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


A crazy day in The Thaiger office as we pushed out all the latest Test & Go Thailand Pass information as quick as we could, translated and checked. I forgot a number of necessary meetings as we knew folks wanted to know what was happening with the Thailand Pass. We needed to know too as we are additionally immediately affected by the peaks and troughs of the Covid rollercoaster.
It was irritating, very unhappy and kind of surreal. We’d been eagerly posting positive stories for the previous month as it appeared the Land of Smiles was, indeed, getting its ‘smile’ back on and there was hope in the air, even with some bars beginning to open up once more, whether or not they have been legally meant to or not.
But this latest edict from the Thai Government, by way of the CCSA, was a shock. Even we didn’t think they’d shelve the Test & Go and Sandbox applications. But they did.
“Registration is closing right now for travellers wishing to enter Thailand underneath the Test & Go quarantine exemption program, and the Sandbox entry scheme, aside from Phuket. In an urgent assembly 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 government will evaluation the state of affairs after the vacations on January 4.”

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

As it was, the uptake of the Thailand Pass applications since November 1 had been lukewarm, at best. The actual arrivals of tourists were nicely underneath the predictions of the TAT and throw any predictions for 2022 into complete disarray.
The question for Thailand’s authorities now is… what next?

After a short second of celebration for Christmas and new Year (then again, perhaps we’re being overly optimistic that we’ll even get to New Year without extra restrictions), there will be some type of reckoning about the real-world impact of Omicron, in Thailand and everywhere else.

We already know that the variant is roughly 7 instances extra contagious, but we nonetheless don’t know the long run signs as it’s relatively new and Omicron continues to be incubating in many 1000’s of individuals.
Early anecdotal accounts say that Omicron seems to be much less dangerous. But the sheer weight of numbers should still result in a selection of hospitalisations (or even deaths) that governments find unacceptable.
Let’s hope that these early observations are backed up with knowledge to support a hopeful prognosis for those changing into contaminated. As to the keyboard warriors that diss Omicron out of hand, with little more 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 most effective case state of affairs, we’re heading into one other period of world uncertainty surrounding Omicron and the evolution of the Covid pandemic.

There are also, looming, numerous advanced geo-political and economic occasions which may be teetering. In no particular order, the fallout of the Evergrande/Sinic Holdings/China Properties Group/Fantasia defaults, the viagra-fuelled US stock market, important shortages and world supply chain issues, and international locations staggering underneath growing inflation with their economies flagging.
Omicron, or more specifically, the response of governments to Omicron, goes to push some, or all, of those points to Def Con 1. Guide of those may turn out to be real black swan occasions that can have an effect on hundreds of thousands of people and sluggish the global recovery for years, or decades. Except that they’re not likely black swans… we’ve seen many of those coming for at least the last 2 years.
For Thailand, the early months of 2022 shall be very difficult. There merely won’t be many worldwide travellers. Even if Thailand abruptly reopened its borders and removed all restrictions, who is coming at this time?
Thailand could have all the most effective intentions in the world but the vacationers have to come back from somewhere and, given what’s occurred since November 1 this year, it’s troublesome to imagine where the following wave of spending tourists might be arriving from.
On a optimistic observe, as I seemed around our workplace as we have been posting this dreadful information, I was comforted by the fact that all of us have been wholesome, working, committed and protected. But we’re also desperately sad for the hundreds who had been coming to go to the nation we love and revel in what we’re fortunate enough to call home every single day.
The Thaiger will bring you all the newest, confirmed news, accurately and in a well timed manner..

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