The following is our weekly “Reader Talkback” results in which we post diverse, selected responses from our readers regarding a question we ask every week to our user base. The questions relate to current top news.
This week, we asked you the following:
This comes as some media sources have highlighted a statement made in a recent Royal Gazette order that says the laws and requirements around foreigners have changed and added the requirement of having a Covid-19 test. However, there have been no official public announcements and many media sources (and embassies) are seeking clarification. Some media sources say this only means ‘migrant workers” or those with work permits, while others differ. The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration commented briefly on this stating that it was currently only policy for migrant workers but “could” become policy for all foreign workers by next month, without mentioning other visas like family. However, many questions remain based on the vague wording of the Royal Gazette statement if it could apply to ALL foreigners and EVERY visa-marriage, retirement, education, etc.
If you did not have a chance to chime in, you can do so here: You can respond here or on our social media pages like Facebook or Twitter or email us at Pattayanewseditor@gmail.com. We will share the results at the end of this week. We will have a new reader talkback tomorrow with a new topic.
Here are just some of the over a hundred responses we had last week. All opinions are the readers own and were chosen for diversity of opinion and by our staff:
Stan-while there seems that vaccination to all Thais may be given free, assuming others follow the Pattaya scheme. I understand that the cost is about 300 baht a shot, personally, I would welcome the invitation to be included in the vaccine rollout. I don’t expect it to be free but would be happy to pay say 2K for the two doses, you would then have the proof that you are protected. Should this not be enough for immigration without having to produce a negative test on each visit. We love Thailand that’s why many have chosen to live here we follow the rules respect the religion and culture. Why make us jump through more hoops, instead of making things easier for long team ex-pats.
Jenifer W-sounds a daft idea !! so even when Covid-19 under control and the country is back to normal – we still have to have a Covid test to renew the extension of stay ?? Any of us “farangs” who are already here and have not been out of the country since the rules on entry were established obviously do not have Covid and are living here in a community like Thais. Anyone arriving in the country has to be tested before entry. If one were to go out of the country one would have to be tested on re-entry !! I don’t see the logic of being Covid tested for those already in the country unless one is going to test the whole population! Seems a bit discriminatory to me.
However, I would agree that to renew a visa or extension of stay then one must show one has been vaccinated with documentary proof! That makes sense since many do not pay into social security or pay tax (I pay tax) and therefore not eligible for a free vaccination.
Clifford K- I’m still a believer that most testing methods are quite fallible and some can lead to a high percentage of false positives. For that reason alone I think required testing is a terrible idea. Sure would hate for a false positive to land me in the hospital without any symptoms for days of testing and observation to prove that I’m not sick when I never was, to begin with. So after that, I still get my extension and a hefty hospital bill to go with it? And an overstay bill too? I could live with paying a reasonable price for a required test if a trustworthy test method was available. That’s much better than a required vaccine since I don’t intend to get anywhere near one without it becoming mandatory for me to stay here.
Bryan B-When we talk about 1-year visa I assume we are meaning a retirement visa and while in Thailand we will be paying tax on things purchased.
Most retirement farangs are not rich and come to the Kingdom because they can afford to have a better life than in their own country. They also support the street vendors because they have to get a license to sell on the street.
I don’t think anyone is going to be let in unless they can show proof of vaccination but after 1 year I would have thought the test would be free considering the amount of money even the less rich Farangs will spend in a year.
Mike W-No unless they make it mandatory for everyone in Thailand to single out a group of people is wrong I am speaking as an Expat living here almost 4 years and never left
Anonymous Expat (long, italics):
Torbjorn-I will be willing to take the test and get the vaccine but only the vaccine from SINOVAC the Chinese vaccine, because it is made the old way not whit RDNA. I don’t want that RDNA shit in my body. I stay now in Colombia but jus to stay in Thailand so if I can get back to Thailand fast by taking the SINOVAC vaccine and a covid test for my own money. Hell ye I do that.
Wim-If only together with Thai officials, government workers police officials ….also at their own expense. If not …. huge discrimination again
Janin-No it is a bad idea. It shows (again) that they just tolerate us, not more, not less.
If they make it a law why shouldn’t every Thai be tested? I lived here for 6 years, didn’t go anywhere, while lots of my Thai friends traveled to Japan and nearby countries last year! So let them take a test from all travelers coming into the country, it would be fair.
Michael M- (longer, italics) The keyword here before anything else is considered is the word “renewal”. By definition, this will be people like myself who have lived the year since the last renewal (certainly at present as one cant leave), in my case as a retiree, entirely within Thailand, EXACTLY the same as all Thai nationals. So any annual covid test would have to include EVERY SINGLE individual, whether foreign or Thai for there to be any testing.
Phil-In Dubai you get tested every two years for HIV along with a full health test as part of your visa application that is paid for by your sponsor or employer. To deal with a viral issue as we have now, it is important to get the best data possible in order to deliver a plan to contain it. Thailand has simply not done enough testing. Thailand has absolutely no clue how far and wide the virus has spread. Even now at the inter-provincial checkpoints, they only temperature check motorists. Not much good if you are infected but show no symptoms. You are waved through and could be passing it on to hundreds of other people. Should have set up test centers at the checkpoints. Only takes five minutes to do it. With better data, better decisions are made. The other clear issue is that Thailand sees testing as a chance to make money. $181 for a test in Pattaya. In Dubai, it is FREE on arrival, but to leave it is $95. In Uzbekistan, it is just $31. ALL three are exactly the same PCR test!
That is all for this week, stay tuned for tomorrow’s brand new talkback!