Feature: What to look for in the upcoming week in Thailand in the news

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The following is a new weekly feature that will take place every week, giving a look at “the week ahead” in news and things to keep an eye on. Unlike our local and national top story round-ups, this will be focused on all news, both national and local. This also won’t be a top five, as the number of things to be aware of and look forward to could change week to week.

Our goal is to provide our regular readers a short, factual and concise preview of the week ahead and things to look forward to and follow up on news wise.  The articles and points below are not in any particular order.

Without further adieu, things to look forward to and be aware of for the upcoming week, ending on September 26.

1. Fallout from the pro-democracy protests in Bangkok over the weekend

This past weekend saw historic protests in Bangkok that attracted many people. (The Pattaya News does not, as a general editorial policy, estimate crowd size). The protest was generally seen as calm and peaceful and both law enforcement and protesters were widely praised on social media for both sides being calm and controlled despite the potential for disorder or conflict.  The following week, however, in which protesters are also planning to go to Parliament and protest, could cause emotions on both sides to intensify. Take a look at our protest coverage below:

Thailand’s pro-democracy overnight protest in Bangkok pushes for more pressure on democratic reform measures

2. After six months, amnesty for those on tourist visas is scheduled to end

After six long months of Royal Thai Immigration providing free extensions and “amnesty” for those who were originally stuck in the country during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the situation is scheduled to come to an end on September 26. It is possible, but in no way guaranteed, the government could reverse course last minute and allow universal extensions.  This is looking more and more unlikely, however, as the due date looms closer. The decision is controversial as borders remain closed to foreign tourists and tens of thousands of people on amnesty are now facing having to return home. This is worth keeping an eye on this week. Read more about this below:

Time is ticking for those on amnesty visas in Thailand, September 26 due date is quickly approaching

3. Plans to bring back “foreign tourists” expected to change more over the next week

In something that won’t surprise regular readers, a plan that was approved, in principle, to allow foreign tourists to return to Thailand continues to introduce more rules and potential roadblocks. Additionally, many prominent doctors involved with the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration are against the plan. In reality, the plan isn’t really for tourists and we feel that term is misleading. It is primarily designed for long stay visitors to enter the country, which is likely to include those on retirement visas or property/business owners.  But with news that the plan will likely be restricted to certain countries with low to no cases of Covid-19, most Westerners are likely to be unable to enter the Kingdom under this plan.

Thai government approves, in principle, to welcome long-stay foreign tourists under a ‘Special Tourist Visa’ scheme, starting this October

That is it for this week, thank you as always for reading The Pattaya News.

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