Thailand rushes to contain oil spill after undersea leak
Thailand's navy and pollution experts battled Thursday to clear up an oil spill close to pristine holiday beaches, after an undersea pipeline leaked up to 50 tonnes of crude. The kingdom's Pollution Control Department has warned that the spill in the Gulf of Thailand, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) off the coast of Rayong province, could threaten a national park in nearby Ko Samet island. Weak currents have kept the oil away from coastal areas and there has been no reported impact on marine life or seafood farming, officials said.
Thailand will resume its quarantine-free travel scheme from February 1, officials said Thursday, after the programme was suspended due to the fast-spreading Omicron Covid-19 variant. © Mladen ANTONOV Pandemic travel curbs have hammered Thailand's tourism-dominated economy, sending visitor numbers dwindling to a trickle
Pandemic travel curbs have hammered the kingdom's tourism-dominated economy, sending visitor numbers dwindling to a trickle.
Fully vaccinated travellers will now be able to enter under the "test and go" scheme as long as they take Covid tests on the first and fifth days after arriving, spokesman for the country's Covid-19 taskforce Taweesin Visanuyothin told reporters.
Hawaii governor considering Covid boosters as part of travel rules
Hawaii may soon require travelers arriving from the US and its territories to have a Covid booster shot if they want to travel to the islands without quarantine or testing requirements. © Alamy Stock Ala Wai Harbor at dusk, Oahu, Hawaii. Gov. David Ige said on a recent livestream show with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper that his office is considering changing its definition of "fully vaccinated" from two doses of an approved Covid vaccine to three.
Visitors will have to isolate at a hotel while waiting for their test results and will be required to download a tracking app to ensure they comply with the rules.
Seeking to bounce back from its worst economic performance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Thailand launched the "test and go" scheme in November as an alternative to two weeks' hotel quarantine.
The programme was suspended late last month over fears about Omicron, but with deaths and hospitalisations not spiking, Taweesin said it could resume, though the authorities will keep it under review.
"In case there are more infections or the situation changes, there will be a re-assessment for inbound travellers and adjust toward the sandbox scheme," Taweesin said.
Under the sandbox programme launched last year as a first step towards resuming tourism, fully jabbed visitors spend seven nights in certain designated locations, such as the resort island of Phuket, before being allowed to travel on to the rest of Thailand.
In a further relaxation of Covid restrictions, restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol until 11:00 pm -- easing the current 9:00 pm cut-off.
The tourism ministry estimates that some five million foreign visitors will come to Thailand in 2022 -- down from nearly 40 million in the year before the pandemic.
Berlinale 2022: So the film festival will take place this year .
The Berlinale 2022 takes place - at the usual period in February. The hygiene concept is, on parties is dispensed with, but not on the red carpet. We look shortly back to dealing with the Berlinale with the Pandemic - and explain what is already clear today via the festival edition 2022. © Provided by Tipberlin The Berlinale 2022 will take place: the concept for this year is.