3 July 2020
Notification on Conditions for Aircraft Permission to Enter Thailand (No.2)
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has announced on 2 July 2020 conditions for aircraft permission to enter Thailand, taking effect from 3 July 2020. Read more here
Temporary Entry Ban to The European Union Via Sweden
The Swedish Government has decided to extend the entry ban to the EU via Sweden until 31 August 2020. Entry however is allowed for EU citizens and people with Swedish residence permits regardless of travel purposes. People in specified countries outside of the EU are also exempted from the ban.
Somkid Rustles Up Larger SME Loans
Help for SMEs!
A new mechanism to support SMEs to seek a credit line surpassing 500 million baht from the Central Bank’s soft loan scheme has been set up to help medium-scale businesses keep their employees. The mechanism is expected to take shape by the middle of July. The mechanism will keep aviation, tourism and hotel operators as well as some businesses supported by the government on payroll.
2 July 2020
A travel bubble scheme has been drafted with three phases for opening
The plan for the first phase is that the number of international tourists is capped at 1,000 per day in five places that are ready to join the pilot project, comprising Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Pattaya. This is expected to begin in August.
The draft needs approval from the Ministry of Public Health, and a list of countries with similar requirements.
Price control for delivery services?
On 30 June 2020, the cabinet resolved to include online food and parcel delivery services in the list of 51 controlled goods and services, based on the Price of Goods and Services Act.
The price control put constraints on operators, who have already faced intense competition in the sector. Rider partners would also be at risk of having their revenue reduced. However, when the control list comes into effect, the Central Committee on the Price of Goods and Services (CCP) will have the power to set the price. This would discourage distributors from setting a price too high.
Government exempts hotels from annual room fee until 2022
The Royal Gazette announced that hotel businesses will be exempted from paying an annual fee to the government until 2022.
The regulation waives the room fee imposed on hotels under the Hotel Business Fee Ministerial Regulation BE 2558 from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2022.
1 July 2020
EU Opens Its Borders to Safe Countries Including Thailand
On 1 July 2020, the European Union (EU) reopens its borders to 15 countries, including Thailand. Chinese travellers will be allowed to enter the EU provided that China also opens its border to EU residents.
The border relaxation is left to EU member states to execute and will be reviewed in two weeks. It is expected to help the continent’s tourism sector revive after that the industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-March.
Central Bank Allays NPL Concerns
The Central Bank of Thailand has assured that commercial banks’ capital buffer will be strong enough to tolerate increasing non-performing loans (NPLs), even though the banking sector’s bad loans are on the rise.
The economy of Thailand is expected to sink by 8.1% this year. However, the financial stability is said to be unaffected thanks to the solid capital base of the banking industry. The Central Bank has also closely monitored unemployment, which is a significant factor hurting economic growth.
BTS New Normal: No Phone Chatting or Face-to-face Riding
As schools and colleges reopened on 1 July 2020, the BTS Skytrain System has introduced new measures to facilitate the increasing number of passengers using the skytrains.
New measures introduced by the BTS include: 1) Seat-spacing measure has been cancelled; 2) The number of passengers will be limited to 70% of normal capacity; 3) ‘Group release’ measures are implemented for passengers in the morning and evening rush hours to prevent overcrowding, and 4) Passengers are advised to refrain from talking on their phones and to avoid facing one another in close vicinity.
Social Distancing Relaxed in MRT Trains From Today
In line with the Thai government’s fifth phase of easing of lockdown measures, MRT trains will relax their social distancing measures starting on Wednesday, 1 July 2020. Trains are allowed to carry passengers at 70% of normal capacity. Passengers are no longer required to keep one-meter distance from each other in seating and standing areas.
Passengers must pass a thermal screening process prior to entering the MRT train system, wear face masks all the time, use hand sanitiser and check in and out with the ThaiChana platform.
Schools Reopen Across Thailand With Temperature Checks, Masks
Schools in Thailand reopened on Wednesday, 1 July 2020 for the first time since mid-March. Precautions such as temperature checks, handing face masks, and installing partitions are implemented to protect students and teachers against the coronavirus.