Grapevine: Foreigners last – September 10, 2021


Worth a try
If you have registered for vaccination but then have not heard a word, there’s an email service which appears to work for many disappointed foreigners. Send a message to [email protected] Apparently it’s run by the Department of Disease Control (government agency) with access to all foreigner bookings and requests.

Quarantine-free Pattaya
Pattaya authorities have not given up on the idea of allowing fully-vaccinated international vacationers to visit here without quarantine by October 1. But the big issue is whether or not the resort area can vaccinate, at least with one jab, 70 percent of the host population by then. At present, it’s less than half that rate by any calculation.

Population statistics
It’s often asked how many people live in Pattaya. It’s rather like asking how many holes in a football net. Around half the local Thais living here have not registered here, so retain their identity in their previous province. So if the government refers to “70 percent of the locals,” it really means 70 percent of the 50 percent actually on the register here.

Vaccination times
Once you get your first shot, the instruction when to appear for your second one differs a lot according to the brand you receive. Can be anywhere from three weeks to three months. The longest interval appears to be the Astra Zeneca vaccine with a gap of 11-12 weeks. Whether this is due to antibodies slowly building up or a shortage of the vaccine is unclear.

Don’t serve yourself
The authorities don’t want you serving yourself at restaurant buffets and instruct that you must not remain in the food area for more than one hour. The Department of Health explains you should be eating, not gossiping, and the sooner you are full back on the street, the better for everyone. Covid has taken so much of the fun out of living.

Barber rules
Sorry but there’s no way that the city’s hairdressers are only cutting hair (no other tariff items) and refusing to service walk-in customers. After six weeks off work, they are pretty desperate to make some money again. The important thing about rules is that they must bear some similarity to what happens at ground level. Don’t ask for the moon please.

Sign in please
Use of the Mor Chana app to sign in at venues such as malls seems to have almost completely evaporated. People are dutifully writing their name or initials on a list and adding a phone number which may (or may not) be theirs. But the idea that these lists are useful if an outbreak is discovered is doubtful. The temperature check at the door is probably more reliable.

Another branch opens
Another franchiser of Texas Chicken is about to open on the South Pattaya Road, roughly opposite Tukcom. It’s worth looking at their menu as they have a lot of takeout items nothing to do with chicken. For example, beef burgers and garlic biscuits so check out their fast food options which are more plentiful than you might think.

Shortage of Brits
Best not to expect a British revival in Pattaya any time soon. Not only do they face 14 days hotel quarantine on arrival, but a further 10 days of enforced hotel isolation on their return owing to Thailand now being a high-risk country in the UK’s categorization of countries. Right now a month in Thailand, plus two quarantines, might add up to four or five thousand pounds.

Bangkok Airways debacle
The hacking of the airline’s customer data base has led to warnings galore. But what can you actually do? Change your passwords to be sure on any financial sites. But the main problems seems to be attempts at phishing online or phoning you with fraudulent intent. Be very careful at present if you get a phone call allegedly from BA or from your credit card company.