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Quarantine could be reduced to 7 days from November, if border re-opening succeeds

Maya Taylor

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Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister says the mandatory quarantine period for those arriving from overseas could be reduced to 7 days if there is no spike in Covid-19 infections after the border re-opens to limited arrivals from October. For the minister’s part, the 7 day quarantine is merely speculation at this stage.

Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says more details on the planned Special Tourist Visa will be made available following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The STV is expected to grant entry to long-stay arrivals from October 1. Visitors can then extend their stay by 90 days twice, meaning a stay of nearly 9 months in total will be possible. Each extension will cost 2,000 baht, under the current STV proposal.

The government is currently being extremely cautious with its plans to re-open the borders to international arrivals. However, in a Bangkok Post report today, Phiphat says that if the first 2 groups of arrivals, 300 foreign tourists in total, fulfil the 14 day quarantine period without testing positive for the virus, it may be possible to increase the number of visitors granted entry to the Kingdom. And reduce the length of the mandatory quarantine.

“Only 300 tourists per week will not be enough to fill up the whole supply chain and help operators (not even close!). However, the figure has to comply with the capacity of the healthcare workforce from the Public Health Ministry to prepare swab tests.”

It’s understood the Tourism Ministry has been in talks with private hospitals about supplying additional manpower to facilitate the testing being carried out at airports. Another option is to test arrivals at quarantine facilities, in order to avoid holdups at airport arrival terminals. Currently, the Phuket Provincial Health Office has the ability to conduct 1,000 tests a day.

Should the gradual re-opening in October pass without a significant spike in Covid-19 cases, Phiphat says the government may consider halving the 14 day quarantine period from mid-November. Visitors will still be required to be tested prior to arrival, several times while in quarantine, and again before being released.

“In the event there are 5 positive cases from 300 tourists, the plan to welcome foreigners has to move forward anyway. But we will set up new alternative plans to cope with the situation.”

A reduction in the quarantine period may succeed in attracting more visitors, particularly given the high cost of staying at certain alternative state quarantine facilities, which tourists must foot the bill for themselves. An increase in foreign arrivals is seen as essential to the recovery of the tourism sector in areas currently struggling to survive since the border shutdown 6 months ago.

The Tourism Council of Thailand has visited places such as Phuket, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Udon Thani, and Rayong, to talk to local business owners. In presenting its findings to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, TCT president, Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, says the government must find a solution to help the tourism sector.

The Tourism Council of Thailand predicts that once the global Covid situation is brought under control, foreign arrivals to Thailand should reach the 60 million mark and contribute 25% of the country’s GDP by 2023. The prediction of 60 million tourists per year would be a more than 50% increase on 2019’s published arrival numbers, optimistic at best, and against the trend of international travel consultants that say the world’s travel industry could take up to a decade to recover to pre-covid numbers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Avatar

    murika

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:53 am

    i predict that by 2027, 10 billions people will come spend 1 million bath each in thailand, ok boss payut, is that enough to keep a strong bath so you can buy more submarines ? and investors still buying condos in pyramid schemes ? all appearances are safe, good job, people are too stupid to notice, we are so clever !

  2. Avatar

    RA

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:55 am

    Finally, moving in a common sense direction. This will help considerably.

    • Avatar

      Lance

      Friday, September 25, 2020 at 11:11 am

      next they just need to get away from a CHARTER flight…. that right there is the worst choice in all this if you as me… there are many ways on normal flights why does it HAVE to be a chartered flight…

  3. Avatar

    clfeige

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 10:12 am

    the length of quarantine to be determined by how many new infections after border opens. .. the incubation period is not affected by how many new infected enter the country. how does this make sense to anyone?

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 10:25 am

    There is still the concern of the overpriced Thai approved flights, and the overpriced Thai insurance to consider.
    If anyone arrives many will come just to sell up all that they have in Thailand and get out!
    Thailand has lost all creditability and trust that they had. Foreigners are bitter.

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 10:34 am

    With the domestic tourism scheme failing badly, an interest level in the 6% range with a 14 day quarantine, and projections of some 14 million unemployed if you stay closed to the end of the year (which isn’t very far away). Something had to give. Here is to hope the opening weeks go well.

  6. Avatar

    Maag

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Honnestly….I dont care !

    • Avatar

      Ready To travel

      Friday, September 25, 2020 at 11:12 am

      lol you cared enough to comment hahaha

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Friday, September 25, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Thank you for caring.

  7. Avatar

    Malcolm R.

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Insanity. The mortality rate of Covid is now slightly higher than the flu, yet panic-stricken governments all over the world are still mandating lockdowns, ineffective masks, tourist bans and other craziness in order to ‘protect’ their citizens from a virus that cannot be controlled and will not kill 99.4% of them.

    We know five people that have already had it. How did they feel? A scratchy throat, a loss of appetite for a few days and a loss of taste for a few weeks. This is what our governments are ‘saving us from’.

    My wife and I have spent 6 months in Thailand every year for the last nine years. We won’t be returning any time soon, as we will not quarantine, will not pay for Covid-19 insurance or pay for a ridiculously expensive charter flight.

    When Thailand goes completely back to normal, we may think about it. Until then, we will be spending our six months every year in countries that have governments that are less panicked and hysterical. Thailand is lovely but not worth enduring these crazy expenses and restrictions.

