One question that has frequently come up, and scared people from coming to Thailand in the age of Covid-19, is that of what happens if you test positive for the virus when you land in the country. An official with the Phuket Tourist Assistance Centre recently laid out the procedure for a tourist – or a child – who test positive for Covid-19.
While Thailand has bombarded potential tourists with announcement after announcement of sandbox schemes, and later the Test & Go programme as well as quarantine option, details on the actual process of what happens did you arrive in Thailand and test positive for Covid-19 have been rarely addressed and often the subject of wild speculation.
Even official websites like the Entry Thailand tourism portal launched this week by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports don’t address the subject. The entry process barring any problems like a positive Covid-19 test are explained ad nauseam but it seems no one wants to talk about the reality of catching Covid-19 in Thailand.
So what should you expect? The Phuket TAC explain that tourists arriving in Phuket International Airport will have a Covid-19 swab test and then travel to an SHA+ hotel while they await the results. The tests generally take around 7 to 8 hours to be completed. If the results come back negative, travellers from one of 63 approved countries are free to go on their way in the Test & Go scheme, While others tour vaccinated but not from an approved country can do a soft quarantine for 7 days.
But should you test positive for Covid-19, your condition will be analysed and action will be taken based on the severity. Those who experience intense symptoms from their infection will be immediately taken to the hospital that is contracted to provide medical support to whatever SHA+ hotel the traveller is booked in. Any traveller who wants to know in advance what hotel that would be can inquire with the hotel that they have a booking with.
If the symptoms are milder or the traveller is asymptomatic, they may still be asked to stay in the hospital or might be allowed to remain in self-isolation in the SHA+ hotel they had booked. There may also be the option of moving to an Alternative Quarantine venue during their infection. Refunds for unused stays though still are at the discretion of each hotel.
Many worry about travelling with a child and what will happen if the parent or child is infected with Covid-19. The TAC assured that any child too young to care for themselves would be allowed to have their parent stay with them. Parents of an older child that can be left unattended part-time would be asked to stay separately from their child to avoid the risk of infection.
One situation that does not have a clear plan ready is if a single parent travelling with their child should become infected with Covid-19. The TAC said that local health officials would evaluate that situation should it arise and make a determination on a case by case basis. They did warn though that if the parent and child stay together, the child could become infected and parents would be responsible for the cost of treatment for the child.
SOURCE: The Phuket News
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