UPDATE: Malaysian drivers bewildered by Thailand Pass, as southern border reopens

THOU SHALL NOT PASS. That’s the message some northern-bound Malaysian travelers received when they tried to drive their vehicles into Thailand on yesterday morning, only to search out they’d forgotten crucial factor: you STILL have to register for Thailand Pass. In advance.
Thailand lastly reopened its land border with Malaysia on April 1 for travelers by private transportation. But it wasn’t precisely easy crusing for many who forgot that the beleaguered Thailand Pass system remains to be in place — and you’re required to register before entering the country. Apparently, not many people got the memo. Little greater than 100 Malaysians had registered earlier than the Sadao crossing in Songkhla province opened at 5 o’clock this morning, the Bangkok Post reported.
Bewilderment on the Border
A boarder city throughout from the Malaysian state of Kedah, Sadao is home to the primary land crossing with Malaysia, which had been closed for two years because of the pandemic. Local police, as well as soldiers, had been ready to supply help to customs officers today, in case things obtained out of hand. Probably, they have been prepared to arrest anybody who attempted to gun it across the border once they realized they didn’t have a stupid QR code and all that ridiculous paperwork, together with a Covid-19 vaccination certificate and proof of reservation/booking for a SHA further plus hotel, regardless of the heck that is.
According to native officers, some northern-bound Malaysians had been confused to search out that they couldn’t enter Thailand with merely a passport and proof of vaccination, like they could enter Singapore at their southern border beginning the same day. Thailand customs officials reportedly turned away would-be travellers who had failed to join the Thailand Pass system. In total, only 107 travel-ready Malaysians had jumped by way of all the right hoops to enter the Land of Smiles.
The Fortunate Few
Those Malaysians vacationers who had all their paperwork prepared were allowed to enter Thailand underneath the Test & Go scheme, the place they had been required to take an RT-PCR take a look at, then wait at their SHA further plus resort for about 5 hours for the results. According to officials, those that test negative will be free to roam the country. But the incoming foreigners mustn’t forget the legislation of the land — to at all times put on a mask in public and wash your arms often. Anyone who exams positive for the virus will be “treated” — i.e. quarantined at one Sadao’s 7 SHA additional plus licensed hotels.
Ryan Lih was one of the fortunate few who entered Thailand at the Sadao crossing yesterday by way of Test & Go with the first batch of drivers from Malaysia. He stated he had applied for Thailand Pass seven days prematurely and received his QR code the same day…. “There’s no fooling anyone. Many Malaysians are both not web savvy sufficient to read/follow the news about the necessities [or] just assumed the old processes, by which they find out the exhausting way.”
Local officials say they’ve set up a coordination centre to assist the incoming guests, yesterday most of whom have families or companies in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported. Meanwhile, other checkpoints in provinces alongside Thailand’s southern border are also scheduled to reopen at present, the Bangkok Post reported.
Local officers identified that extra overseas travellers might now enter the nation using the Thailand Pass system for the rationale that the federal government has already relied the Covid-19 travel requirements underneath the Test & Go scheme. However, that was clearly No risk for many who mistakenly thought they could get in with only a Malaysian passport and nothing more. Indeed, that used to be the case. Welcome to the model new normal.
A Better Way
The situation along Thailand’s southern border presents a stark distinction to Malaysia’s southern border with Singapore, which also repoened yesterday for the first time since two years of pandemic — with out the pandemic-era necessities of Covid-19 testing and quarantine. Now fully-vaccinated travellers can freely cross the land boarder on the southern end of the Malay peninsula with solely a valid passport and proof of vaccination. Children as much as age 12 who aren’t totally vaccinated should be accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult.
Lines of cars, bikes and people on foot started forming at border crossings earlier than midnight and had efficiently crossed over by 1am, CNA reported. As of 7am, greater than 11 thousand travellers had handed via the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints, based on the the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, which had arrange new automated lanes to accommodated the anticipated inflow of travellers.
At the Woodlands Checkpoints, a couple of hundred people lined as much as board the cross-border shuttle buses early within the morning and autos honked as they crossed over to the other aspect, CNA reported… “People cheered and waved their palms as they approached the barricades.”
The border reopening follows bilateral agreements from Singapore and Malaysia to ease their pandemic-era journey restrictions, as the 2 nations embrace living-with-covid methods in an effort to end the pandemic restore normal rhythms of life amongst their populations in Southeast Asia.
Last week, Singapore and Malaysia well being ministers said that their nations were working together to completely resume air and land travel for vaccinated travellers. In the pre-pandemic period, the 2 countries shared one of many busiest land crossings in the world.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post | CNA

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