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Special Tourist Visa – now officials want you to ‘quarantine’ in your home country before coming to Thailand

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On one hand the Thai government unveils its big ‘plan’ for a Special Tourist Visa, allowing minimum stays of 90 days, extendable to 270 days (almost 9 months). On the other hand they have put up a list of restrictions that, at best, will severely restrict any return to ‘normal’ tourism in the country.

Apart from the local 14 day quarantine when they arrive, at their cost, there’s also a long list of paperwork they need to submit before being able to travel to Thailand. Then there’s the limitation to travelling to Thailand only on chartered flights or private jet. And once they’re out of quarantine, the tourists’ options are quite limited for now with the usual tourist spots of Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Samui mostly closed up with no tours in operation and most tourism-related businesses shuttered – a real ‘chicken and egg’ quandary for tourism officials.

Now, according to a report in Bangkok Post, Dr Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, a director at the Department of Disease Control, claims that foreign tourists will have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to travel. Additionally… “they must also have quarantined in their country of origin, have health insurance for international travel and a specified minimum amount of money in their bank account”. He said they will also need a record of “not visiting crowded places prior to their departure”.

And during their domestic quarantine these “visitors must have been tested twice for Covid-19 at the beginning and end of the process”.

The Department of Disease Control has also said, broadly, that they will only allow people from “low-risk” countries to enter Thailand first, without specifying or providing a list of what those countries would be.

The department says they are also providing specific training for the general public and government officers “whose jobs place them in contact with foreign travellers”, so these STV tourists can probably expect an extra special socially-distanced and masked welcome.

Meanwhile, the Public Health ministry has revealed that 2,270 foreign tourists, from China, Myanmar, Japan and Kuwait, are already planning to visit Thailand under the provisions of the new Special Tourist Visa.

On September 15, the Thai cabinet agreed to allow in foreign tourists who agree to the mandatory 14 day quarantine with a minimum 90 day stay, extendable twice to a maximum of 270 days. The highly restrictive new visa, whilst at least a start, has not been well received.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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51 Comments

51 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Hmmmm …..

    “the Public Health ministry has revealed that 2,270 foreign tourists, from China, Myanmar, Japan and Kuwait, are already planning to visit Thailand under the provisions of the new Special Tourist Visa” …..

    Kuwait and Japan are both currently categorised very high risk for Covid-19, and Myanmar high risk.

    ….. and it’s difficult to know how anyone can self-quarantine in their own country and not go through crowded places prior to departure, while going through an airport and flying.

    A bit of a ‘Brexit’ Catch-22 there …..

  2. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11:36 am

    2,270 is pretty low, I would have expected a lot more interest. Of course showing interest and actually commenting to apply are two very different things. So now we would need to quarantine before the flight and afterward along with two tests before leaving and one upon arrival. Sweet. It will be interesting to see the amount of money they will require in your bank to get a visa. It’s becoming comical. Wonder what is next in the thai visa sweepstakes.

    • Avatar

      lou

      Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 8:50 pm

      Hi @EdwardV
      Comic for long time, wait tomorrow, even more comical, and day after tomorrow again and again
      the finally pay first and try to find a plane !!!! At the end we will all end into a psychiatric hospital for depression over this madness Good luck

      • Avatar

        lou

        Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 4:23 pm

        ending us to psychiatric hospital is their aim, for a foreign tourist to spend even more money for quranatine than in a basic hotel and save the hospitals from a full coming soon bankruptcy as well

  3. Avatar

    Jay

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11:55 am

    “not visiting crowded places prior to their departure”
    So like an airport … well I guess no one will be coming to Thaialnd since an airport and an airplane is and can be a crowded place Haha what a joke

    • Avatar

      Peter

      Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      Is this the actual government talking, or is the brain dead Clowns at the TAT?

  4. Avatar

    Willem

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11:55 am

    does no one ever sit down and think before vomiting out these absurdities. LOL.

    Ministry off “mental” health?

