OPINION: Test and Go, up and gone, where to from right here Thailand?


A loopy day in The Thaiger office as we pushed out all the most recent Test & Go Thailand Pass information as quick as we could, translated and checked. I forgot a selection of important meetings as we knew people wished to know what was happening with the Thailand Pass. We wanted to know too as we are also instantly affected by the peaks and troughs of the Covid rollercoaster.
It was irritating, very sad and type of surreal. We’d been eagerly posting optimistic stories for the past month because it appeared the Land of Smiles was, certainly, getting its ‘smile’ again on and there was hope in the air, even with some bars starting to open up again, whether or not they were legally meant to or not.
But this latest edict from the Thai Government, via the CCSA, was a surprise. Even we didn’t think they’d shelve the Test & Go and Sandbox packages. But they did.
“Registration is closing today for travellers wishing to enter Thailand beneath the Test & Go quarantine exemption program, and the Sandbox entry scheme, excluding Phuket. In an pressing meeting this afternoon, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration determined to stop accepting new tourists under the entry schemes beginning at midnight. The authorities will evaluation the situation after the holidays on January four.”

Read more HERE.
This news, primarily based around fears of a wave of the model new Omicron Covid-19 variant sweeping by way of Thailand, will be a knockout blow for some businesses – those which would possibly be left and have been clinging on by a thread of hope that the worst may be over. But, again, we’re trying down the barrel of an prolonged time with out lots of worldwide tourists.

As it was, the uptake of the Thailand Pass programs since November 1 had been lukewarm, at finest. The actual arrivals of tourists had been properly under the predictions of the TAT and throw any predictions for 2022 into full disarray.
The question for Thailand’s government now is… what next?

After a short second of celebration for Christmas and new Year (then again, possibly we’re being overly optimistic that we’ll even get to New Year with out more restrictions), there shall be some kind of reckoning about the real-world influence of Omicron, in Thailand and in all places else.

We already know that the variant is approximately 7 instances more contagious, but we still don’t know the lengthy run symptoms as it’s comparatively new and Omicron continues to be incubating in many 1000’s of individuals.
Early anecdotal accounts say that Omicron appears to be much less dangerous. But the sheer weight of numbers may still lead to a variety of hospitalisations (or even deaths) that governments discover unacceptable.
Let’s hope that these early observations are backed up with information to support a hopeful prognosis for those becoming contaminated. As to the keyboard warriors that diss Omicron out of hand, with little greater than their misinformed drivel that “it’s just a unhealthy cold”, you don’t know… even the world’s main scientists don’t know presently. But we hope like hell you’re appropriate.
But even in the best case situation, we’re heading into one other interval of global uncertainty surrounding Omicron and the evolution of the Covid pandemic.

There are additionally, looming, a quantity of complicated geo-political and economic occasions that are teetering. In no explicit order, the fallout of the Evergrande/Sinic Holdings/China Properties Group/Fantasia defaults, the viagra-fuelled US stock market, crucial shortages and world provide chain issues, and nations staggering underneath growing inflation with their economies flagging.
Omicron, or more specifically, the response of governments to Omicron, is going to push some, or all, of these issues to Def Con 1. Some of these might turn out to be real black swan events that may have an effect on millions of individuals and sluggish the worldwide recovery for years, or many years. Except that they’re not likely black swans… we’ve seen many of these coming for at least the last 2 years.
For Thailand, the early months of 2022 might be very tough. There simply won’t be many international travellers. Even if Thailand abruptly reopened its borders and removed all restrictions, who is coming at this time?
Controversial may have all one of the best intentions in the world however the tourists have to come back from someplace and, given what’s occurred since November 1 this yr, it’s tough to imagine where the next wave of spending tourists will be arriving from.
On a constructive note, as I appeared around our office as we had been posting this dreadful information, I was comforted by the truth that all of us were healthy, working, committed and secure. But we’re additionally desperately sad for the thousands who were coming to visit the nation we love and enjoy what we are lucky enough to name residence every day.
The Thaiger will bring you all the most recent, confirmed information, precisely and in a timely manner..

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