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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Officials to choose “low risk” countries for possible reduction in quarantine

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Thai government is to compile a list of countries considered “low risk” for the Covid-19 virus, as it considers a reduction in the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for foreign arrivals. Nation Thailand reports that, once finalised, the Public Health Ministry will submit its list to the Interior Ministry, who will use it to decide the criteria for reduced quarantine.

Danucha Pichayanan, from the National Economic and Social Development Council, says there must be clear criteria for the admission of foreign visitors to the Kingdom. Currently, all those arriving must carry out 14 days’ quarantine, regardless of the Covid-19 situation in their country of origin.

It’s understood the government’s Centre for Economic Situation Administration is considering a proposal from the private sector to ease up on some entry restrictions for foreign investors and businesspeople, including a reduction in the quarantine period.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Avatar


    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 11:36 am

    The time to do it is before you start letting tourists back into the country (if we still want to call that first group tourists). Regardless it sure seems like Thailand can see the writing the economic wall.

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    They haven’t started compiling the list?! Should’ve been done by the end of Sept.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Arguably the risk is still there and the 14 days quarantine needed to minimise that risk, but if you’re going to open the borders gradually it makes sense.

    Even with a quarantine period of only 7 days, though, I can’t see it having much effect since most “low risk” countries like China impose their own quarantine on return. I just can’t see many “tourists” willing or able to spend a week in quarantine when they arrive and a fortnight in quarantine when they return.

  4. Avatar


    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    I have made this point before. Any government trying to come up with lists and plans in isolation and without sincere consultation with other countries, is doomed to fail. The point seems to be lost on the Thai Government. Without bilateral agreements between low risk countries, nothing will happen. I’m an Australian, I can’t leave my country anyway at the moment and even if I could, I would have to endure a 14 day quarantine on my return home. I don’t even think the Thai Government knows the conditions of leaving and returning in my country. That is why we have seen “The Phuket Model”, “The Phuket Model 2.0”, “The ASQ Hotel Scheme” with 14 Day quarantine and the lastest 39 tourists turning up from China. Each of these are proof that The Thai Government has consulted no other country with the exception perhaps of China. The sad part is that so many companies and families in Thailand are seeing their livelihoods destroyed.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, October 26, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      Equally, “proof” that the other countries, such as Australia, haven’t consulted Thailand!

      It takes two to tango, as it does two to make a bi-lateral agreement.

      It’s Australia that’s imposing the 14 day quarantine on those returning anyway, nothing to do with Thailand – a bi-lateral agreement would be pretty irrational anyway.

      Each country should make up its own mind about the risks of importing Covid from another country, and it shouldn’t be on the basis of some “special agreement” or mutual back-scratching but on the basis of risk, nothing else.

  5. Avatar

    willem H

    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    So a possible infected person from a low risk country is more likely to test negative after 7 days then a person from a high risk country? Its the same virus and the same behavior. Its well known that a quarantine of about 10 days gives a very high chance of eliminatie covid.14 days is a almost absolute figure. With a incubation time of average 5 to 7 days a quarantine of 7 days might just not be enough. No matter where the person comes from.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, October 26, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      “So a possible infected person from a low risk country is more likely to test negative after 7 days then a person from a high risk country?”

      I pondered that for a while too, but given the failure rate of the tests with false negatives if you do the maths then “yes” they are actually more likely to test and be negative if tested a number of times.

      It’s still a risk, but logically and if you do the maths it makes sense.

  6. Avatar


    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    A new fail proof test has been developed that instantly shows you do not have Covid-19. You just blow into a mouthpiece. If it gives a positive it still doesn’t mean you have the virus. It could be traces of alcohol that are detected. It has been extensively tested alongside other tests which needed a few days for the result. It never gave a false outcome. I guess this is going to be available before the vaccine and is a way to test on the airport of departure and arrival. No quarantine is needed when the result is negative. People from all countries can travel.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, October 26, 2020 at 3:55 pm

      Does the test have a name?

      It sounds like the Breathonix test which in trials published last Thursday correctly identified 93% of those who had Covid and 95% of those who didn’t.

      That’s a 7% failure rate for those testing Covid-free, so hardly confidence inspiring … but maybe it’s a different test.

