speeds  slow and stop......tired from tying this--i go sleep!

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9 minutes ago, farang said:

double hotel test and  good for nothing insurance should be dropped!!

Im betting thais will never let the ins $$ thing go--if they do, then its a red flag of desperation..

as they have been looking for an excuse to make this mandatory--even pre covid

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Don't get me wrong - Thailand and the people are beautiful.   The bureaucrats who run the health, tourism and immigration are simply inadequate.

The rest of the world is opening up and living with the virus - Thailand and it neighbours should do the same.

We hope to be in Thailand for Songkran and have all the requirements in place as "of today".   Who knows what will happen in the next 30 odd days!

The Prime Minister and the other government officials should think more about the Thai nationals and the tourism dollars that are lost in the economy. I personally will always have travel insurance, so that is not an issue, but i do understand that some people simply cannot afford such additional costs for a large family etc.

The Day 5 - RT-PCR test is simply crazy and has never made sense to be honest.

Let tourists back into the country before they find another country that becomes their favourite destination.

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Great analysis Tim. The high season is over and it is doubtful they will have a normal Songkran so Thailand has all summer (rainy season) to have its Omicron peak and fall. The tourist industry closed a year ago. It will return anew in proportion to the return of tourists however long it takes. 

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With the greatest respect Tim, I don’t think the Thai government are planning on subsidizing foreign tourists any time soon. On the contrary they’ll soon be implementing a 300 baht tax on all incoming tourists as soon as they’ve worked out a collection method. As for subsidizing foreign airlines on routes to Thailand, Thai Airways creditors have lost enough money already to ensure that that idea is a non-starter! Free travel? They could start by making the train from Suvarnabhumi into the city free but that simply isn’t going to happen. Neither will any other transport route suddenly become free. 

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It's not ómicron  the cause of Thailand's hardships. Like in many other countries,it's the Government's response. It's being proven that ómicron causes in the vast majority of people little more than the symptoms of a common cold. Queen Elisabeth,now 96,is passing, as I write ,covid with mild symptoms. At 96!!!

The UK,with much worse numbers tha Thailand is lifting ALL restrictions next Thursday. The rationale behind this decission is unarguable: as time passes the antibodies protection of vaccines goes drastically down. For everybody,but specially for the vulnerable,it's BETTER TO GET THE VIRUS NOW,given the fact that we are ALL going to get it sooner or later,that we still have some degree of protection. 

Thailand should stop doing stupid and expensive things,like hospitalising people with mild or no symptoms,and launch a campaing for the vulnerable to protect themselves with the saved money. Thailand should stop stripping incoming tourist of their money,precisely the people who are coming in times of hardship,with two pcrs when they are vaxed and had a pcr the day before arrival. Millions of bahts spent in pcrs instead of in Thai's business.

And Thailand should thingk,after warning and helping the vulnerable, of lifting ALL restrictions and Thailand will be out of the pandemic in a couple of months. Because OMICRON IS THE BEST IMMUNE PROTECTION. And free.

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2 hours ago, Xaquinele said:

It's not ómicron  the cause of Thailand's hardships. Like in many other countries,it's the Government's response. It's being proven that ómicron causes in the vast majority of people little more than the symptoms of a common cold. Queen Elisabeth,now 96,is passing, as I write ,covid with mild symptoms. At 96!!!

The UK,with much worse numbers tha Thailand is lifting ALL restrictions next Thursday. The rationale behind this decission is unarguable: as time passes the antibodies protection of vaccines goes drastically down. For everybody,but specially for the vulnerable,it's BETTER TO GET THE VIRUS NOW,given the fact that we are ALL going to get it sooner or later,that we still have some degree of protection. 

Thailand should stop doing stupid and expensive things,like hospitalising people with mild or no symptoms,and launch a campaing for the vulnerable to protect themselves with the saved money. Thailand should stop stripping incoming tourist of their money,precisely the people who are coming in times of hardship,with two pcrs when they are vaxed and had a pcr the day before arrival. Millions of bahts spent in pcrs instead of in Thai's business.

And Thailand should thingk,after warning and helping the vulnerable, of lifting ALL restrictions and Thailand will be out of the pandemic in a couple of months. Because OMICRON IS THE BEST IMMUNE PROTECTION. And free.

Let's see what happens in the UK over the next 7 to 9 months before following. Frankly the UK record is so impressive. Thailand has done better. Imo the restrictions to the population haven't been overwhelming.

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The average tourist to Thailand stays less than two weeks. They can’t afford to risk their precious vacation days and money testing positive and getting locked away for 10-14 days. The risk is too great.  Until the entire test and go system is dropped, numbers will be depressed. It’s too easy to just go somewhere that doesn’t test instead. 

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