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Thai Cabinet extends state of emergency for Covid by another month


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On 10/28/2020 at 8:15 AM, 3MagicBeers said:

I'm a hotel owner in Laos. 90% of tourist arrivals into Laos come via Thailand (mainly Suvarnaphoum) as its transit hub, so this decision is a further blow to the 1,000s of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and all their employees that have lost their jobs since March. In all honesty, I believe Laos will turn its back to TH and start looking towards Viet Nam as a transit hub. Its important to know that decisions made by TH also severely and directly affect all regional neighbours. Fingers crossed.

Is Vietnam open now then? Just wondering why they would turn their back on a country with land borders. How exactly do Laos do for Thai that they do not do for nam?

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How predictable. The Coronacrisis is a very convenient thing for the generals, and they use it appreciatively as a welcome political tool to protect their troughs. So obvious.

Thank you Khun Prayut Chan O Cha and the government, obviously it gives them more management capabilities that assist with keeping COVID19 out of Thailand while allowing folks to go about their daily

Really, I thought Thailand was and has been COVID free for a while. This would suggest that we are being told a pack of lies. Or is there another reason?

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Considering the fact that there is no Covid here, this is a naked attempt to hang onto additional power, indefinitely. Most likely in a desire to maintain a greater degree of control over the rapidly building protest movement, which is being supported by very level headed people, tired of the lack of competence, the cronyism, the corruption, the dire failure of economic policies, the inability to come up with an effective program to revive tourism, and the continual movement backwards. Prayuth, get out. Get out now. You are despised by your people, like never before. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

Someone posted on Facebook today that the Viet Gov't. stated yesterday they will not open the borders to foreign tourists until there is a vaccine.

 

I cannot verify.

 

I think the above news I posted is incorrect as I' ve found no verification and it would be all over the Vietnam FB forums by now.

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On 10/29/2020 at 2:49 PM, tomauasia said:

 

You are dreaming it's been near impossible for married and retired residents to re enter. I list this as spam

You're dreaming. Thousands have returned already. 

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23 hours ago, simon43 said:

I live and work from Luang Prabang.  As mentioned by previous posters, the hospitality sector has been devastated.  My hope, (probably shared by others in town), is that the new railway link from Yunnan province opens asap, bringing in tourists and business people from south China.  The line is almost completed, but construction work slowed down due to the virus. 

 

This doesn't mean that I think this solution is the best option of course, but it is maybe the most realistic option for Luang Prabang, in light of the situation in Thailand and lack of flights to Laos.

Lots of ridiculous unfounded theories are being thrown around here. This is a GLOBAL situation and no country in the region is open yet. Thailand isn't actually dragging it's feet any more than anyone else...in line with what some neighboring countries have done, there is now a high likelihood of a shortened quarantine period that could come into effect in November. Hardly enticing for the average traveler, but it's a start. 

 

Whenever it becomes possible to travel again, Thailand will once again become a hub for connecting to Laos; however, for years it has been possible to travel through Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Malaysia or other countries depending on one's itinerary, where you are traveling from or what airline you choose to fly with. 

 

Laos has been dependent on China for some time, and just like Thailand, the first visitors to Laos will probably be Chinese, while Thais and Vietnamese will follow shortly afterwards. Chances are farang won't be allowed in until several months later. 

 

There is no "situation" in Thailand any more than there is a "situation" in China. The latter doesn't allow tourists in or out at all at the moment but once it does, I'm sure the HSR will help. 

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6 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

 

I think the above news I posted is incorrect as I' ve found no verification and it would be all over the Vietnam FB forums by now.

It's probably correct. Many countries have stated the same thing. The problem is NOTHING anyone says right now can be taken at face value; some are guestimates, others are just fear mongering. Do you believe the Thai virologist who is telling us we need to expect a "new normal" for the next 2 years? Or the Canadian health minister who said that Canadians may need to wear masks for 3 more years even IF a vaccine becomes available?

 

A vaccine is not guaranteed, but rest assured, Vietnam is quite likely to mandate it IF an effective one comes out and the WHO makes such a recommendation. Of course, most other countries will follow suit. Back in August, Vietnam already mandated all 2200 foreigners in that city, to undergo a COVID test. There was no option to say no. So if they can force foreigners to undergo Covid testing, forcing a vaccine doesn't seem to unlikely anymore. 

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8 hours ago, Jack Hna said:

Is Vietnam open now then? Just wondering why they would turn their back on a country with land borders. How exactly do Laos do for Thai that they do not do for nam?

