Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, June 12th to the 19th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.
1. Thailand to temporarily exempt immigration forms for international passengers traveling by air to reduce congestion
The temporary exemption was brought into discussion in the cabinet after the number of foreign tourists traveling by air had significantly increased since the country’s full reopening in March. It is to facilitate and shorten the time for the arrivals. However, the health screenings are still on and the Thailand Pass program registration also remains until the end of the month.
2. Thai Parliament passes Marriage Equality and Civil Partnership draft bills in its first reading today
Both same-sex marriage drafts were approved in their first readings on Wednesday, marking a major step for LGBTQ+ equality and the legalization of same-sex unions. However, the most anticipated draft by pro-democracy activists and LGBTQ+ supporters is the Marriage Equality Bill which was proposed by the Move Forward Party as the bill would allow the same-sex couples to be legally and socially recognized as “married” rather than “partners” as in the Civil Partnership. Both of the drafts will be revised again by a government-appointed special committee before presenting them at second readings.
3. Thai Covid-19 Situation Center agrees to restore nationwide green zones, cancel Thailand Pass, eases mask mandate, and more
Starting July 1st, Thailand will be relaxing more preventive measures and complicated procedures for international arrivals including the revocation of the Thailand Pass registration and the temperature checks at the entrance. Fully vaccinated arrivals will randomly choose to take the ATK test while unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated travelers will need to take an ATK test. Despite major changes, the mask mandate removal in outdoor areas, which was also discussed at the cabinet meeting on Friday, is not yet finalized and will be after being published in the Royal Gazette.
4. Permit needed for selling cannabis in Thailand to minors under 20, breastfeeding women, and pregnant women, Cannabis Public Relations Spokesperson says
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul signed an urgent regulation stating that people in the sensitive group must be granted permission before purchasing cannabis plants and products. They will not be allowed to consume or own cannabis plants without medical authorization. This followed public concerns over the potential abuse of cannabis for recreational use by minors and youth. This will become official as soon as being published in the Royal Gazette.
And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!
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