Is Thailand a safe place to live

Two weeks quarantine hotel from 1200 euros : How a German experiences Corona life in Thailand

Vacation or work under Thailand's sun - a dream for many, especially in these gray winter days with strict corona restrictions. Around 30 degrees, many spas, fitness clubs, diving centers, shops and restaurants are (again) open. And home office, which quite a few Germans complain about, is often a place in Bangkok that they only know from afar.

Officially, a total of 16,221 Covid 19 infections were only counted among the 70 million Thais by Thursday. That is less than recently in a single day in Germany with its 83.7 million people.

However, according to the Thai Tourism Authority, the curve rose rapidly by 959 cases on Tuesday alone, and on Thursday there were still 756 new patients. Nonetheless, the government apparently wants to ease the restrictions further.

New rules are planned for the weekend. "I feel a lot safer here than in Germany," Vanessa Steinmetz said in a Skype conversation on Thursday. Her boxing studio has reopened and she works with her colleagues in the office on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok.

Bangkok is still a so-called “red zone”. In the office they work in shifts because of the second wave, there she sits without a mask. The locals not only wear masks in public transport or in the supermarket, but generally on the street, everyone, she has observed.

Two weeks quarantine hotel from 1200 euros - before the stay begins

“Hats off, at 30 degrees you sweat a lot. This is different from ten degrees in Germany. If someone is out and about without a mask, then that's always a foreigner. ”The 35-year-old has now bought thinner fabric masks, and she always wears one too:“ Then that's the way it is. ”

FFP2 wore them when the air was bad outside recently. “I don't know if that will help in this case,” she says with a laugh. She doesn't have to search long for supplies. “You can find surgical masks and even more stylish ones in vending machines, like sweets in Germany.” She finds that very practical.

But to get to this felt paradise, she had to take some hardships - and pay a lot of money. And the Foreign Office continues to expressly advise against unnecessary tourist trips. The 14 days of strict quarantine did not scare Vanessa Steinmetz when she got her new job as regional project coordinator at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in November.

The former Spiegel journalist soon had all the required papers - including a visa, health certificate, corona test, health insurance with at least $ 100,000 coverage and Covid-19 treatment option. Then she had to book a special quarantine hotel.

Expensive is not the same as luxury

“They cost the equivalent of 1200 euros,” says Vanessa Steinmetz with a sigh. But that doesn't mean that you have great luxury. But, as almost always, there are offers that cost considerably more and offer a slightly more pleasant 14-day prison.

Meanwhile, among the approved quarantine hotels, there are also golf houses with exits within the resort subject to conditions, if you can measure your fever. Before she even got into her quarters, Vanessa Steinmetz was "checked five times" at the usually very bustling airport, which had mutated into a ghost town.

[If you want to have all the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic live on your mobile phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]

"There I was sitting on a chair like in a classroom and someone next to me." Soldiers also monitor this in some cases. “But how nice everyone is! It's not as difficult ”as in many other countries.

“From the airport, a driver from the hotel immediately went into quarantine”, getting some fresh air after the long flight: none. There is no escaping it. Her room wasn't that small, but being alone in a few square meters gnawed more at her than she thought.

“When I got up in the morning, all my friends in Germany were in bed because of the time difference. I couldn't call anyone. ”So Vanessa Steinmetz jumped into fitness. An hour's workout before showering - "in the hotel you could order a fitness bike and yoga mats in your room, many do that", but "for a lot of money".

So far, only married people have been allowed to share a room, but that has changed. During the quarantine there are several corona tests, whoever is positive has to go to the hospital immediately, not back home.

Eat three times a day - a highlight, even if it's bad

Eating three times a day was a “highlight” for her because something would happen then, but she didn't like it. “And I'm a vegetarian. It's not as easy here as you might think. There's fish sauce almost everywhere. ”In between, her boss got her something and left it at reception. In the meantime, the quarantine guests can also order outside and have something delivered.

At the moment, the restrictions change almost daily - and they vary considerably from province to province. The list of regulations is long. “I wouldn't recommend that at the moment to go backpacking through the country and do island hopping,” says Vanessa Steinmetz.

It can happen very quickly that a province forbids entry from a particularly polluted zone - and then you get stuck there. Because the governors can decide for themselves. “I wanted to fly to Krabi at the weekend. But I'll let that be now. "

"I have heard of anti-foreigner feelings, but I have never seen them before," she reports. She can go to the boxing studio, do yoga, swim. She likes her new job and her new home. "I want to stay here longer."

How will the trip to Germany be?

But soon she wants to fly to Germany again because of the rest of the move - at the moment via Amsterdam. “But what if the Dutch should close the airports? Trains will still run to Hamburg, won't they? "

It doesn't feel good to them. And even when she is in Germany, she will only have the most necessary contacts. Meet friends? At best for a walk. "I just have to pull myself together," says Vanessa Steinmetz thoughtfully. Some of her colleagues miss a visit to Germany after a year, but the risks are too high for them. You stay in Thailand for the time being.

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