Thailand week in review: “Test&Go” officially returns, Bangkok and Pattaya elections expected in May, and more

PHOTO: Prachachat

Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, January 31st to February 6th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.

1. Bangkok and Pattaya elections expected to be held in May, Interior Minister states

The progress for the possible date of the elections of both cities is now unofficially revealed. The Election Committee would publicly confirm the elections and is likely to be in May as there will be no Songkran holiday and other festivals, although TPN notes that May 15th is Visakha Bucha Day. Despite not having elections for a long time in Bangkok and Pattaya, the authorities said that they had no intention of delaying the process but it must follow several legal steps.

Bangkok and Pattaya elections expected to be held in May, Interior Minister states

2. Thailand welcomes foreign tourists again as the “Test&Go” scheme relaunches under new requirements

The “Test&Go” scheme is now officially back from February 1st onwards with some more complicated procedures to prevent imported cases of the Covid-19’s omicron variant. Unlike the pre-Omicron “Test&Go” scheme, travelers are now required to book and pay for SHA++ accommodation to stay for two nights while waiting for the first and second RT-PCR results on the first and then fifth days. Wearing facial masks in public remains mandatory in the Kingdom as mandates under the Emergency Decree and fines can be up to 20,000 baht, if anyone, Thai and foreigners, are found violating the rule.

Thailand welcomes foreign tourists again as “Test&Go” scheme relaunched today under new requirements

3. Thailand to discuss travel bubble agreement with neighboring countries, Tourism Council wants on arrival Covid testing dropped

Following the re-implementation of the reopening scheme, the Tourism and Sports Ministry is planning to discuss the possibility of the ‘travel bubble’ with many neighboring countries, including China and Malaysia, this month to revive the domestic tourism industry. However, the private Tourism Council is urging the government to revoke the RT-PCR test requirements and mandated hotel stays before anything else as it could, according to the president of the council, attract foreign travelers to the theme of as much as 8 million people by the end of the year.

Thailand to discuss travel bubble agreement with neighboring countries, Tourism Council wants on arrival Covid testing dropped

And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.