Advance Blog

January 14, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 13 January 2022

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollHospitalised/ intensive care patients
8,167 (239 from aboard; 12 from prisons), excluding 1,789 ATKs2,300,457 (last seven days: 55,207)14 (last seven days: 106)70,594/ 520
Total vaccination1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July)
107,771,259 (+  499,355)51,642,575 (+49,703)47,172,252 (+116,093)8,956,432 (+333,559)
  • The CCSA spokesperson has concerns over the spike of cases in the tourist prototype areas (blue), particularly in Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani. The two provinces saw the cases skyrocketed to be at three digits and rising.—Thai Rath
  • Thai Enquirer got information from a senior official at the Ministry of Public Health that Thailand’s “Test and Go” travel scheme, which enabled vaccinated visitors to visit the country without quarantine, is unlikely to return until the middle of 2022 due to the emerging Omicron strains.—Thai Enquirer
  • Chinese Ambassador made a courtesy call to Deputy PM Gen Prawit and have discussed several issues, including the acceptance of Thai students back to China.–Matichon

Politics

  • Thailand’s cabinet has backed a plan to buy four American fighter jets starting in the next fiscal year with a budget of 13.8 billion baht ($413.67 million) set aside for the procurement.
  • Thailand’s currently has 12 JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets made by Sweden’s Saab (SAABb.ST) and dozens of American F-16 and F-5 jets, some of which have been in operation since the late 1980s.–Reuters
  • A security agency has come up with the idea of refurbishing the Government House fence to be as high as 4 meters in a bid to beef up its security.–Matichon
  • The Criminal Court has extended the bail of Panusaya ‘Rung’—a student-led protest leader–until 25 May 2022. She has been granted the extended bail on the royal defamation case that she wore crop top costume at Siam Paragon.—Thai Rath

Economic

  • The government eyes collecting 300 Baht from all tourists entering Thailand, starting from 1 April this year.  Revenue from this tax will go into the National Tourism Promotion Fund, of which 50 Baht will be used for tourist insurance coverage in case of accident and death, while the rest is for infrastructure improvement.  The tax will be added to the airfare, the process of which is expected to be finalised in March.  The government expects the tax to generate revenue worth 800 billion Baht from the 5 million visitors forecasted for this year.  The implementation of the tax was postponed from its initial date of January 2021, but was postponed.  Sources:  ThaiPBS  Krungthep Turakij
  • The Thai Hotels Association proposed that the 300 Baht tourism tax has to be put off until at least 2023, when the sector is rebuilt from the ground.  The Association reasoned that the tax will have a psychological impact on tourists and will adversely impact the already fragile tourism industry.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Revenue Department plans to finalise the discussion on cryptocurrency capital gains tax with stakeholders on 20 January and aims to announce details on tax collection process and tax rates later this month.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Despite the rising objections against the collection of capital gain tax on cryptocurrency trading and financial transaction tax on share sales, the Ministry of Finance still insists it will go ahead and implement both types of taxes.  The Revenue Department has established a team featuring representatives from Revenue Department, Digital Thai Asset Association and other relevant agencies to study potential methods in collecting these taxes.  Asia Plus company estimates that the taxes will earn the government 21.3 billion Baht of revenue.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij
  • The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is maintaining GDP growth forecast for 2022 at 3-4.5 percent on the scenario that the government will not impose the lockdown and that tourism recovers in Q2.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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