    • Avatar

      RA

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 8:42 am

      You were OK until your baseless claim about “ineffective masks”. Do a little honest research, not only what supports your beliefs. Masks are almost as effective as a possible vaccine. Education is the best possible defense.

      • Avatar

        Latecomer

        Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm

        Masks are totally useless, except for medical staff. That is a fact. Example: Sweden. Nobody wears a mask, no lockdowns, and Covid cases going down and down. Deaths close to zero.
        Other examples: France, Belgium, UK and Spain. Hard lockdowns, masks. Cases going up and up…

    • Avatar

      Latecomer

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 4:33 pm

      Mortality rate is much, much smaller. On the whole population it is 0,05 % where it really hit, like USA or UK. Other European countries more like 0,01-0,03 or less. So, although real and dangerous, SARS-Cov-2 will not kill 99,95-99,99% of the population.
      In Thailand it is statistically invisible. That many people die in 1,5 days in traffic accidents (>20 000). More will drown or suffocate or be poisoned accidentally by food

  8. Avatar

    Thomas Easton

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    I was really looking forward to a 5 week holiday to Thailand in Dec and had close to 10k saved for the trip as I loved my 1st trip to Thailand in 2018 BUT am not even going to consider a 2 week over priced quarantine, expensive charter flight and over priced Thai insurance policy. Not even mentioning the overly strong Baht… What I’ll do now is just wait and consider Vietnam and Cambodia if and when they open again and spend my time there instead.

    • Avatar

      James

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 1:51 am

      Thomas

      You are criticizing Thailand for closing down but you don’t seem to mind Vietnam and Cambodia who have also closed down to protect the lives of their citizens.

      You don’t think Thai lives matter, the country is just there for you to use as you wish?

      I bet the country you are currently living in has also closed its own borders to protect you and the rest of the population as have most countries around the world?

      You could start a new movement, “Thai Lives Don’t Matter”.

  9. Avatar

    Roger

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Valid pre flight Covid test and certificate, scheduled flights, honour valid retirement visas and reEntry permits, Test on arrival and 7 days quarantine (preferably in my condo…trust me!), Covid cover insurance……and I might get interested! TAT may have to learn the hard way!

  10. Avatar

    Thomas

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    another day, another plan, another meeting… Can someone in the government grow some set of balls and make a decision? They have lost their face already, nothing to loose anymore. Only question remaining how big of a joke they want to become. You can’t safe a patient by talking about the treatment, eventually you need to do something. Some people have reasons to come to Thailand and spent some money in the process, since when are Chinese reluctant to take $$$? And by the way, changing the rules every day will not bring back any tourists, only people who need to come back for various reasons.

  11. Avatar

    Boicotthailand

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    It’s a ridiculous plan! International tourists must #boycothailand and his violent regime, don’t give a baht to a country run by a dictator.

    • Avatar

      Whiro

      Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:13 pm

      Not need to boycott Thailand.
      Thailand is boycotting tourists.

      A sad truth :((

  12. Avatar

    Mark

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    Blood test for COVID 19 are better and require only a few days to get test back with the normal test if you have a cold or flu you can test positive but blood test cost a lot more we paid equivalent to 12000 Baht in Saudi to work for 10 days

  13. Avatar

    rinky stingpiece

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    The opinionated Thais in my vicinity say “what’s the effing point, they’re thinking out of their whatevers aren’t they?” if the incubation period is 14 days, you either have it or your don’t, and frankly the mood music is shifting towards abandoning it.
    60 million tourists by 2023 is totally delusional. 15 million (25% of that) is more realistic. Best to diversify the economy away from tourism and scrap all the visas and investment rules to bring foreign engineers and academics to upskill the population.

  14. Avatar

    Whiro

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Quarantine in Thailand WILL remain to be 14 days long for sure, simply because their border re-opening will NOT succeed. Why? It is obvious that they will freak out and in massive panic as soon as they see just a few local infections or positive test results from 70% accurate test methods . . .

    Meanwhile millions of crazy pills and ice crossing the border now more than ever, to be fed into the communities. Frying brains and killing life of a lot more than 59 people died from Covid related. Idiots in the government doing anything about it? Nothing except for getting pictures taken with smile on their faces being all proud of the arrest. Guess what? Those people are making decisions and controlling the border.

    There is just one word for Thailand right now.
    HELPLESS.

  15. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    While seven days is a whole lot better than 14. It’s still long considering the number of places open or opening soon which don’t require any quarantine. Mexico, most of the Caribbean, Panama, Costa Rica, French Polynesia, Colombia, and on October 15 Hawaii. Those are just the ones who come to mind. It also doesn’t help that Thailand has created a 25 step, 4 different branches of the government approval process to get a STV in the first place. As long as Thailand wants to make the process as difficult as possible, they will depress their numbers. Considering they have reduced the mandatory stay from 90 to 30 days, and the want to new reduce the quarantine it’s clear they want to increase the numbers. They just can’t seem to break their nature of more bureaucracy the better mindset. Still it’s a move in the right direction and to that point I thank them. Damn I miss Thailand.

  16. Avatar

    TS

    Monday, September 28, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    “The Tourism Council of Thailand predicts that once the global Covid situation is brought under control, foreign arrivals to Thailand should reach the 60 million mark and contribute 25% of the country’s GDP by 2023.”

    Yep, 60 million tourists are just chomping at the bit to get here. Most will be in your ‘big spender’ target group, like you like. 60 mil. prolly a low estimate!?

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