Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for August 13

Summary of AMCHAM Business Today Video Conference for August 13

Cabinet Resolutions

  • The United Nations has complimented Thailand for its effort in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic with no domestic infections for over two and a half months.
  • A Spokesman of CCSA has clarified the procedures related to  Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) saying that the people under quarantine are required to stay in their rooms at all time and undergo tests up to 3 times during their 14-day stay along with the help of medical staffs.
  • The Prime Minister has ordered related agencies, particularly the Ministry of Public Health and the CCSA, to draft guidelines for foreign nationals to enter the kingdom.
  • Around 3000 foreign teachers have registered to come to Thailand, most coming from the Philippines.
  • BMA spokesman has declared that there is no ammonium nitrate stored in Bangkok. However, there are  some hazardous chemical substances and cooking gas used by operators in Bangkok so the BMA is implementing measures to prevent incidents as well as training to handle the event of an explosion within the city.
  • The private sector has requested the government to prolong the Covid-19 related aid until the end of the year to ensure the economy has enough pick itself back up.
  • The government is considering a plan to reopen 5 islands – Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Tao to foreign tourists.
  • The cabinet is in the process of approving a 4-day long weekend coming up the first week of September.

 

Foreign Teachers to Enter Thailand

  • One of our members is a board director of a non-profit organization that supplies fellowships to Thai and other ASEAN college grads to come teach in Thailand.
  • They had stopped looking at Thailand and other countries in the region because of immigration issues due to Covid but is returning to consider the announcement from the Private Education Commission of bringing in 3000 foreign teachers to teach English.
  • However, there are concerns about people having to leave the country to renew their visa, as well as employees who were laid off by their old firm, stayed in Thailand under the visa amnesty and getting a new visa by their new employer.
  • The requirement to do a 90-day report at the Thai immigration is still there and the government has even set up another office in Nonthaburi due to over-crowdedness in the Chaengwattana immigration center.

 

Getting into Thailand

  • An AMCHAM member has successfully returned to Thailand and currently on day 13 of quarantine at one of the Anantaras after being stranded outside for 4 months.
  • Initially, he filed in the application for re-entry into Thailand through the U.S. Embassy and got his electronic approval a few days later. As part of the process, he had to book his flight in one of the repatriation flights that different carriers were providing, make a reservation in an alternative state quarantine facility as well as have a Covid test with its result within 72 hours before the flight.
  • After his arrival in Bangkok, the authorities checked his paperwork and his temperature multiple times throughout the airport before going through immigration.
  • After leaving the airport, he left on a certified van for his hotel and got registered for his room.
  • The medical staff that partnered with the hotel would come around twice a day to take his temperature as well as two Covid tests on day 3 and day 10.
  • He commended the Thai government and related agencies for setting up the process. Even though there was quite a bit of paperwork involved, it was a quick and well-planned system.
  • Another member, also stuck outside of Thailand for over 5 months, is in a different situation as there aren’t any flights available between his country and Thailand so he’s plans to take a connecting flight. However, he was told that with this flight, he might also have to quarantine at the country he goes through as well so there’s a lack of clarity around that process.
  • Another big hurdle was getting a Covid test that provided a result within 72 hours so the advice for anyone coming back is ensuring that the testing center you’re working with can give a quick response.

 

Tourism Stimulus

  • A member shared that the Thai version of the tourist discounts worked extremely well, she got the 40% off on both accommodation and food and is now waiting for the 40% off the flight.
  • They believe that the Thai government is really going to put effort into this to make it work and it will also probably be a positive experience for non-Thais.
  • The Krungthai Bank’s PaoTang app, integrated with the travel promotion fund, has been receiving positive reviews from the crowd for its user-friendly and intuitive approach.

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