10 day quarantine proposal passes first stage of approval

PHOTO: Bloomberg

A health sub-committee of the government’s Covid-19 task force has approved a reduction in quarantine from 14 days to 10, for visitors arriving from “safe” countries. They would be those that are at a similar risk level to Thailand, or slightly higher. Those arriving from countries considered “high risk” will still need to carry out 14 days’ quarantine.

The proposal now needs to be approved by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, which is chaired by the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha. Public Health Permanent Secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit says the reduction has received initial approval after a trial showed that both 10-day and 14-day quarantine periods had the same result.

“Reducing quarantine to 10 days only slightly increases risk of infections, from 0.3 people per 1 million in 14-day quarantine to 1.5 per million in 10-day quarantine.”

Kiattiphum says that were Thailand to get back to the days of 30 million arrivals a year, it’s possible around 300 of them would be positive for the virus and asymptomatic, meaning their infections might not be detected during the 10-day quarantine. In this case, he says wristband trackers will mean they can be traced and treated.

“After 10 days, it should be possible for tourists to travel to at least 10 provinces where disease prevention measures are in place, including Chonburi, Phuket, Rayong, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Buriram and Surat Thani.”

Officials are hoping the reduction in quarantine might encourage more foreign tourists to Thailand.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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