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Travel agents push to end quarantine for tourists from countries at low risk for Covid-19



PHOTO: Qui Hotel

Travel agents are pushing to end the 14 day quarantine required for foreign tourists arriving from countries classified as a very low risk for spreading Covid-19, hoping the government will agree with the idea and start in December. The move could bring in at least 100,000 tourists per month, according to president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, or ATTA, Vichit Prakobkoson.

The thought of 2 weeks in isolation before enjoying a vacation turns away a lot of potential tourists. Vichit says the idea of quarantine “repulses” them. But some tourists are still onboard with travelling to Thailand, even if that means spending 14 days in quarantine.

Around 120 to 150 tourists on the new Special Tourist Visa are set to arrive next week from China to Phuket after a 6 month ban on international tourists. The tourists are required to quarantine for 14 days at a state approved facility. The new visa allows a 90 stay and can be renewed twice, adding up to about 9 months.

Vichit says new measure won’t be enough to revive Thailand’s crippled tourism industry which took a hit when the country halted international travel to control the spread of the coronavirus. 1,200 foreign tourists are expected to arrive each month under the new Special Tourist Visa, but Vichit says the number of monthly tourists could increase to 100,000 each month if the quarantine is waived for people from countries consider low risk.

“The government should challenge and revoke the state quarantine, if possible, by this December for certain countries. If so, approximately 100,000 foreigners a month would travel to Thailand and might stay for 5 to 7 days.”

SOURCE: Pattaya News


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  1. Davidnicholls

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I would be back tomorrow if they drop the 14 day prison camp test in the uk then at airport if ok in you go easy

  2. Paulnou

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    that would be the best news for a long time for all tourism sectors, test before, tes on arrival, test a week later more than enough good together with compulsory tracable appli in case of cluster potentials. That would save 100 thousands of jobs, hundreds of shops, resorts, i.e.. related, but need fast decision since tourists are now booking their winter holidays

  3. barry

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Japan also has a 14 day quarantine so any Japanese visitors would need to quarantine in Thailand then in Japan on return… Fun!

  4. Toby Andrews

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    This makes perfect sense. Why not?
    Reluctance by the Thai government to grant this allowance is suspicious.

    • Issan John

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 6:36 pm

      Not “suspicious” but common sense. Some are already playing the system elsewhere, travelling via a low risk country. Keep it simple, no loopholes, and the risks are reduced.

      • What "risks"?

        Friday, October 2, 2020 at 7:05 pm

        You mean – heart attack, drowning, traffic accidents, food or drink poisoning, violent robbery, suicide or lightning?

    • Issan John

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      If only there were a reliable test for Covid-19 – but there isn’t. With a 3% of the results unreliable (some tests are 7%) that’s potentially 30,000 cases per million tourists. With 40 million tourists last year, that’s over a million cases.

      There is a reason why most countries impose a 14 day quarantine, if they let tourists in at all – Thailand is the norm with this, not the exception as many commenting here suggest.

  5. Deliverance

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Getting rid of the quarantine is only the beginning of the solution, the next steps are to reduce prices back to normal/reality levels from over 10 years ago – a lot of damage has been done to the things that attracted people to Thailand years ago. The visa system also needs to be friendlier.

  6. Bamoabé

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Low risk countries means first of all China. Which is Thailand’s main market. This would mean much more than 100,000 tourists per month. What are we waiting for?

    • Mike Frenchie

      Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:22 am

      No, Chinese are not authorised to travel for tourism until further notice. The guys in the plane are returnees or businessman.

  7. Lithuanian

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    We would be back to Thailand if cabinet drop the 14 day quarantine. We love Thailand, ready to come back, but now it is to much laws!

  8. Dave

    Friday, October 2, 2020 at 12:51 am

    High risk countries mean you are not welcome. No STV visa. No Thai elite visa. No testing. No 14 day quarantine. No entry.
    I am curious if all the myriad byzantine qualifications were completed by the Chinese tourists?

  9. Keith

    Friday, October 2, 2020 at 5:47 am

    How stupid can you get

  10. Ronald kuntzman

    Friday, October 2, 2020 at 5:55 am

    More people are killed on thai roads than conorvires yet they due nothing to stop the spread of drunk drivers you are munch more likely to be killed in a bus than any sickness

  11. tom

    Friday, October 2, 2020 at 9:30 am

    It’s true

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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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