Visas extended, relief measures approved

Visas extended, relief measures approved

Long queues of foreigners seeking to extend their visas at the Immigration office at Government Complex in Nonthaburi province on March 24. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Long queues of foreigners seeking to extend their visas at the Immigration office at Government Complex in Nonthaburi province on March 24. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The cabinet approved a second automatic visa extension for foreigners for three more months on Tuesday in a bid to prevent long queues at immigration centres and stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Foreigners whose visas had expired since March 26 will be permitted to stay until July 31 without having to apply for an extension, a spokeswoman said.

A similar extension was granted until April 30. To combat the Covid-19 outbreak, Thailand has since late March banned entry to foreigners, except diplomats and work-permit holders.

The cabinet also on Tuesday approved 98.7 billion baht in relief measures to help mitigate the impact of the outbreak, which is driving the country towards recession.

The economy could lose more than $40 billion and up to 10 million jobs due to the pandemic.

The government agreed to increase the number of workers receiving cash handouts to 14 million from 9 million, a spokeswoman said.

That will increase its total handout by 75 billion baht. Each worker receives 15,000 baht.

The government will also cut or waive electricity bills worth 23.7 billion baht for 22 million households.

The government has announced a series of steps worth billions of dollars to limit the impact of the outbreak. It plans to borrow 1 trillion baht to finance the measures.

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Vocabulary

  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • diplomat: an official whose job is to represent their government in a foreign country - นักการทูต
  • expire: to come to an end or stop being in use - หมดอายุ
  • extension: something that is added to make something longer, bigger, etc. - การยืดออก, การยืดขยาย, การเพิ่ม
  • grant: to give - ให้
  • handout: an amount of money or goods giving to people who need them - การให้ทาน
  • mitigate: to make something less harmful or serious - บรรเทา
  • pandemic: a disease that affects almost everyone in a very large area - โรคที่มีการแพร่กระจายหรือระบาดไปทั่ว
  • permit (verb): to allow someone to do something - อนุญาต, อนุมัติ, ยินยอม
  • recession: a period when trade and industry are not successful and there is a lot of unemployment - ภาวะเศรษฐกิจถดถอย
  • relief: money, food, medicine etc. that is given to help people in places where there has been a natural disaster, war, etc. - เครื่องบรรเทาสาธารณภัย
  • waive: to officially ignore a rule, right, or claim - ปลด

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