Farangland News


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A low yield route...

British Airways will not be returning to Bangkok until 2023

Link Here27th July 2022
News emerged on social media to the effect that British Airways would be extending its longstanding suspension of its London-Bangkok route until 2023.

Until now the official suspension date had been until October 2022. This seemed logical as the peak season for travel to Thailand is during the winter months.

The only direct option from London Heathrow is currently Thai Airways. Eva Air's fifth-freedom service remains suspended according to its website display.




The British Government eases up on travel from Thailand to the UK

Link Here7th October 2021
The UK has removed Thailand from its red list of highly restricted countries. The red listing meant that returning British travellers had to quarantine in hotels on arrival and foreign travellers were banned totally.

In addition the UK has also announced that it will recognise Thai state issued vaccine certificates showing that people have been double vaccinated in Thailand. Only European and US vaccines brands will be allowable, with others, notably Chinese alternative will not being acceptable.

The relaxed entry laws apply from 11th October.




Singapore launches dystopian robots to police bad behavior

Link Here9th September 2021
Singapore is testing the use of patrol robots as the new addition to its mass surveillance infrastructure and the pair of machines, named "Xavier," will have the task of making sure the country's residents behave themselves in public spaces.

Singapore's Home Team Science and Technology Agency announced a 3 week trial of the technology before it is handed over to the local police. The intent is to use the robots as supplementary workforce to help out Singapore's public officers.

The "Xaviers" are fitted with cameras and networked with a command and control center, and report back on people's "bad behavior" in real time.

And what qualifies for bad social behavior in Singapore right now is falling afoul of COVID restrictions, but also things like parking your bike where you're not supposed to, or smoking in public areas.

There is also a re-educational element, as the robots will show messages instructing humans on what the expected, "proper" social behavior should be.



Compliance apps...

South Australia chooses to enforce home covid quarantine with an app using facial recognition and geolocation

Link Here4th September 2021
Australia has got itself in a bit of a mess over covid. Australians enjoyed a relatively covid free life via strict border controls with a few local lockdowns to deal with leaks. Now the delta variant has leapt over these hurdles leaving slowly vaccinating Australians with a big problem.

The Australian Government has chosen to adopt some very harsh control measures that wouldn't be out of place in China. Reports suggest that the state of South Australia has gone full Mao.

Geolocation and facial recognition of citizens are both used as a way this state wants to make sure everyone is compliant with its policies. It has introduced an app called Home Quarantine SA , and has ordered all SA residents to download it.

The app ensures citizens comply with quarantine orders by contacting people at random and asking them to provide proof of their location within 15 minutes. Citizens then share their location with the government or provide 'live face check-ins' to confirm they are at their 'registered quarantine address', media reports described the way the app is presented in app stores.

Enforcement seems to be based on national policy whereby transgressors can be sent to Covid camps (quarantine hotels) or fined up to a 1,000 Australian Dollars.

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