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Security Officials Object To Reopening Thailand for ‘Travel Bubbles’

Samui Times Editor



Security Officials Object To Reopening Thailand for ‘Travel Bubbles’ | Samui Times
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Is it too early to open Thailand’s border to foreigner visitors? 

The standard 14-day Covid-19 quarantine rule will be waived according to the “Travel Bubbles” implementation plan which will be submitted for the approval by the Covid-19 Situation Administration Center (CCSA) on Wednesday.

It is expected that one thousand foreign visitors will arrive in Thailand per day if the travel bubble plans fall in place.

Traisuree Taisaranakul, Deputy Speaker of the parliament, reported on Sunday that such tourists, who will be mainly businessmen and patients seeking medical care in Thailand initially, must be included in the system of bilateral tourism cooperation between Thailand and selected countries.

“General foreign tourists would later be allowed to visit Thailand if the tourism promotion program is successful,” She said.

She also said, “Covid-19 tests would be mandatory both before visitors leave their countries and upon arrival in Thailand.”

However, this does not mean these tourists will be able to travel freely in Thailand, as visits to some parts of the country are still prohibited and will also be monitored through a smartphone app, she said.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of the Interior and the Foreign Minister will discuss the final details of the programme.

‘CCSA agree to reopening Thailand for travel bubbles’

On Friday, despite objections raised by security authorities, the CCSA agreed in principle on the proposal for travel bubbles.

The tourism and sports ministry see the Travel Bubbles system as the first step to safely reopen Thailand ‘s tourism for foreign tourists, she said. It is hoped to help accelerate recovery from the economic impact on tourism of the pandemic.

The security authorities have expressed strong objections to the idea at Friday ‘s meeting, despite CCSA ‘s preliminary approval of the travel bubble proposal.

They asked that the proposal be stopped because the tourism promotion program is not certain to lead to a new rise in infections imported by Covid-19 and perhaps a new wave of local transmissions.

There is especially some tension, giving these special visitors the privilege of imposing a 14-day quarantine on repatriated Thai nationals will most likely lead to a negative reaction from those Thais, said the source.

It was stated that communities in Thailand’s tourist destinations, which the government is urging to strictly administer health measures to stay free of new Covid-19 cases, can not welcome the program. It is not known if special preparations in places that are possibly popular with foreign tourists are required.

According to a recent public opinion poll on the government’s policy of reopening, most Thais have expressed fear that Thailand will too quickly reopen the country to foreign tourists.

A small majority (54.39%) of all 1,116 respondents asked in a poll by Suan Dusit Poll on June 9-12 announced that it was still not time to re-invite foreign tourists to Thailand.

However, just 24,28% of them now thought that visitors would be accepted in order to improve the economy.

The majority of respondents also felt that the number of local tourists in every tourist attraction across the country should maintain strict limits while resuming domestic tourism, said the poll.

Chiang Mai was the top target found in this study, with the majority of respondents (41.40%) expecting Thailand ‘s tourism to recover completely in about one year.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Tourism and Sports Minister, said on Friday that the ministry has prepared three stimulus packs worth 20 billion baht in order to kick off the tourist sector from next month to October.

Narongchai Khunpluem, mayor of Chon Buri Muang district’s Saen Suk municipality, said that those who keep failing the prohibition on drinking alcohol on the beach will now be fined after previous warnings have dropped on deaf ears.

“There they did it again, drinking alcohol on the beaches despite all these warnings. So they deserve to be fined, don’t they?” wrote the mayor on its Facebook page.


SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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