“Tourists arriving on Special Tourist Visa must be 100% Covid-free” – Tourism minister

“If there’s even a single case, we cannot continue to the second phase.”

Thailand’s sports and tourism minister of says the first phase tourists arriving under the Special Tourist Visa scheme must be 100% Covid-free. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says if this is not achieved, then the reopening plan will be halted indefinitely. Given the number of infections the have surfaced from Thai returnees in the past 3 months, his 100% score-card appears unrealistic.

“Before we approach the second stage on November 17, which aims to shorten the quarantine period, we must evaluate the first phase. If there’s even a single case, we cannot continue to the second phase.”

“The Chinese group previously set as the first batch to arrive via Phuket airport is rescheduled to October 26 to preserve the local confidence during the vegetarian festival of October 17-25.”

Along with the strict guidelines for tourists entering, Phiphat says the Tourism Ministry may push for the consideration of eligible tourists to be based on their cities of origin, not their countries as some nations have larger areas in which cities have remained Covid-free for over 100 days. He says if the first phase of reopening is clear of new cases, then the Public Health Ministry may consider reducing quarantine times down to 7 days.

Phiphat says 7 days in quarantine and 7 days confined to the hotel premises, or the 7+7 plan, would be one option to keep everyone safe but allow tourists to get out of their rooms faster. Along with proposing a decreased quarantine period, the ministry plans to ask domestic tour operators to arrange weekday tour packages for travellers between 55 and 75 years old. Under this plan, tourists would get a 40% subsidy on packages, at a maximum 5,000 baht.

“The new measure will support more stakeholders, such as local operators, bus operators, restaurants and tour guides who suffered the most from the tourism slowdown.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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