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

Tanutam Thawan

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“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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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Randy Lahey

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 8:39 am

    They come here clean and end up with covid in quarantine. So whats the point of coming here clean ?
    If they come here clean they should be exempt from quarantine full stop.

    • Avatar

      Doctor

      Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:39 am

      That’s not how it works. Infection and incubation both happen days before the infection can be detected. Turning up positive in quarantine means EITHER they caught it in quarantine or before they arrived (including on the trip). If it’s the latter, then skipping quarantine means they’ll turn up positive when they’re mingling with the general public. Not a smart solution.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11:25 am

      Even with the best tests currently available there’s no way of knowing if “they come here clean”.

      First, the tests are 3 to 7% inaccurate, giving false readings (both positive and negative). Quarantine and re-testing during and at the end of quarantine minimises that by a factor of 1,000 – down from 3% to less than 0.03%.

      Equally importantly, the tests don’t identify Covid immediately it’s caught but only after a few days (as the article says, 50% within 6 days, 99% within 12), hence the need for quarantine.

      The “7+7” solution is a recipe for disaster, since during the “+7” period it overlooks the hotel staff who are not quarantined in the hotel, and realistically cannot be, so who go home, go out, etc, totally negating the point of the “+7”.

      Surely that’s obvious?

  2. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Maybe the headline is a bit confusing. If tourists must be 100% Covid free on arrival, why would they need to quarantine at all? Any government trying to stipulate guidelines alone without reciprocal arrangements with the governments of the tourist’s countries of origin (ie low risk countries) is doomed to fail. Governments with low Covid numbers have had months to talk and work out reciprocal arrangements, that recognise each other’s testing regimes, negating the need for quarantine. Tourism has always been a matter of mutual trust and obligation between countries. If you want a resumption of tourism to recover the collapse of your tourism industry, spend less time trying to come up with “The Phuket Model 3.0” and start talking with the governments of low risk countries to formulate joint strategies and partnerships.

  3. Avatar

    Paulnou

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:19 am

    Apparently the results depening on the test accuracy !!!! Lets say immediately that there were no Covid in the first 2 planes of tourist and free the country

  4. Avatar

    Lance

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I am COVID free… test me every day! Just because I am from the US does not mean I have COVID! I miss my GF #LoveIsNotTourism

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Another plan designed to fail. Requiring perfection is a very poor objective in any plan. Oh and a 7+7 quarantine still equals 14 days of quarantine. The term “clueless “ comes to mind.

  6. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:38 am

    I am tired of reading of the Thai governments demands on visitors to Thailand.
    You can come. You cannot come. Do this. Do that. And all these schemes they dream up that few foreigners will accept. Just keep everyone out and starve Thailand. You deserve it.

  7. Avatar

    Fabian

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Seriously? Thailand already asks a huge sacrifice of visitors, in terms of money, time and psychological well-being. Of course, as a country you would like to have people who come here are Covid-free. But as the commenters above say: what’s the point of quarantining here if you are to be 100% guaranteed Covid free on arrival. Why should you sacrifice your money, time and psychological well-being. It’s insulting.

    I don’t understand why the Thai government even bothers. The numbers of tourist they will get this way are insignificant and the plan is a guaranteed to fail with this requirement.

    By the way, they are discussing so much that by the time they finally have a concrete plan around December 2021, they will notice that the tourism is already back to normal.

  8. Avatar

    Jeff

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Pathetic policy on the run.

    many can’t travel to thailand anyway as their countries are locked down so whats the point.

    Get travel bubbles in place with other countries and put in place some achievable protocols
    or just let your country wither

  9. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Each time I read an article about Thai-tourism and the day-to-day changes I feel like I need a drink after.

    • Avatar

      Matt

      Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      me too… Cheers, we may become alcoholics before going back to Thailand

  10. Avatar

    Mark

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    When there is no hotels left and they gone bankrupt no 7/11 left vast unemployment civil unrest and a run on the banks and the Thai baht not worth the paper it’s printed on them they will allow tourists back but nobody will want to come

    • Avatar

      Peter

      Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      Thai Baht worthless, Run on the Banks, No 9/11s ? Thailand’s boarders have been shut tight for virtually 7 months now. Guess What? The Thai Baht is still as strong as ever, there has been no run whatsoever on the Banks, and I have yet to see a 7/11 closed down. IMO Thailand has got this dammed virus under tight control, and certainly will not be throwing their boarders open without strict restrictions, any time soon, it may even be years unless an effective cure/treatment/vaccine is discovered

  11. Avatar

    Old Man in Canada

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    The government charters flights to bring the STV tourists into the country ? But after staying for 3 or 6 months how do the tourists get back to their home country ? There are no international flights operating. Without a way to leave the STV visit is a trap. No thanks I’ll stay where I am (Canada).

  12. Avatar

    west tiger

    Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 2:00 am

    If Thailand makes it too hard for Tourists too return they will simply go to another country that is more welcoming and that’s lost revenue and jobs for Thailand

  13. Avatar

    Ray

    Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    If people can infect each other in a quarantine than it is no quarantine in the true sense of the word. New arrivals should be locked with their partners/family in a room, apartment or house and given food at the door by staff in hazmat suits. There should be no interaction between others in quarantine. Otherwise you get situations like on the cruise ships which became super spreader events.

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