The following is our weekly feature in which we take a look at the top developing stories and things to follow over the next week. We are focusing on what is happening for the first week of October, ending October 9th, 2021.
As we publish dozens of stories a week, this allows our readers to get a quick glimpse of the most important stories taking place in Thailand and Pattaya and to monitor and follow for the week ahead, as chosen by our editorial team.
Let’s get right into it:
1. Flooding remains a problem across Thailand, especially in central provinces, Bangkok being closely watched
Thailand has been hit hard, like most years during September, by heavy rains in flooding, especially in Central Thailand, and recently driven by Tropical Storm Dianmu. Some provinces, like Lop Buri, have been particularly hard hit.
There is likely to be more rain on the way and as floodwaters head South from central provinces there are concerns that Bangkok will be able to handle it, with many fearing a repeat of major flooding and chaotic situations a decade ago in 2011.
Thai government officials, including the Bangkok Governor, are stating this will not happen and that they are prepared.
We will see and will be monitoring this closely throughout the week.
2. Will we get more firm details on Pattaya “reopening” in November to foreign vaccinated tourists?
Despite all the buzz on many media outlets, especially foreign international media, Pattaya (and Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and other places) opening in November to foreign vaccinated tourists is NOT set in stone, NOT official, and NOT guaranteed.
It is growing increasingly more likely to happen as the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA and Tourism Authority of Thailand get on the same page and make major announcements about the “reopening”. However, these are still proposals and have not been given final…or even preliminary…approval by the CCSA and Thai Cabinet, who would need to do so before any plan takes effect.
Now, this isn’t unusual. The Phuket Sandbox and recent opening of Krabi literally made it official days…in Phuket’s case hours…before the set opening date. It’s important to note that it is “from” November 1st and not “on” November 1st with authorities using this as a guideline but not a firm date. We would advise potential visitors not to book those plane tickets, as cheap and enticing as they might be, just yet.
Keep in mind, even if Pattaya does open without a strict quarantine to foreign vaccinated tourists in November, there is no guarantee the cities biggest draw-its nightlife and entertainment industry would be allowed to open by the government, which has now been closed for six months basically with no set plan or roadmap to open.
3. Covid-19 restrictions to be reviewed the second week of October as current easing carefully watched
Just a few days ago cinemas and gyms were allowed to reopen in “dark red” provinces, which includes Chonburi. Cinemas have been closed for about half a year and gyms have been opened and closed multiple times over the past six months. A few other things were also allowed to reopen and the CCSA is carefully watching things to see how everything works out.
As discussed above, for Pattaya, the economically important and controversial nightlife industry remains force shut. It is unknown when the CCSA will allow it to open or even what an opening will look like but the pressure is rising from business owners and the estimated tens of thousands of unemployed bar workers. Indeed, other than Phuket and certain venues on Koh Samui, alcohol is still officially banned at even restaurants nationwide as the CCSA continues to state that alcohol-related gatherings is a major spread of Covid-19.
The CCSA, aware of this, and also aware the industry is one of the last things still firmly shut at this point (along with pool halls, snooker halls, and places kids and teens congregate and go like schools and playgrounds) says they will evaluate restrictions at the next major meeting on October 11th. Smaller CCSA sub-panel meetings are likely to take place next weekend before this meeting and should give some clues to what-if any restrictions will be eased.
Oh, and of course, the current 10:00 PM to 4:00 A.M. mandatory curfew remains a source of distaste for many who also hope it will be lifted sometime this month.
That is all for this week, thank you for your readership and attention!