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Travel Bubble Tourism Versus Standard Admission to Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing yet again "travel bubbles" here in Thailand. 

For those who are unaware of the term, "travel bubble" is a recently created euphemism which is used to describe what can only for lack of a better term is kind of like a corridor that Thailand is looking to designate between countries they have deemed to have gotten the COVID-19 situation under control in order to allow folks to enter Thailand under a more expedited scheme wherein they don't have to undertake the levels of quarantine that other people do, which brings us to the title of this video which is "Travel Bubbles Versus Standard Immigration". This is where things are getting a little bit confusing for folks and I am hoping this video provides some level of clarification.

First of all let me preface what I am about to say by saying all of this is currently evolving. What we are saying right now may be the ultimate framework. It may look a lot like what the ultimate framework looks like or it may ultimately look very, very differently. We are going to try to keep you updated on this channel as things progress but for now, in order to put this into some perspective, it appears the authorities that are dealing with the COVID situation here in Thailand as well as the more general authorities and the specific Immigration Authorities as well as Tourism Authorities all seem to be trying to discern how best to go about reopening inbound foreign tourism and foreign travel in the near future. It appears that there is this kind of double track system. There are going to be two different tracks to be able to enter Thailand or at least from the time of this video that is how it appears based on my research; unfortunately in many ways I spend a lot of time researching what is going on with respect to inbound Thai Immigration.

To quote directly from a recent article in the Nation Thailand, that is nationthailand.com, the article is titled: Seven Groups of Foreigners Expected to be Allowed Entry. Quoting directly: "The Government plans to allow seven groups of foreigners to enter the country. The first group may not include those under so-called "travel bubble" International pact as they may be required to undertake state quarantine." They go into detail on this. They note: standard businessmen, skilled laborers, foreigners married to Thais and medical tourists may need to undertake quarantine. So that is what I would call the "Standard" category. Let me reiterate that. Sort of SMEs, small business folks, investors, skilled laborers, foreigners married to Thais and medical tourism and for those of you who want some detailed information check out this article directly. It is very insightful. 

Further, quoting directly: "The other group comprises travelers who won't need to go into quarantine on entry. So:  

1) Businessmen on short-duration stays including those coming into the country for business discussions. This group might need a specific area and intense screening both before traveling and arrival at airports. Considered a "power group", these are entrepreneurs who will visit the country to sign business contracts or inspect sites or factories which is essential to the economy.

2) Government guests who are invited for ceremonies or specific seminars.

3) Tourists under the "travel bubble". 

Dr. Taweesilp said that the target countries are China, Japan and South Korea which are presently trying to contain the virus.

It should be noted that in a later article about four days after this one, Dr. Taweesilp apparently came out and said that we are not going to be looking at actual "travel bubble" tourism, I think with a specific eye on those three countries that they were talking about until at least August 1; the "travel bubble" generally. Standard Immigration on the other hand I think we can see open up sooner. That being stated, it is going to require quarantine as opposed to "travel bubbles" which apparently will not require quarantine or will require some expedited process in order to avoid the delays caused by quarantine; so not needing to remain in one place for the same period of time. Exactly how this looks remains to be seen. 

The thing to take away from this video is it appears to me that they are creating this double track system. There is going to be the "travel bubble" way of getting in and then there is going to be the "standard way" of getting in; the standard way may require some sort of longer quarantine. 

Now, the other thing to remember with respect to this is presumably this is not going to go on forever. We are eventually going to see this come to an end and hopefully we will get back to sort of the status quo ante COVID, the status quo before we had to deal with that particular issue, but that remains to be seen as of the time of this video. We will continue to make videos updating you on this channel as the situation progresses.