    • Avatar

      lou

      Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      the minister of mental health is unavailable it took the seat of the finance minister and try best to ruin the country within the shortest time possible

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    IIRC it’s a similar amount to a retirement extension, which seems reasonable.

    I’m only surprised those with residence permits and retirement extensions haven’t been given similar dispensation at the same time, otherwise it will be difficult to fill the one way (?) charter flights.

  6. Avatar

    keith

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    John Cleese invented fictitious ministry of silly walks, Thailand has a ministry of stupid ideas that is real

    • Avatar

      Rowan Jee

      Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 4:50 am

      MAD MAD MAD!!! LET THE MONKEYS RUN THE COUNTRY.. DO A BETTER JOB

  7. Avatar

    Luigi

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    all these almost impossible rules to do and equal to saying farang stay at your house because we are fine alone

  8. Avatar

    Robert Bunker

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Anyone got a private jet I could borrow? Happy to pay the petrol…..I think Thailand will lose a lot of old friends in their pursuit of the people with more money than sense. Apparently 1200 tourist per month will bring in about 1 billion THB per month according to their projections: over 800,000 THB per month per person. Well good luck with that one…I am definately done with Thailand. I expect a number of countries will be happy to accommodate the disgruntled ones by January.

  9. Avatar

    murika

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    next suggestion of TAT will be, what about we ask tourist to just send us money and don’t come, after all, thailand is so amazing that they should support us to keep our economy alive until covid is over and they can come back, then they will anounce that this project will general gazillions baths of income for the last trimester, and the thais will praise payut the great leader…

  10. Avatar

    Brian Dunbar

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Just keeps getting better and better!! Who is going to go through all that to go to Thailand? It is already a pain in the ass to do 90 day reporting and visa extension. The people making these decisions just aren’t thinking things through.

    • Avatar

      Zeke

      Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 12:25 pm

      Correct. They are so full of themselves and totally brainwashed in their twisted beliefs that the entire world just can’t wait travel to LOS to occupy their “pristine” i.e. shit-strewn beaches to get away from the cold of winter..who cares..?

  11. Avatar

    Shane

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Just how do you provide a record of not visiting a crowded place prior to departure? Perhaps wear a bodycam for a week before you leave and present the evidence upon arrival. And obviously, travel only by private jet, preferably a big one.

  12. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    The Pattaya Mail is reporting that special tourist visa holders will not be allowed to fly to Thailand on regularly scheduled repatriation flights. Only on special charter flights scheduled by the Thai embassy or by private plane. Meaning the scheduling of any trip would be completely out of your control. That is unless you can afford a private plane. Second that expats in Thailand who had hoped to snag a STV to solve their visa expiration problem won’t be able to do so. The visa is only being issued abroad.

  13. Avatar

    Richard

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    There are tens of thousands of people that have been here since February or March and are Covid-free so do not require quarantine. Why on earth not make these visas available to them so they can continue spending money and helping support the devastated Thai economy?

  14. Avatar

    AdamS

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    How about allowing people in who have had Covid-19 and show to have positive antibodies, that would be tens of millions of people!

    There is evidence that people can be reinfected, but only two people are known to have been reinfected and both showed no signs of the virus and both would have been far less contagious.

    PS, I know a little bit about this as my boss works as a virologist for the virus vaccine task force at Oxford university U.K.

    Are you listening Thai officials? ? we want to come to Thailand and spend money!!!!

  15. Avatar

    Kenneth Brewster

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    I feel that the root of the problem is that for far too long, Thailand has felt that visitors should consider themselves highly privileged to be allowed into Thailand. An element of truth may exist with this thinking but, in my opinion, privilege is not a one-way street. Before anymore daft ideas come to light, Thailand should consider themselves privileged to have foreigners interested in visiting Thailand. Of course, under normal circumstances, there is a wide selection of destinations around the world from which to choose, without having to wade through a plethora of rules & visa regulations which are virtually impossible to understand and comply with.