      • Avatar


        Monday, October 26, 2020 at 4:58 pm

        Correct, I was talking about Breathonix. I haven’t heard your statistics. I learned about a 100% reliability for the negative outcomes. The positive results need to be double checked with other tests and of course this has to be done in quarantine when traveling. I imagine that a Breathonix test prior to a long haul flight and another one after landing could be more fail proof. During a long haul flight other volatile compounds than COVID-19 (like alcohol) which could give an initial positive outcome, are maybe processed by the body. The company claims that about 75% of people who do not carry the virus can be determined as being safe. Those people are also not in an incubation stage.

  7. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Million of Thai will soon loose their tourism related jobs and the government knows that the current political tension is fed by the economic depression. Since vaccine will not fully work (50-70 effectiveness at max. dixit CDC) and since tourists may not come back till end of 2021… the 2000 billion THB brought annually by the foreign tourists must be found somewhere. The funny part is that the “safest” countries do not let their citizens travel (i.e. NZ, Australia, China…) or impose 14 days quarantine when they come back (a no go). The safest list may be completely useless…

  8. Avatar


    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Online today 26th Oct. But don’t expect those to be looked into by certain officials.

    Monday, Oct 26th 2020

    Passengers flying to Hong Kong are first to use £80 twenty-minute airport COVID test at Heathrow in trial bidding to get struggling travel industry off the ground.

    News 26 October 2020, 8:47 am GMT

    UK – Boots to roll out 12-minute COVID-19 test

    • Avatar


      Monday, October 26, 2020 at 7:43 pm

      You missed the most important bit out:
      Managing director of Boots UK, Seb James, said the new tests aim to “ease pressure” off the NHS and government.

      He told Sky’s Ian King Live programme that the tests are for people who do not have symptoms.
      They are not yet accepted by airlines that require a negative COVID-19 test before allowing a passenger to board.

      • Avatar


        Monday, October 26, 2020 at 10:49 pm

        OK fanx for that Pete. How about the other HK test at Heathrow? I did read that the Finns were using dogs to detect the dreaded malady.
        And yet you have around a 99.98% survival rate!

  9. Avatar

    Few constructive suggestions

    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    How about – Eldorado, Atlantis, Tibet, Austria-Hungarian Empire, USSR, Ottoman empire, Western Sahara, Yugoslavia?

  10. Avatar

    Thai man

    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    List should be short

    • Avatar

      Mike Frenchie

      Monday, October 26, 2020 at 9:18 pm

      China? Not Xinjiang then…

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 11:54 am

      Agree. It’s a match made in heaven. Thai – Chinese partnership all the way

  11. Avatar


    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    They can invite as many people as they like, make it as easy as possible but the simple situation is hardly anyone wants to travel to other countries at the moment.

    Plus no one outside of Thailand believes their low statistics on virus cases and deaths which have been declared in Thailand.

    In the West, we are testing tens of thousands of people a day and that is why we have high figures.

    If you don’t test then you don’t know.

    The proof of people not wanting to travel is bourne out by the fact that only a few Chinese tourists have gone to Thailand at the moment even though they are allowed to go.

    Why would we want to go anywhere at the moment?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      “In the West, we are testing tens of thousands of people a day and that is why we have high figures.”

      No, you have “high figures” including deaths and hospital cases, because you stuffed up.

      Thailand has “low figures” including deaths and hospital cases because they got it right, as did several other Asian countries (taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc).

  12. Avatar


    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Too little too late – sorry Thailand. Hong Kongers will be among the first to be considered. A still string economy, huge cash reserves etc, cashed-up citizens – who still need to quarantine for 2 weeks on return! It’s not going to happen now. Time to abandon the tourism project and think of another way to strengthen the economy.

  13. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 6:51 am

    I Think Thai government doesn’ t seem to understand that not many tourists will come, due to quarantine on both ends, the first desparare. People i can think of are the ones with loved ones, second ly just some people with lot of time and money, even with lot of time could they bear 30 days of quarantine on both countries!! It doesn’t matter what plan thai govt come up with , it wont work and drop in the ocean for economy, its no one fault, we are just in shit thats all.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      Spot on.

  14. Avatar


    Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    There is a mid way step at both ends that governments need to seriously consider because I feel it is the only way forward at this point in time.
    Home quarantine. Many people with Thai love ones such as myself would be happy to do 10 or 14days in their Thai home/ condo. Understand this is a small percentage of “tourists” but it is a start. This concept never seems to be even mentioned by governments.

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