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All countries welcome – Thailand open for business

Maya Taylor




Come one, come all. In response to the dismally low take-up of the Special Tourist Visa, the Thai government has U-turned on a stipulation that only those from “low-risk” countries can apply. The visa is now available to all, regardless of the Covid-19 situation in their country. However, all arrivals are still subject to mandatory 14 day quarantine – which many agree is the real reason behind the low take-up. Since March, and since the tentative re-opening of Thailand’s borders to world travellers, there has been fewer than 2,000 take up any of the new visas with the mandatory 14 day quarantine and red-tape attached.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek says the easing of eligibility requirements is to boost the Kingdom’s decimated tourism industry. The Bangkok Post reports that since the STV was launched, only 825 visitors from 29 countries have applied, with just 6 foreign-registered yachts availing of the visa. The period yachts with STV holders on board can remain in Thailand is also being extended to 60 days.

The slight easing of conditions attached to the STV comes as PM Prayut Chan-o-cha dismisses suggestions that Thailand is about to experience a second wave of the virus. Concerns have been mounting among the general public in parts of northern Thailand and in Bangkok, since it was revealed a number of Thais had illegally re-entered the country from Myanmar, bypassing quarantine and health checks, only to subsequently test positive for the virus.

Thailand now has 39 cases of Covid-19 that can be traced back to a hotel and entertainment complex in the Burmese border town of Tachileik. It’s understood the venue was operating as a centre for prostitution and employed at least 180 Thai nationals. When Covid-19 cases in the town began to rise, many workers fled, crossing back into Thailand illegally.

Meanwhile, the Disease Control Department confirms that 4 healthcare workers at private hospitals and alternative state quarantine facilities in Bangkok have also tested positive for the virus. The revelation has prompted concern and speculation as to how they might have contracted the virus, and if there were any lapses in quarantine protocols. It’s understood that workers at quarantine facilities are normally tested for the virus every 3 days.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Peter N

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 9:53 am

    It makes some sense to allow tourists from heavily infected countries if they quarantine on arrival BUT that’s the very same requirement that is putting people off coming. It’s not the key to mass tourism though, especially if their stay is limited to 45 days or so, and financial / insurance requirements are excessively stringent. We will have to wait and see, the Devil’s in the detail.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      I’d suggest those who will take advantage of it are unlikely to be “tourists”.

      • Avatar

        Peter N

        Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 5:58 pm

        I Quite agree with you, they won’t be the two/three week holiday millionaires. They’re more likely to be retirees or sex tourists, they are the highly motivated ones who tend to fill the aircraft. Every time, without exception, that I have flown out to Thailand out of peak holiday season, the plane was full of (frequently) fat, single, middle aged men, I doubt they were coming to explore the temples and other cultural sites LOL.

  2. Avatar


    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Technically all are welcome, but the 14 day quarantine will keep that from being more that just a technically. Probably not a bad thing right now.

  3. Avatar

    Malc Thai

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 10:18 am

    I really think they are missing the point that most holiday travelers have an average of 20-30 days annual leave and don’t want to waste 14 days in quarantine..

  4. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    14 day lockdown with good food and female company…….I think many could do that but bad food and no pussy…….they’re dreaming and it’s not wet dreaming…………

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      Friday, December 11, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      He speaks the truth… for the price they charge for those hotels, and the drab food, a gentleman needs something to look forward to, and whilst golf course quarantine might suit some, others want a different kind of birdie.

  5. Avatar

    Klaus Zelm

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Lots of retired people go every winter and stay three to four months, and even longer. They own houses or rent apartments for the whole year. If people are healthy, why restrict their stay? Two weeks of quarantine for a maximum of six weeks stay isn’t worth it.

    • Avatar

      Peter N

      Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 7:07 pm

      Totally agree, problem is too many were/are abusing the system and working illegally, forging various documents etc, hence the crack downs in recent years. Thailand doesn’t want penniless people here who cant support themselves without resorting to begging, stealing, working illegally or likely to become “charity cases” in need of repatriation. I think it is likely when borders open again, tourists will probably need to prove access to sufficient funds, insurance and a ticket home before they are admitted.

  6. Avatar


    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    People who don’t take care of their own back yard, yet are complaining about not being able to enter another person’s. Pretty much the theme of most people posting on this.

  7. Avatar


    Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 12:35 am

    When does this take effect for US travelers? Thai embassy in Washington still says STV not available.

  8. Avatar


    Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    stv is no more competitive with a normal tr visa ( for countries where this is applicable )

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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