Integrity Legal - Law Firm in Bangkok | Bangkok Lawyer | Legal Services Thailand Back to
Integrity Legal

Legal Services & Resources 

Up to date legal information pertaining to Thai, American, & International Law.

Contact us: +66 2-266 3698

A "Thai COVID Pass"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing something that is being euphemistically referred to as the "Thai COVID Pass". This is in the vein of things we have discussed previously on this channel most notably the so-called "Vaccine Passport". I am going to go ahead and differentiate here when talking about this specifically from the so-called "Vaccine Passport" insofar as I think of the Vaccine Passport as documentation pertaining to international travel and we have talked about this before. Akin to, there have been throughout the last century or so, requirements associated with inoculations when traveling to certain countries. Basically, certain countries require folks sometimes to get inoculations and the vaccine passport that was proposed has been going on over a year ago now although in the beginning when people were talking about it, it was very interesting that they were dismissed as being fringe thinkers for even bringing it up, if you go back to quarter one of 2020. But we have come to see that this notion has come to the forefront and in an international context there is some I hesitate to use precedent because we are not talking about the law, but there have been circumstances in the past where we have seen inoculation requirements associated with international travel. So you see moving forward, that this vaccine passport or inoculation documentation is in that vein. This "Thai COVID Pass", this is a horse of a very different colour. This is a domestic document associated with operating in one's life; basically living one's life within Thailand, okay?

So we are going to go ahead and I actually saw this in a clip from the briefing from the CCSA. It was actually from the English language briefing which came from the Thai Government. I went ahead and I found a report on this from the Thaiger, that is, hats off to the folks down there; we do appreciate all their hard work. I am going to go ahead and quote from the article on their website titled: Zoning Restrictions extended until August 31- CCSA discusses "COVID Pass". Under the section of this article called "Thai COVID Pass", Other Initiatives, quoting directly: "The CCSA is planning a so-called "Thai COVID Pass" for residents who are vaccinated against COVID-19. According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the CCSA report in English, "if approved, disease control measures would be eased for those with the Pass, like dining in a restaurants which is currently prohibited in "dark red zones". Natapanu says, details on the "COVID Pass" scheme still need to be discussed by the CCSA," I am going to get to that in a minute. "With this "Thai COVID Pass" it would be possible to enter into restaurants when they are open and conduct some activities which are not allowed for those who have not been vaccinated." Okay I have got to say if it is not readily apparent from my mannerisms, I am categorically against this. I think this is wrong on so many levels, starting with basic human rights ending with creepy notions of "papers please" to be able to just operate in one's general living. Where have we ever in the history of time, other than very scary totalitarian regimes, there is no other real word for it, have we ever seen systems where people can't do basic things like sit down to eat without presenting papers. I don't care if it is in a digital format, it is the same thing. It is presenting documentation to simply live one's life. So let's start from that standpoint first of all. The other thing is all of this is operating from an Emergency Decree that was promulgated in March 2020. I don't think any reasonable person could argue that perhaps an Emergency Decree was not necessary at that time but the notion that this is an ongoing urgent emergency, I think reasonable people can definitely disagree on that. Meanwhile, just to re-quote a segment in here from, quoting directly: “Natapanu says details on the COVID Pass scheme still need to be discussed by the CCSA." That is the Committee on COVID situation. Well who elected that committee? The Prime Minister I understand chairs it but these people who are making all of these proposals, why isn't Parliament doing this? Why is this being done in this committee that has been set up ostensibly temporarily to discuss these matters, why is it being done? This fundamentally changes how Thais and anyone in Thailand will live their life moving forward. Why is something this important being discussed by what is ostensibly a temporary committee? I am curious to know that. To me it would seem like the elected lawmakers that are in Parliament should be the ones, if we are going to be discussing this, they should be the ones discussing this rather than the CCSA just issuing this under Emergency Decree fiat. This is major. I mean again, quoting directly: "If approved, Disease Control measures would be eased for those with the Pass." So presumably those without the Pass are what? Barred from living their lives as normal folks?" “Like dining in at restaurants which is currently prohibited in "dark red zones". So I mean I am just sorry, and let me be clear, this is not an anti-vaccine video. I think vaccines are a modern miracle. Vaccinations have saved countless lives. There is no doubt about that and quite frankly we don't live with any of the diseases that easily killed our forbearers. Vaccinations, antibiotics are another example, are things that have caused the longevity of the human race to this point. My point is not to go a little off topic, it doesn't have anything to do with vaccinations. People decide to be vaccinated or not vaccinated whatever. That is up to them. Why is the government thinking that it is their prerogative and it is their right to tell the people, individuals, that "oh well if you don't put something into your body you can't live your life as you did in quarter 1 of 2020." Where did that come from? And why is the CCSA the one who is going to be telling us how this is all going to come down? Again, I mean at the very least one would think we could discuss this in Parliament rather than just this narrow committee, the body of which is made up of folks, some who like Prime Minister again chairs it but the vast majority of these people, Taweesilp is the spokesperson for it or heads it. He wasn't elected by anybody. This is a major proposal. Why is it just being rolled out as if it is just a foregone conclusion? And again, this doesn't have anything, if people choose to get vaccinated that is fine. That is great for them. If they choose not to be vaccinated that is fine for them too but now we are all going to have all of our personal prerogatives dictated by whether or not we are willing to inject something into our body and we are going to have to present paperwork that proves that in order to just go on with our lives. Moreover, once this gets implemented who is to say it doesn't change? That the mandate for this Pass becomes a Pass based on other criteria; non-medical related criteria. If you are of a certain demographic; pick your demographic. Oh if you are of a certain age well you are not allowed to do this now even though you are a legal adult or whatever. I mean there are a million ramifications to this and the second and third order effects are terrifying. I hope cooler heads, reasonable heads think this through carefully and we don't rush into something that results in basically a society that quite frankly I don't want to live in and I think reasonable people can say they would not want to live in. I understand there is a lot of heated positions on this. Again it is not about vaccination to me. If you choose to vaccinate, great that is fine, good for you. If you choose not to be vaccinated, that is your decision, it is up to you. But why is the Government now intervening and deciding that they get to change the way we live our lives or they are thinking about having to make us prove something in order to undertake basic rights; in order to exercise basic freedoms? I am sorry but I am categorically against this, and again I hope after folks reflect on this a little bit, take a breath we all say "hey maybe this isn't such a great idea". I especially have problems with it in light of the fact that it is only being discussed by folks that quite frankly are not representative of the people of Thailand as a whole. They are not elected folks in Parliament but to put not too fine a point on it, I just view this as a massive violation of basic human rights. Since when did being able to go to a restaurant, I mean this whole paradigm shift that ‘well to even be able to go out to a restaurant you basically have to go through all of these hoops’. Again, as I said, when looking at the past, regimes that have had anything that looked like this are places that most people now in hindsight say they wouldn't want to live. I understand Western countries have tried rolling this out. That doesn't make it right. I think they are making a terrible mistake and I wholeheartedly have disagreed with those regimes; I just hadn't seen it talked about here in Thailand because quite frankly I had hoped that we had frankly more sense than to think that this was a good idea. But now that this is being discussed, I just have to say I can't be on board with this and it is not a good idea. I think there are going to be all kinds of negative ramifications from this not least of which is just a gross infringement of basic freedom.