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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsAre the Thai Chana and Mor Chana Contact Tracing Apps Mandatory?

Are the Thai Chana and Mor Chana Contact Tracing Apps Mandatory?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thai Chana and Mor Chana Contact Tracing Apps here in Thailand.

We have made a couple of videos on this channel regarding this. I have had a lot of questions on this in the past week as there has been a lot of back and forth from the Government with respect to the need to use this app etc. To be clear, what this is, is it is an app for your smartphone that basically, when you enter premises, you have to check in using this app. It traces people in an effort to try to understand who has come into contact with this virus etc. As I said, one day in the Bangkok Post print edition it said "Oh there is going to be criminal penalties associated with lack of using the Thai Chana and the Mor Chana app; either, or.” Then the next day the Prime Minister seems to have come out and countermanded that so I have had a lot of people that are confused. What is the policy?  Recently I found this on, the article is titled: Government Gazette: App use, Corrupt Officials and Direct Report Line to PM Added to Emergency Decree. I thought this summed things up as well as we can and then I am going to provide a little bit of analysis on how I think this should be viewed. Quoting directly: "People should have the Mor Chana and Thai Chana applications on their phones." So let's go back: "people should have", let's keep that in mind. Quoting further: "Though the Government has performed a U-turn on saying that people could be prosecuted for not having the apps, their inclusion in the Emergency Decree legislation now means that any possible penalties would be much more severe, notes Thai Visa." Hats off to Thai Visa, the folks over there. It is a good analysis.

I think the way to look at this at least as of the time of this video is, usage of this app is being strongly encouraged; the best way I have to sum it up. There could be penalties associated with disuse or not using the app intentionally, whatever. Again, the Prime Minister came out and specifically said "No, it is not mandatory in the sense that you will be prosecuted for it but in light of the language in the Emergency Decree, the way things are at least to take measure of the situation in the moment, I think the best way to describe the situation is "usage of these apps is strongly encouraged". Now there are people, especially some of our older viewers and folks that are clients of mine here in the firm that are older that actually don't use smartphones and there still is an analog system for going into places.  If you don't use a smartphone, you basically sign in a check-in list of everybody who comes in to a given location. Again, this is going to be very circumstantially dependent. I do not think that viewers of this channel should be worried that "Oh if I don't have my phone and I don't have the app I am going to be prosecuted if something happens" No I think that the PM made that clear. But I think that the Emergency Decree and also certain statements from folks on the CCSA makes it clear that this is being strongly encouraged right now because I think there is a great deal of consternation associated with the recent "second wave" of this overall disease and folks are just concerned about it. As a result they are, again I think the right verbiage is "strongly encouraging" everyone to use this application.