It's not. The guy is making up nonsense. Although it may seem like a bit of a joke, but technically Thailand has already started letting in tourists with it's STV scheme. Vietnam has shelved it's reopening plans for tourists indefinitely. I think they'll reopen whenever the WHO says the pandemic is over, perhaps sometime in 2021. In any case, don't pack your suitcases. Open and unrestricted travel anywhere in the region is a long way off. And whenever it DOES happen, I'm sure all countries will quickly drop their restrictions. 

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22 hours ago, DaveCW said:

That's a fair point you make. If the rules say you do something then do them. But, I also think that governments have a responsibility to inform and educate folk. The problem is that many Government and in Particular this one, have not provided a balanced or accurate take on the risks and the nature of this C19 Flu, opting instead to spread fear, which in turn (as you highlight in your post) has caused locals to question the behaviour of many foreigners. The fact that many foreigners are not so fearful of this C19 Flu is that they can (and do) think for themselves and complete their own research to allow them to form their own opinion. Sadly, I cant say this for the general Thai society.  All that said, and I stress again, if your a guest in a country that has imposed certain rules, then you should be obliged to follow them - If your in your home country and disagree, then join the protests if you wish to do so, as you still have that freedom. 

I'm not sure where he is meeting these fearful people but traveling around, only half of Thais wear their masks (and rightfully so, there is nothing to worry about anymore) and about half of all shopkeepers have stopped wearing masks altogether, even 2 months ago! I think he is HUGELY overexaggerating. A friend in Florida tells me that if you're not wearing your mask when entering a business (like him) the police are called and strangers stare at you and sometimes threaten you. This does NOT happen in Thailand. Perhaps back in April things were a bit tense, but not anymore, that's for sure. There are almost as many brainwashed people back home as there appear to be here. Only issue is, the media exaggerates for effect, news stories of those that don't want to follow the rules. It's all propaganda. 

 

Many Thais do question things, even if it appears to be fewer than back home. Just that they tend to do so without raising their voice or drawing unnecessary attention to themselves. 

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On 10/28/2020 at 3:15 PM, 3MagicBeers said:

I'm a hotel owner in Laos. 90% of tourist arrivals into Laos come via Thailand (mainly Suvarnaphoum) as its transit hub, so this decision is a further blow to the 1,000s of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and all their employees that have lost their jobs since March. In all honesty, I believe Laos will turn its back to TH and start looking towards Viet Nam as a transit hub. Its important to know that decisions made by TH also severely and directly affect all regional neighbours. Fingers crossed.

 

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On 10/29/2020 at 11:15 AM, Burma Bill said:

Yes indeed and you have my sympathy. I live in Cambodia but I am familiar with Luang Prabang in your country and it must be devastating for everyone connected with tourism. Once borders re-open, your comment about Vietnam being a transit hub is well founded. I am sure Cambodia will no longer have to rely on Bangkok (BKK and DMK) as a "the" hub. Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet will provide excellent connections to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville from International flights arriving at Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi in particular. Many travelers take this route or via other hubs in Japan, China, South Korea and the Middle East for example. The recent upgrade and modernization to Phnom Penh International airport will allow more direct International flights. A new larger International airport (with two runways) is currently under construction for Siem Reap so that more flights can be handled. It is due to open in 2023 and will be Cambodia's largest International airport. It is expected to handle 7 million passengers annually.  I wish you good luck in Laos.

 

Vietnam, China, Malaysia etc. have been secondary transit hubs for travel to Laos for YEARS. Ditto for Cambodia; Thailand stopped being the sole transit hub maybe 15 years ago. I know people who flew Vietnam Airlines from Europe to Vietnam and after spending some time in Vietnam continued their journeys on a Vietnam Airlines flight to Laos, and then to Cambodia years ago. Vietnam Airlines has been flying inter-Indochina routes for years. During normal times, they do a once daily Saigon-Phnom Penh-Vientiane flight. There are no non-stop flights between Saigon and Vientiane, however, a daily service between Hanoi and Vientiane connects the two capitals, as well as a Hanoi-Luang Prabang flight that used to be operated by a Fokker 70 and prior to that, a Russian made turboprop (Illushyin 76 - sorry if I can't recall the correct spelling). There is also a thrice weekly Saigon-Pakse service, generally operated by Lao Airlines on a codeshare basis. Vietnam Airlines also operates Luang Prabang-Siem Reap and Pakse-Siem Reap.

