Sun, 24 Oct 2021

BANGKOK -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced Monday a plan to allow fully-vaccinated visitors from "low risk" countries and regions to enter the Southeast Asian country without quarantine from next month.

"I have instructed the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Ministry of Public Health to urgently consider within this week to allow, as of Nov. 1, international visitors to enter Thailand without any requirement for quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and arrive by air from low-risk countries," Prayut said via a televised address.

The list will initially include at least 10 countries and regions, such as Britain, Singapore, Germany, China and the United States, Prayut said. It is expected to be finalized later this week by the CCSA.(Thailand-COVID-19-Reopening)

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TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that he would first realize economic growth in Japan before redistributing wealth, during questioning by opposition lawmakers over his policy speech last week ahead of a House of Representatives election.

Kishida emphasized that he would not immediately seek to increase the tax rate on capital gains or other financial assets, saying, "Unless there is growth there is nothing to distribute. It is important to seek growth first, and I will do my utmost to realize it," in response to questions by Yukio Edano, head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, in the lower house.

Brokers said that a potential tax hike from Kishida's government partly triggered the sharp decline in Tokyo stocks last week.(Japan-PM-Growth)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's inter-state and national borders are finally open starting Monday, with many hailing the move as the start to a return to normalcy.

The easing of travel restrictions is for those who are fully vaccinated, including to return to their respective hometowns to meet with loved ones and for tourism purposes, following an announcement by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Sunday.(Malaysia-COVID-19-Tourism)

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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia has cancelled the annual three-day Water Festival for the second consecutive year to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said on Monday.

The festival was scheduled to take place from Nov. 18 to 20. Water Festival is one of the largest festivals in the Southeast Asian nation, attracting hundreds of thousands of people from rural provinces to capital Phnom Penh to enjoy a regatta along a stretch of the Tonle Sap river in front of the Royal Palace.

Cambodia reported a daily record of 258 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total caseload to 115,068.(Cambodia-Water Festival-Pandemic)

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JAKARTA -- The Indonesian government has cut the quarantine period for international visitors from eight to five days according to the coronavirus incubation phase, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Monday.

Indonesia will reopen international flights to Bali on Oct. 14 for foreign visitors who come from countries with a positivity rate of less than five percent and have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.(Indonesia-COVID-19 Quarantine)

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