The following is our weekly glance at the biggest stories and developments set to happen in the next week in Thailand, as well as our primary news regions of Chonburi and Phuket.
The number of stories differ week to week and are chosen by our editorial team.
We hope this allows our readers to be aware of the major stories coming in the next week and some details about each point.
Let’s get into our news to keep an eye on!
1. Thailand Pass to finally end on July 1st, 2022
The unpopular and often criticized Thailand Pass system, which required pre-registration in an online system before visiting Thailand, is finally ending next Friday, July 1st, 2022.
True, the Thai government had been steadily easing on the requirements for the pass for months and making the process simpler and more hassle free. Thai Nationals had previously been made exempt from the program.
However, regardless of any simplicity, the program continued to be an obstacle for some, especially those over 75 who had issues getting the mandatory Covid-19 insurance one had to prove they had (which is also being dropped) or for those who come from nearby countries like Malaysia or India and often come on short notice for a day or two. With the dropping of Thailand Pass short term travelers will likely return and those who struggled to get the mandatory insurance will breathe a sigh of relief.
Additionally, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is also pushing possible visa waivers and changes for countries that still require fees, limit the number of days of arrivals, or a visa in advance. This should boost the tourism industry even further in quarter three and four of this year. As of press time, however, this is only a proposal.
2. Mask mandate is now voluntary, but for many dropping it will take time
The mask mandate, in place for most of the Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand and one that covered all public places, even outdoors alone, is finally gone and has been made voluntary and recommended.
However, although it’s big news for mostly foreign tourists and expats who regularly express their hate for the mandate online, most Thais seemed comfortable with the mandate and in no hurry to drop their masks.
Private businesses can continue to require masks and likely will for some time as it will take many people a while to become comfortable without wearing a mask, long a part of all public life in Thailand.
In the meantime, while a matter of choice to wear a mask now, tourists should be aware that many indoor private establishments may still ask for a mask and should keep one available. It will be interesting over the next week to see how many people stay masked despite the lack of a mandate, even alone or outdoors.
That is all for this week! Stay safe and see you soon!