 

Aside from a long-running Lao Airlines and more recent Bangkok Airways Chiang Mai-Luang Prabang service, as well as Vietnam Air's Saigon-Phuket and Vietjet Air's newish Saigon-Chiang Mai service, you'll find Vietnam Airlines has offered better connectivity between the three IndoChina countries for years, since the vast majority of flights connecting Thailand with it's 3 neighbors to the east only offer services to/from Bangkok. No Thai carrier has ever offered a similar service; not even during the days when Bangkok Airways held a stake in Siem Reap Airlines, which was operating domestic flights within Cambodia for a few years (this is going back 10-15 years). 

 

Lao Airlines used to service some of these routes and not long prior to Covid re-instated it's long suspended Vientiane-Phnom Penh service for a little bit of extra competition with Vietnam Airlines. 

 

I feel you exaggerate a lot making up lots of negatively themed hyperbole about Thailand, because you have some kind of special "beef" with the country (not sure why?)

 

The reality is, outside of the fact that Thailand decided to take a hardline approach using expensive hotel quarantines and the COE system, as opposed to Cambodia's more relaxed 2 day facility quarantine followed by another 2 weeks at home or a hotel of your choosing (Laos meanwhile has applied a similar approach to Thailand's but with a more streamlined process when it comes to choosing a quarantine hotel) before covid and once it's over, things will largely revert back to the status quo.

 

More and more travelers are visiting countries like Cambodia and Laos, and depending on where they come from it makes sense for them to be able to travel directly (why not?) especially regional neighbors. It has nothing to do with what Thailand does or doesn't do. 

In fact, it would be selfish and unreasonable, not to allow Laos and Cambodia to develop at their own pace and if that means decoupling themselves from their previous overdependence on certain neighboring countries, Thailand included, why not? 

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On 10/29/2020 at 9:53 AM, herfiehandbag said:

If Vietnam opens up its borders before Thailand, with a sensible cost neutral testing regime, and doesn't erect the series of hoops for people to jump through which Thailand seems determined to, then that would make sense.

 

If the flights to South East Asia, when they resume, fly to Ho Chi Minh City rather than Bangkok, because that is working better, then it will be game over for Thailand as a transit hub.

Unfounded speculation. 

Vietnam has traditionally erected more barriers to tourism than Thailand due to it's stubbornness in refusing to drop visa requirements other than a token gesture for fellow ASEAN nationals and a few nations like Russia and Scandinavia, but the latter only get 15 days and their flight itinerates are strictly scrutinized. Until recently, they also had to spend 2 months outside the country between visits, in order to be allowed to use another visa free entry. Despite all the complaints about Thai immigration (mostly by visa runners as legitimate arrivals don't face any issues), Vietnam has been much stricter in this respect. Vietnam is consistent almost 100% of the time, whereas Thailand is known for it's inconsistency. 

 

Unless Vietnam Airlines lifts its game and Vietnam drops visa requirements for tourists, then what you are saying ain't going to happen. Also, Singapore has for years been a more important transit hub than Bangkok anyway. There are far more flights and destinations that can be reached from there, for which there are no flights from Bangkok (and in many cases, never have been). From Singapore you can fly to Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns, Christchurch, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, New York/Newark, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Mauritius, a ton of Indonesian cities, Davao in the Philippines, Port Moresby, Fiji (Suva) and many many others that Bangkok does not offer service to. Nearly all destinations served from Bangkok are also served from Singapore, even if there might be less frequency (such as flights to Laos or Cambodia). 

 

It's highly unlikely Vietnam will open it's borders before Thailand. Technically, Thailand has already beat them to it, with the STV scheme (even if it's crazy in terms of all the requirements). Rest assured that the decision to reopen will be done on WHO advice and a proper reopening will occur almost simultaneously throughout the region. After all, that's what happened when countries closed down. It happened within days of one another. 

Eventually, all countries will adopt a more or less consistent approach to entry regulations; just like they did prior to the Covid crisis. What's happening now, with the ever changing rules and every man for himself is NOT a reflection of the future. It's simply an attempt to work within restrictive rules. I believe that both Thailand and Vietnam are being denied the freedom to decide for themselves whether they want to drop all restrictions or not. There's a lot more that goes on than meets the eye but I don't wish to discuss this any further on here. Just saying that the vast majority of people have no clue as to what is really going on and who calls the shots here. 

Edited by TheFreqFlyer
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