Advance Blog

June 30, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 30 June 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
4,786 (127 from prisons)259,301 [last seven days: 30,762]1,911/ 556207,479230,4386,910,169 (+189,131) AZ: 147,292 SN: 28,603 SP: 13,236 10.44% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
4,650 [3,303 (get tested in hospital) + 1,347 (active case finding)]9 (in SQ)49,799 [27,329 in field hospital]72,819 (+1,826)2,023 (+53) [last seven days: 279]9,672,706 (+255,734) 14.61% of the population2,762,537 (+66,603) AZ: 714 SN: 65,877 SP: 12 4.17% of the population
  • Yesterday’s afternoon, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Don signed on a letter of acceptance of 1.05 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Japanese government. The letter has made several conditions including the regulation for the vaccine not to be used for military purposes, regulation to reveal any information as per requested and regulation not to ship the vaccine to other governmental agencies without prior written permission from Tokyo. The deputy government spokesperson said that the vaccine distribution is part of the Japanese Free and Open Indo-Pacific Concept.–ThaiPBS
  • In a bid to help curb the spread of the virus, the cabinet yesterday cancelled 27 July holiday (earlier it was the substitute of Buddhist Lent Day).—Krungthep Turakij
  • In defiance against the government order to ban the dine-in services in Greater Bangkok, the head of the National Security Council who also heads the Operation Centre of the CCSA has asked for cooperation from the restaurants owners in abiding the regulations to curb the pandemic. The #WhatIfWeAreGoingToOpen has made it to the top Twitter trending calling for people to defy against the abrupt order. The NSC leader said that the CCSA will decide again after the measures have been in place for 15 days (earlier in the Gazette, it said the measure will be there for initially 30 days). –Krungthep Turakij
  • The government spokesperson said that the PM has reiterated the government request for cooperation on private sector continuing its Work From Home scheme as the numbers of companies are not complying.—Prachachat Turakij

Politics

  • The main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) leader General Prawit has assigned two MPs as deputy PPRP secretary-general (Nirote Suntornlekha and Pai Leeke).—Krungthep Turakij
  • A former Red-shirt leader Sombat Boonngamanong introduced a ‘new normal’ of protesting against the government by honking in front of the Government House on Saturday before conducting a caravan nationwide.—Naew Na
  • A group led by Progressive Movement and student protest leaders under the name Re-Solution handed over 150,000 signatures to the House Speaker requesting for the Constitutional Amendment.–Matichon
  • Last night, ousted and self-exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra was on his weekly Club House session grilling the PM management. He also mentioned that  he used to talk with PPRP secretary-general Captain Thammanat. The former PM advised the PPRP campaigner to listen to criticism and will be a great politician in the future.–Matichon

Economic:

Phuket Sandbox & Tourism

  • On 29 June, the Royal Gazette published an announcement formalizing the launch of Phuket Sandbox on 1 July.  The announcement clarified the procedures required for Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue Certificate of Entry (COE) for all tourists prior to their arrival.  Previously tourists have cancelled their trips to the island as the MFA was unable to issue the COEs due to the lack of clear instructions from the government.  Airlines also had to cancel their flights accordingly.  With the announcement gazetted at such a late stage, the number of tourists visiting Phuket on 1 July is forecasted to be less than anticipated.  Sources:  Prachachat Turakij  Poojadkarn Online  Post Today
  • Tourism Council of Thailand forecasts that foreign tourist arrivals could reach 3 million this year under the best-case-scenario and only 1 million arrivals under the worst-case-scenario if Bangkok remained closed and Chinese tourists are not allowed to travel outside their country.  The Tourism confidence index in Q2 of 2021 plummeted to its lowest point as 2 million people in hospitality sector have lost their job, up from 1.45 million in Q1.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Reuters

Cabinet’s decisions, 29 June 2021: Relief Measures

  • Approved for 7 state-owned financial institutions to extend debt relief measures for another 6 months, starting from June/July.  These institutions have provided loans worth 3.46 trillion Baht since February 2020 to 7.56 million SMEs and individuals.  The Government Savings Bank will also increase its soft loan tenor to a maximum of 7 years from 5 years, and extend grace period for principal repayment to 2 years from 1 year.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Ministry of Finance Press Release
  • Approved an 8.5-billion-Baht relief package to ease the impacts of the government’s latest COVID-19 restrictions in Bangkok and 5 surrounding provinces for 1 momth.  Of the 8.5 billion Baht, 5 billion will be allocated from the 1 trillion Baht loan and 3.5 billion Baht from the Social Security Fund.  The relief package is applicable to 4 groups:

Group 1: Employees registered under Section 33 of the Social Security system will be paid 50 percent of the wage on the basis of force majeure, but not exceeding the ceiling of 7,500 Baht.

Group 2: Social Security Section 33 employees with Thai nationality will receive an additional 2,000 Baht from the government on top of the Social Security force majeure compensation. 

Group 3:  Section 33 employers will be paid 3,000 Baht for each employee that they employ, with the maximum number being 200 employees.  If they employ 1 employee, the employer will receive 3,000 Baht; if they have 2 employees, the employer will be paid 6,000 Baht, for example.

Group 4: For unregistered employers and employees, they are urged to register with Social Security system within July to be entitled to compensations.  Once registered under Section 33, each employee will be paid 2,000 Baht and employers 3,000 Baht for each employee under their employment. 

  • Restaurant operators who are unable to register with Social Security because they have no employees must register through the Theung Ngern application under the government’s Khon La Kreung co-payment scheme within July.  Once registered, they will be paid 3,000 Baht.
  • Operators of food and drink shops who are registered with the government’s Khon La Kreung co-payment scheme but are not registered with Social Security system because they have no employees will be paid 3,000 Baht.
  • Operators of food and drink shops who have employees and are registered with the government’s Khon La Kreung co-payment scheme but not with the Social Security system must register with Social Security system.  Once registered, they will be paid 3,000 Baht.  Sources:  Naew Na Krungthep Turakij  Bangkok Post

Others

  • Employees insured under Section 40 of the Social Security System who are affected by COVID-19 will be contributing less to social security fund as published in the Royal Gazette on 27 June.  Insured employees will see their monthly contributions reduced to 60 percent of the original amount from August 2021 – January 2022.    Source:  Daily News
  • Thai investors posted record net portfolio outflow in Q4 of 2020 after the Bank of Thailand relaxed offshore investment regulations as part of its foreign exchange ecosystem policy to manage the Baht.  Net portfolio outflow for Thai investors (retail and institutional) rose to USD17.8 billion Baht in Q4 2020 compared with an average of USD3.1 billion per year from 2010 – 2019.  The number of retail invstors in offshore markets also rose significantly as global economy recovered and the Bank of Thailand relaxed regulations on offshore investments.  Source:  Bangkok Post Krungthep Turakij
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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