Feature: A look at the week ahead in Thailand news, things to be aware of

PHOTO: The Standard

The following is a weekly feature from TPN/The Pattaya News that will take place every weekend, 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.

1. Daily pro-democracy protests continue

Daily pro-democracy protests have continued to grow despite nearly all major protest leaders arrested, an emergency declaration of a severe situation which bans mass gatherings of more than five people in Bangkok, especially for political reasons and police using riot police and water cannons to disperse protesters last week. The latter action angered many and protests have appeared to grow since.  The government is being urged to at least come to some concessions and an emergency parliamentary session to discuss (again) amending and re-writing the constitution which would likely at least lower some tensions is possible this week.  The protests have also begun to spread out around the country, although much smaller than Bangkok.  Pattaya had a protest over the weekend as well. Check out more information on this below.

Recap: Pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok arranged peaceful flash mobs in 4 major locations in Bangkok yesterday following outrage against government response to protests on prior days

2. Tourists are set to return to Thailand on Tuesday, October 20th says Thai Tourism Minister

Despite what seem like almost daily changes the Thai Tourism Minister confirmed again this morning, Sunday, October 18th, that the first group of tourists to visit Thailand since the middle of March will be arriving this week. They are from China and are going through quarantine and many other strict measures and paperwork. The tourism minister stated that about 400 tourists in total are expected by early November.  The actions have got mostly negative feedback online but we note that at the very least, if it goes through safely, it is a start to perhaps allowing in larger amounts of people.

Thai Tourism Minister expects about 400 foreign tourists, mostly from China, in total by early November, stressed protests should not interfere with letting back in selective tourists

3.  Pattaya to hold Colorful Food and Music Festival next weekend

Even as the vegetarian festival continues in Naklua all this upcoming week a second festival will also take place on Beach Road near Central Festival next weekend, which is set to be a four day holiday weekend.  It is hoped that the weekend will bring, like the last few holiday weekends, more domestic tourists to Pattaya. Details are below:

Pattaya to hold ‘The Colorful Eastern Food and Music Fest” next weekend to boost domestic tourism

4. Flooding, daily rain and weather woes continue across Thailand

Local residents and readers have been very vocal that it currently seems to rain every day in Pattaya. While rain has been mostly light, but consistent, in Pattaya many parts of Thailand, especially Korat, have not been as lucky. The forecast may clear up later this week, especially in time for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Heavy rain expected this weekend in Thailand due to second Tropical Depression in a week

5. All eyes on Myanmar border in Tak province after five locally spread cases in the Mae Sot area

The Thai Government has taken significant precautions in the Mae Sot part of the Tak province, closing some education centers, restricting gatherings including religious, closing hospitality businesses and shutting the borders entirely for even supply related trade for several days.  This is due to five locally spread cases of Covid-19 which have all come from the same family of Myanmar citizens who reside legally in Thailand. A son in the family works at the border and the virus is believed to have possibly come from a supply truck driver. All are asymptomatic and have been quarantined and contact traced. Authorities stress not to panic.  More details are below.

More information on three further locally spread cases of Covid-19 in Tak province

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