Thailand News Today | Thais praised for Covid response, Travel Stimulus doomed, Alcohol Ban | Dec 18

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Thailand’s top epidemiologist warns against shortening quarantine

Whilst the CCSA announced yesterday they were going to conduct yet another enquiry into shortening quarantine for arrives in the country,Thailand’s top epidemiologist has repeatedly warned against opening Thailand back up to tourism.

Now that health officials have started a 1-month study to determine if the mandatory quarantine period can be cut down to 10 days, senior doctors are again warning health officials to stick with the 14 day quarantine period. They says reducing the mandatory quarantine period could lead to more local transmissions, and possibly another outbreak.

There’s been a battle in the past 3 months between the TAT and tourism officials demanding the quarantine time to be shorted or scrapped, whilst health and medical officials are countering the economic needs with the harsh realities of the impact of Covid in other countries.
Satirical fashion show leads to lèse majesté charges

A satirical fashion show has led to a pair of young pro-democracy activists, one just 16 years old, to be charged with violating Thailand’s strict lèse majesté laws.

Both of them attended the “People’s Runway” rally on Silom Road back in October. One was dressed in traditional Thai dress, and is accused of mocking a royal consort, while the other wore a cropped T-shirt top, allegedly mimicking some unroyal attire captured in the past.

Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code prohibits insulting or defaming the Royal Family. Breaking the law carries a punishment of 3 to 15 years in prison. More than 2 dozen activists involved in recent pro-democracy rallies, including several protest leaders, are facing charges under the draconian law.

Back in June this year the Thai PM told the media that HM the King had expressly requested

officials not to use the lese majeste laws. The Thai government said at the time that they could use the Computer Crime laws instead.

Phase 2 of travel stimulus may be cancelled due to fraud, as PM said to be “furious”

Officials are considering cancelling the next phase of the government’s domestic tourism stimulus campaign, after multiple cases of fraud emerged.

To date, over 200 people have been prosecuted for corruption in the domestic travel campaign, as well as in other government stimulus schemes. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that, in conjunction with the Tourism and Sports Ministry, it has filed a police report against more than 500 hotels and other businesses.

The discovery of the fraud cases had prompted officials to postpone the addition of another 1 million discounted hotel rooms, a decision that has already impacted bookings for the New Year period. But Nation Thailand is reporting that the “We Travel Together” program may end up dropped altogether.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is said to be furious over the reports of corruption, ordering the authorities to punish those involved.

WHO praises Thailand’s unity as key to successfully tackling Covid-19

Thailand has received plaudits from the World Health Organisation who have laid praise on the Kingdom for its unity and ability to control the early days of the pandemic and keep its population safe.

Unity between Thailand’s public and social sectors, healthcare workers, local organisations, and individuals, has been key to tackling Covid-19, according to the World Health Organisation. WHO director general Tedros was speaking yesterday at an online address to Thailand’s National Health Commission Office when he made his remarks.
According to him, unity between all sectors in the country, coupled with strict health and safety measures, helped Thailand fight off the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Health Minister is warning that the war against the pandemic is far from over, pointing out that until the widespread administration of a vaccine, health measures such as social distancing and mask-wearing will have to function as “social vaccines”.
24 hour alcohol ban for provincial elections part of a “ridiculous war on alcohol”
The sale and distribution of alcohol in Thailand, even parties serving alcohol, are banned from Saturday 6pm to Sunday 6pm, all in aid of the Provincial Administration Organisation elections.
Unless you’re Thai, you don’t need to worry about the voting although the alcohol ban will affect everyone who lives in the Kingdom.
Having a party or a wedding on the day? No problem, as long as there’s no alcohol. Violators of the ban could end up in jail for 6 months, and/or fined 10,000 baht. .

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