Tourism Minister urges Thai government to distribute money to tourism and hospitality employees nationwide to help them cope with Covid-19 financial crisis

National –

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn urged Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O’Cha to consider the tourism sectors’ request to contribute 7,500 baht for 400,000 hospitality employees nationwide for 2 months under the “co-pay” scheme to help them cope with the financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow was assigned by the Prime Minister to join a general meeting today, February 10th, with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Tourism and Sports to seek ways to turn hotels and resorts into quarantine facilities for foreign tourists, similar to recently-approved golf-course quarantine, in order to attract foreign tourists.

This proposed plan would essentially enable places to be “all-in-one” resorts where tourists in quarantine could eat, go to bars, swim, relax on the beach, have a massage, and other normal activities while in the confines of a resort on quarantine. Employees would be regularly tested and would be those who had been vaccinated for Covid-19 when the vaccines arrive.

Phiphat, however, stated that a similar model would not be able to be applied with hotel and other hospitality accommodations in Thailand just yet since the Covid-19 epidemic situation around the world had not yet resolved and Thailand will not receive its first dose of vaccinations until March or April.

He then introduced the “co-pay” scheme in which the government would contribute half of the average wage of 7,500 baht to hospitality-related employees to reduce their financial burden during the Covid-19 global pandemic. The estimated budget of 6,000,000 baht should be prepared by the finance ministry under this initial scheme.

Phiphat said: “The “co-pay” idea was primarily discussed among leading private and public tourism sectors weeks ago as the industry was dramatically affected by the border closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This can be done immediately without having to wait for the situation of the pandemic to resolve.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that he acknowledged the scheme and would further discuss it with Prime Minister as well as the whole cabinet committee at the next meeting.

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