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maqui

waiting lists: populism vs incompetence?

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I´m wondering about misaligned policies of the TH government and whether there are competing fractions that cause the mess we are seeing since July.

Let´s accept, for a moment, that it´s reasonable to try to keep the infection rate at an absolute zero until a vaccine can be distributed to 80-90% of the population, 1 or 2 years from now. And let´s assume that this is a realistic approach: keeping it at 0, despite illegal border crossings from Myanmar or Laos, rather than lowering the infection rates to a level that the national health system can easily cope with, which is the approach in most European countries. The Covid-19 mortality rate is 0.5 - 1%, 10 times worse than the seasonal flu, so no denial that you don´t want to apply a laissez-faire approach, or else you´d risk 350,000 - 700,000 fatalities in your population. It seems reasonable that you don´t want to let 20 or 40 million tourists in again until after the population has been vaccinated, even if it costs you 10-15% of your GDP in both 2020 and 2021. No re-opening for tourism before 2022. You only let in people who undergo 15 days of quarantine.

 

What I don´t understand: the capacity limits the TH goverment imposes. 500 arrivals per day, and no commercial flights, only the repatriation flights, with waiting lists of 3 months to get on a flight, but complete uncertainty about flight dates. For the Thai citizens who opt for the free government quarantine facilities, there is obviously a capacity limit: 500 people per day times 15 days = 7,500 Thai citizens in quarantine at any one day. 7,500 might indeed be the limit for government camps.

But why imposing the same limit of 500 arrivals on those Thai nationals and foreigners who would opt to pay for ASQ? Their spendings would support ASQ hotels. The risk that local hospitals get overwhelmed by sick foreigners is minimized by Covid-19 tests before boarding (rather than after arrival, which seems to be the approach for Thai nationals on repatriation flights). So why not allowing commercial flights and a much higher number of ASQ hotels, which would seem to be beneficial for the economy? 

The only reasons I can come up with are optics and populism: As long as thousands of Thai citizens want to avail themselves of the free, but limited government quarantine facilities, the government does not want give the impression that foreigners are free too arrive at their ASQ hotels - while Thai citizens have to wait for another 2 to 3 months.

But the money the ASQ guests would bring in could pay for additional non-ASQ facilities, by helping to dampen the recession. I wouldn´t mind much an ASQ tax of 10 or 20,000 Baht - if it would just make possible to book a commercial flight and an ASQ hotel in advance while knowing the day, week and month when I can take a flight.

1000 daily ASQ arrivals would generate a hotel occupation rate of 15,000 rooms (which probably is 10% or 20% of the pre-Covid national hotel occupation rate) and would reduce the waiting times for flights to 2 weeks instead of 3 months.

So, why would the TH government keep out the additional ASQ guests, e.g. those with retirement visas; or those who qualify for entry, but cannot get on a flight?

 

Will they allow more than 500 arrivals only after the last Thai citizens on global waiting lists will have arrived and gone through state quarantine, for the optics? 

About 60,000 were repatriated since April. So the question is: How many more of them are waiting, globally, for a free state quarantine room? Another 50,000 would mean another 100 - 120 days of repatriation flights before the limitations on repatriation flights will be lifted. But if 100,000 are on the waiting list, then 6 to 8 months before non-Thai citizens could book commercial flights.

 

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Hmm.. I wonder if you can apply the same analysis to pending visa applications to the USA? 

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1 minute ago, tonray said:

 

 

1 minute ago, tonray said:

Hmm.. I wonder if you can apply the same analysis to pending visa applications to the USA? 

There, the answer is clear: nativism + populism. An ASQ extra price tag of 100 - 200,000 THB would be much too low to be waved through a US border checkpoint. You´d have to be a Saudi oil prince to jump over the entry barriers, with or without your bone saw.

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This topic is off topic on the visa forum.

 

:mfr_closed1:

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