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THAILAND: KEY UPDATES DURING COVID-1924-Aug-2020


 

The COVID-19 outbreak has seriously shaken our world and disrupted global economies at an unprecedented scale. It could be long before we see the country’s economy returning to the pre-pandemic level with a strong GDP, but we continue to witness encouraging signs showing us the path to a slow recovery.

Thailand ranked first for its handling of the crisis in the latest Global COVID-19 index (GCI) report published on the 28th of July. Among the top 20 countries with the highest recovery index, neighboring countries such as South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam were also praised for their effective methods.

Thailand also continues to perform outstandingly on its employment and inflation indexes, ranking 1st in the world for the second year in a row in the Bloomberg Misery Index ahead of Singapore and Japan, while the USA, Israel, Panama and Iceland saw their ranking drop significantly.

However, there is still a growing pressure on the Thai government to re-open the borders as tourism is expected to drop by more than 70% this year, which contributes about 14% of the Thai GDP.

 

 

Local Stimuli

On August 4th the country announced that there had been no local transmission recorded for the last 10 weeks, as new cases were imported by returning citizens and residents or newly arrived foreign residents. With an early introduction of health and safety measures, strict travel restrictions, a long lockdown period and a strict quarantine process, Thailand has showed a real dedication to combat the spread of the virus locally.

On the other hand, to contain negative economic growth in these difficult times, the government has put into place a financial stimulus package with soft loans to support local businesses and individual relief packages to help those who lost their jobs or saw their activity significantly reduced.

Impact on the Real Estate Market

One of the biggest consequences of COVID-19 worldwide is the number of job losses and closed businesses, even temporarily. In Thailand, we have witnessed since May-June a wave of expats forced to return to their country or to downsize their housing budget. This has led to a higher number of properties available for sale and for rent on the market, an ideal moment for those who are looking to expand their living space or move to a different neighborhood as their contract terminates.

Despite the rapid surge in the volatility of financial markets seen globally, the Thai Bath remains relatively stable against the US Dollar, showing that international investors consider the Thai economy strong and resilient, and Thailand a safe place to invest in. It has though depreciated by circa 5% against the Euro in the same period, mostly due to the unprecedented support plan voted by European countries at the peak of the crisis.

Preparing for the Future
  • Thai citizens,
  • non-Thai residents,
  • non-Thai spouses and families,
  • persons with diplomatic or consular missions,
  • non-Thai local students,
  • non-Thai with a work permit,
  • people coming for medical tourism,
  • those who have a special invitation from the government.

 

In order to stimulate the local economy, the government is encouraging local tourism among the expat community and Thai local regions that have been severely hit by the sudden cessation of tourist arrivals in the peak of the high-season. Banks are also supporting businesses by offering no interest credit to encourage local consumerism.

Coming to Thailand

Thailand is preparing and planning ahead in order to reopen its borders to Tourism, but this will be done gradually. This said the country has officially reopened its borders to new categories of foreigners.

Here what you should know:

  • Have a proof that you book and paid for a hotel for the 14 days’ compulsory quarantine. Please note that some hotels offer some COVID-19 quarantine package. Contact us for more details about the list of hotels selected by the government.
  • Ensure to have a valid visa and a Certificate of Entry – both delivered by Thai embassies - when you arrive: the visa service on arrival has been suspended until the 30th of September 2020.
  • Have health insurance to cover any medical expenses while you are traveling
  • Check your flight status: The Civil Aviation Authority in Thailand has decided to extend the restrictions for commercial flights arriving in Thailand (with some exceptions) until the 31st of August 2020. Most expats are therefore coming to Thailand with repatriation flights.
  • Keep your masks on arrival: You should expect to be asked to wear your masks at all time in public spaces in the country,
  • Provide a health certification of fewer than 72 hours showing a negative result to the COVID-19 test.
  • Pass the classic thermal scan on arrival
  • Download the AOT Airport of Thailand app to monitor your symptoms

 

The Anantara Riverside & Grande Center Point 55 in Bangkok are some of the establishments selected by the government as Alternative State Quarantine Hotels. They offer relevant specific packages to accommodate inbound travelers during the imposed quarantine

How we can help

During these strange times, it could be a good time to consider:

  • For landlords: Increase the value of your property by taking time to renovate or refurbish it before the arrival of new foreigners who look to relocate to Thailand for work or retirement with their families,
  • For tenants: Evaluate what is now available for your budget or choose to upgrade for a bigger living space if your tenancy contract is approaching the end date. Some properties have become available at a great price under these current circumstances.
  • For buyers and investors: More properties are now available for sale from luxury houses to premium standing condominiums. Depending on the type of property or investment you are looking for, there are many great bargains to make.

Our team of experts remains available to help you with your project or answer any questions you may have in regards to property search or management. Contact us by email at contact@senseproperty.com or phone +66(0) 2 005 12 59.

 

For more information:

https://covid19.pemandu.org/#rank

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/file/situation/situation-no205-280763.pdf

https://www.who.int/thailand/emergencies/novel-coronavirus-2019/getting-to-thailand-during-covid-19-outbreak

 

 

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