Pattaya Soi Yamato bar girls hopeful of long-stay visa

It might still be a while before Duangdao Mayson and her team see an influx of tourists.

News of a possible new long-stay visa for foreign tourists sparked hope among Pattaya bar workers.

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Duangdao Mayson, owner of the Number One June restaurant on Soi Yamoto, said she had continued to employ hostesses and care for the poor and homeless, but is hopeful that foreign tourists could return to Thailand this year.

Hopes were raised when the Cabinet approved a new tourist visa that allows tourists to enter Thailand under severe and expensive disease-prevention rules, stay in quarantine for 14 days, and remain in the country for 90 days.

More than 3 million tourists entered Thailand in October 2019. If the plan gets the go-ahead, a maximum 1,200 people will be allowed in this October.

Most of those will be very high-end tourists able to afford “alternative state quarantine” resorts costing 40,000-140,000 baht for the required two-week stay. They also will have to purchase health insurance with minimum coverage of US$100,000, another very costly impediment to traveling here.