Poll finds many disagree with reopening borders, lack confidence in Covid-19 prevention measures

PHOTO: Amazing Thailand

A number of people in a recent survey say they disagree with reopening Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists. Many say they lack confidence in the government’s ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that the move could cause a second wave of the virus.

The National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll, conducted a random survey last week on 1,318 people of various ages and backgrounds. They were asked about the new Special Tourist Visa scheme which allows long term stays after tourists complete a 14 day quarantine.

  • 57% disagreed with the Special Tourist Visa scheme with 40.2% of them saying it could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak and 16.8% of them saying they do not have confidence in the government’s coronavirus prevention measures.
  • 42.3% agreed with opening the border to foreign tourists, but say preventative measures must be in place. They say the move will help revive the economy after tourism businesses were crippled by the lack of international travel.

The survey also asked which group of travellers they see as more of a threat of potentially spreading Covid-19: Those arriving by air, those arriving by land through border checkpoints or those crossing natural borders. Recently, there has been a surge of cases in Myanmar, causing fear that the outbreak might reach Thailand’s border districts. Border officers have tightened patrol along the Thai-Myanmar border, blocking some natural passageways with barbed wire fences and arresting migrants who allegedly crossed natural passageways illegally.

  • 50.2% say all 3 groups are an equal threat.
  • 31.1% say those crossing natural passageways are the highest threat.
  • 10.5% say those arriving by air are the highest threat.
  • 4.1% say none of them are a threat.
  • 3.7% say those arriving by land through border checkpoints are the highest threat.

The participants were also asked about their confidence in the government’s ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19 once they reopen the country to foreign tourists.

  • 62.6% have no confidence in the government with 35.4% saying they aren’t confident because most of the new cases detected are returnees travelling from overseas and 26.2% have absolutely no confidence in the government’s preventive measures.
  • 25.0% have moderate confidence in the government.
  • 11.9% have strong confidence in the government.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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