Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, March 29th to April 4th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.
1. Royal Thai Immigration Bureau allows “tourists” on Covid-19 extension to extend again, until May 29th
The Immigration Bureau announced a Covid-19 extension for foreign tourists in the country. The application will need to be done in person at an Immigration office, starting now until up to May 29th, and will cost 1,900 baht per person. The extension will allow the individual to legally stay in Thailand without having to leave or change their visa for another 60 days until July 27th.
2. Thai cabinet officially approves reduction of quarantine plan in vaccinated visitors in Thailand, starting from this April
The Thai cabinet agrees to reduce the quarantine period to seven to ten days and to welcome selected vaccinated foreign tourists and businessmen in six pilot tourist destinations, namely in Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai. The proposal is initially planned to be implemented this month for only selected groups of vaccinated foreigners from selected potential countries. And, if the plan was operating smoothly, the second step of welcoming selected vaccinated tourists to visit Phuket island without mandatory quarantine in July will be considered, if they are proved to have negative Covid19 results upon arrival. But, it has not yet been finalized by the Thai cabinet.
3. Police checkpoints returning and to be set up nationwide in Thailand under Royal Thai Police new standard starting today
All checkpoint areas nationwide will return in advance of the Songkran festival under the new regulations and standards of the Royal Thai Police with transparency and honesty. All checkpoints must be registered and approved by the police commanders responsible in the area. The Royal Thai Police also developed a database that provides the information and the location of the checkpoints in particular areas in order to prevent the problems of unauthorized checkpoints. The new standards have already been implemented nationwide since April 1st, according to the announcement.
4. Fire collapses luxury home in Bangkok, at least five people are dead, mostly first responders
This horrifying and tragic event took place last Saturday when a fire raged through a three-story home at Krisada Nakhon Village 31 in Bangkok, causing the building to collapse while volunteer firefighters were rescuing a victim inside. All five deceased were trapped inside the debris and the rescue volunteers had spent more than 10 hours until all of the bodies were recovered. The rescue workers who died during the rescue are already being treated as heroes by many on Thai social media while Bangkok authorities also provided 100,000 baht compensation each to all families of the deceased.
5. Thai Prime Minister urges Thai people to not drink alcohol, party in public during Songkran, celebrate the holiday traditionally
As the Covid-19 domestic infections have been significantly increasing in the country this week, PM Prayut Chan-O’Cha was urging Thai people to not drink alcohol and party in public places during Songkran and to traditionally celebrate the holiday with families in order to potentially prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus and the potential deaths and accidents from hundreds of traffic accidents during the festival, mostly caused by drunk-driving. He stated that the government will not cancel the Songkran celebration but people are requested not to let their guard down, stay alert, and enjoy the holiday under the strict measures of Covid-19 Coronavirus.
And that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!