Re: "Transparency essential for reopening," (Opinion, Oct 1).
I agreed with the writers regarding their suggestions on improving Covid management in the interests of a full reopening, but I think they missed a few issues which are hurting Thailand's prospects for a grand reopening success.
High reopening numbers to some extent start at the foreign embassy where long tourist visas and other visas are applied for.
Right now, many of the apps required to file for a visa and certificate of entry are poorly designed and glitchy, and this needs an overhaul. I'd also suggest increasing consulate staff to manage increased traffic, reopen embassies to vaccinated foreigners for walk-in service, and enact a policy whereby embassy/consulate workers leave their names on messages so applicants can talk to the same person about problems, rather than get passed from one representative to the next.
Additionally, there needs to be regional cooperation with neighbouring countries on best practices. My friend just took a regional tour in Europe and regretted it as the Covid policy was different in each place, resulting in many expensive tests and delays. If all the nearby countries are using a different rulebook, that will hurt tourism as many young travellers like visiting multiple countries next to Thailand.
Finally, I'd suggest the PM draft a committee with both embassy workers and expats to summarise the visa problems abroad and listen to advice. A grand reopening requires input from all stakeholders; especially average people whom the government needs to provide tourist and expat dollars.
JASON A JELLISON
More 90-day blues
The Thai Immigration Bureau website has a page which invites you to complete information to accomplish 90-day reporting online. If you fill in the boxes online, a message pops up saying, "For further information regarding the 90-day notification report service, please contact the Immigration branch office in your residence area."
Online 90-day reporting has not functioned for the Covid infection period. Therefore, those reporting, and Immigration Bureau staff, are unnecessarily exposed to infection.
Perhaps a PR person from the Thai Immigration Bureau can explain to Bangkok Post readers why the 90-day online reporting function at their website has been inoperable for more than a year, thereby putting the health and lives of many people at risk.
TOM IN PHUKET
Rules? What rules?
I live in Chiang Mai and can honestly say that risks associated with opening up the country to tourists will be greater than the government thinks.
When I shop at Rimping in Promenada Mall I witness numerous farang and Thais ignoring the temperature checks and contact tracing sign-in, especially when there is no security present. I have given up telling these fools to do the necessary checks and also emailed the Rimping head office.
If the government is naive enough to believe that tourists will adhere to Covid-prevention rules, they do not understand that many of these tourists come to Thailand because of the lack of rules or enforcement of rules.
Kudos to health staff
My sincere thanks to all the Thai nurses, doctors and allied health professionals for the difficult and dangerous work they are doing every day of the week on behalf of everyone in Thailand.
Your quiet professionalism under extreme pressure throughout 2021 is much appreciated.
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