What now for unlucky expats and visitors trapped in Thailand?

Published:  14 Jul at 6 PM
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As the end of the month approaches, thousands of expats and unlucky visitors trapped in Thailand due to the pandemic are fearing being thrown out of the country once their visa amnesties end.

Many of those affected will simply have nowhere to go as their countries’ borders are also closed. What threat to Thailand and its excellent handling of its pandemic do these trapped visitors and expats pose? They’re been here for months and are virus-free, yet are about to be thrown out like unwanted rubbish with many as yet having no way of getting into their home countries or anywhere else. Whilst they’re here, they’re spending money on rentals, food and other essentials, thus helping save Thai businesses which used to cater for the tourists who’re no longer arriving.

Some feel the Thai government has been generous in offering the amnesty in the first place, but the worldwide situation vis-a-vis the virus has worsened rather than improved as was expected. Many of those foreigners still here are desperate to get back to their home countries, but are literally unable to do so due to those countries’ regulations at this time. Others would be more than happy to pay whatever is requested for visas which allow them to stay until they can fly back home and be allowed to enter, even if a short period of quarantine is mandatory. A few would be more than happy to stay and help anyone who needs assistance.

A recent poll in an English language online media outlet makes for interesting reading, with the majority of respondents in favour of allowing another three-month extension conditional on registration with an immigration office of a current address. Other suggestions include encouraging trapped foreigners to help local tourism revenues by offering a similar stimulus to that now aimed at Thais. Only three per cent of the 1,648 respondents voted for enforcing the end of the amnesty, a result which says it all.
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