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Negative Covid-19 results for first group on the Special Tourist Visa

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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Surely, the most anticipated and followed tourists ever to grace Thailand’s shores. All 39 visitors who flew in from China this week on the new Special Tourist Visa have tested negative for Covid-19. While it’s a small group, they’re the first foreign tourists to arrive since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

More international tourists are expected to arrive next week under the auspices of the new Special Tourist Visa. If there are no positive Covid-19 cases in the first groups, the government says they could start to lift restrictions, like cutting down the mandatory quarantine period, or allowing more applicants under the STV.

2 more groups travelling from China are expected to arrive next week on October 26 and 27, according to the tourism and sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. Another group of travellers from Scandinavian countries are expected to arrive in November.

Reopening borders to foreign tourists has been a concern for some about the potential spread of the coronavirus, even though tourists are required to go through a 14 day quarantine period before travelling in the country. Phiphat says those entering Thailand on the Special Tourist Visa are only those from areas declared free of Covid-19 for at least a month.

“Europe now faces a second wave… The Tourism and Sports Foreign ministries will allow tourists from low-risk cities with zero new cases for more than 30 days.”

If there continues to be no positive Covid-19 cases from those on the Special Tourist Visa, Phiphat says they government could implement a more relaxed quarantine. Health officials have talked about cutting the quarantine down to 10 days and possibly just a week. Phiphat says they would first need approval from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Did anyone really think there would be any other announcement regardless of the actual result? The Chinese have a huge vested interest in a negative result, their national prestige is on the line. No way they allow Thailand to say anything different than everyone is negative. Maybe it was as simple as forcing all 39 to quarantine prior to the flight, it is China after all. Don’t overlook the Thai interest in a negative result either. They went all in and told the country that if these first groups were negative there would be a shortening of the quarantine. A so called safe reopening of the country. Something desperate needed. The actual fact of whether or not these Chinese groups are or are not virus free is almost meaningless.

    • Avatar

      maverick

      Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      its a moot point as there is still a blanket ban on tour groups leaving China, these are independent travellers who have relatives, homes or business’s here….dont forget there are tens of thousands of chinese already living here in Thailand.

  2. Avatar

    Ryan Lih

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    The Chinese govt has pulled the plug. No inbound or outbound in 2020. Hence, the Tourism Minister falls flat on his face. Work on Plan B I’d suggest. Vaccines are coming to ASEAN Nov & Dec from China. Dubai & Brazil has been tested en masse with no side effects yet. Perhaps inoculated tourists can skip the quarantine. Also read somewhere that Singapore is receiving test kits that can determine results in 60 seconds. Not sure about the kit’s effectiveness and accuracy. There’s progress at least.

  3. Avatar

    sawit

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    On the photo, the traveller look more like Thais than Chinese.

    • Avatar

      ANDRE

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      THIS IS AN REPATRIOT FLIGHT .. BRINGING THAIS HOME .. AND USE TO BRING THE CHINESE INVESTORS ALSO..

  4. Avatar

    Gosport

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Very nice, tourists from local Covd-19 free countries will be free to travel in Thailand. Thailand will prosper.

  5. Avatar

    John Plummer

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Who cares

    Top counting the number of flus..
    We all need to stop this.
    This is not a pandemic can you see.
    Stop being scared Thailand… you have more road deaths daily then this ridiculous scamdemic
    This has been a strong flu. Yes we will all get it most likely if you haven’t had it already. Deaths have just plummeted now and there will never be a collapse in any country’s medical system.

  6. Avatar

    Rune Ilsted

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    The article says more tourists from scandinavia will arrive next week, and at the same time says that only tourists from covid free countries Will come ????? I live in Denmark and our number of covid patients are rising fast, and it is the same or worse picture all over Europe. Seems odd.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, October 23, 2020 at 1:50 am

      Very odd.

      I wonder how anyone could know if those coming were coming FROM “low risk cities” or just coming VIA low risk cities …

  7. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    The linked BP articles states: “ He said the ministry has not received additional inbound requests from other countries.” – He being the Tourism and Sports minister stating no other countries interested you have to assume because of the 14 day quarantine. So outside of few undersized groups of Chinese trying to get back to their businesses and families, and a single group of snow birds no others “tourists” are coming. Nice job Thailand, the STV is a smashing success. Raw

  8. Avatar

    Patrick Wahle

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    It seems that Thailand does not know about travel advisories. If you home country posts a travel advisory against travelling overseas, it voids any insurance automatically.
    Of course you can go at your own risk but don’t expect any consular assistance or compassion from your government.

  9. Avatar

    West Tiger

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 12:28 am

    No country is free from Covid and nobody of inyelligence believes the low covid numbers put out by Thailand

  10. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 1:58 am

    Why does “it seem that Thailand does not know about travel advisories”, etc?

    It’s of no relevance to Thailand.

  11. Avatar

    Alex

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 4:13 am

    So now all of a sudden we have false negatives? Hilarious, to think that 89% tot 94% are all false positives!

    https://timesofoman.com/article/lawyers-attempt-to-sue-who-for-misleading-the-world-over-pandemic

  12. Avatar

    Monir

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    All of STV visitors are Covid-19 free?
    Besides, visitors arriving from other countries some of them detecting Covid-19 positive everyday.

  13. Avatar

    buck

    Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 8:31 am

    i do not see how this tear in ocean is going to impact the tourism economy, a test they would say ….. we know for fact mass tourism won t come back without vaccin. this is smoke and mirror, this is a mistake.

    France did release its population for summer holiday, million of individus migrate to all direction for the past 3 months. result around 20000 case each 24 hours, hospital are once again struggling, contamination rate 1 for 20. if such think happen in Thailand what could be the impact on rural community ?

  14. Avatar

    Matthew hasewiper

    Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    What nonsense. Thailand will be fine and hopefully prayut will stay in power for many many years. He is a great man and never wrong. He has protected us from Covid and had never taken anything in return. He should be a monk.

  15. Avatar

    Al

    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Check these out today (26th Oct.) online (apologies folks, not allowed to post links)

    Passengers flying to Hong Kong are first to use £80 twenty-minute airport COVID test at Heathrow in trial bidding to get struggling travel industry off the ground.

    &

    Boots to roll out 12-minute COVID-19 test

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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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