  16. Avatar

    The Brit

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Oh this sounds like the government are panicking after asking the BOT how much money they have left in reserves and being told “it’s all all gone”…. what a joke! How is this going to work – ask the farang to video himself for 14 days in his home country??..

  17. Avatar

    Dave

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I think there are hundreds of thousands of Farangs booking private jet flights, some sell their houses, land and premises to pay for that flight and be able to step on Thailand for 90 days, a great opportunity impossible to waste, all the savings for 90 days of glory who could waste the Plan

  18. Avatar

    Topu

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    I think Thai authorities feel the entire world is desperate to go to Thailand. Fourteen days quarantine before travelling to Thailand and fourteen more days after arrival !! No commercial flights is definitely not giving the tourist freedom to fix the schedule. Chartered flights are very expensive not to mention private plane. If I can afford a private plane then why go to Thailand with do much restriction ? Caribbean has led restriction and I would have flown there.
    Low risk countries are China Japan Myanmar and Kuwait ? Chinese ambassador in Thailand said Chinese tourist are not returning to Thailand anytime soon. Other three countries struggling to control covid.
    I spent half of the year in Phuket. Returned home in February last and was to return by end of march. Holding a valid Thai airways ticket which I do not know what you do with as Thai airways going bankrupt.
    As I am in Phuket for more than fifteen years I have lots of Thai friends . All of them are in tourist related business. I speak to them regularly and they are in serious distress… No income . The tell me Phuket has died.
    I think Thailand should lock itself up and forget about tourist for next few years.
    In the mean time if other tourist destinations in Asia opens up with less restrictions tourist will focus there. Maldives and Dubai has opened doors for tourist. They want tourist to do a covid test before flying that’s it .
    Thailand I love but do not see myself returning there anything soon because of unrealistic entry requirements. By the way keeping the country shut running the economy did not ensure covid free status. Thailand has detected local transmission at least five cases in last ten days ….

  19. Avatar

    Pieter Wilhelm

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    I think it is time to stop publishing every brain fart of
    Incompetent wannabees competing to put their 2 cents worth in a bucket already full enough of nonsens.

  20. Avatar

    patty

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Another stipulation the government plans to add to the current ones is – if you can prove the pope isn’t catholic and superman exists, then you will be given a 10 baht discount on your quarantine expense

  21. Avatar

    Thomas

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Sorry no, I will pass and go somewhere else. They deserve to suffer. I guess they also want to know what I ate, when I had my last shit and if I am still a virgin. I rather go to North Korea. At least you don’t get a fake smile there from the officials.
    Amazing Thailand – You amaze everyday with stupid ideas. You become slowly but surely the laughing stock of the world. Stop playing with peoples lives. Its either yes or no, and not a constant yes, but.. Others show how its done.

  22. Avatar

    Bob

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    It’s the same old story where the minority have the majority of wealth and don’t care about the average Thai population who are struggling to survive.
    They don’t provide the people with any form of furlough scheme or financial assistance so it’s not costing them anything if they delay opening the country.
    They are only trying to attract the high end tourists by offering unrealistic packages and conditions that are not going to work.
    What millionaire is willing to spend 14-21 days in a hotel room!
    Probably have free access to wifi but I’m not sure Amazon will deliver to a hotel…
    They need to wake up and accept the fact the Thai people are ones who are suffering as a result of their incompetence and ideological fantasies.
    Get real Thailand!!

  23. Avatar

    Mitchel

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Mitch.
    I love Thailand and wish to return as soon as possible. However the effort required as outlined in your story is beyond resonable. Looks like Thailand 2022 for me.

  24. Avatar

    Maag

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    ….. RIDICULOUS …..

  25. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Actually it was a billion baht in total, not per month, so spread over a maximum of nine months / minimum of three that’s some 80 to 100 thousand per month.

    That doesn’t seem unreasonable for a tourist.

  26. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Because while your boss may know about it, you clearly don’t.

    There is minimal evidence that having had the virus gives any immunity and none whatsoever that it stops you being a dangerously asymptomatic carrier.

    • Avatar

      Peter

      Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      Add the fact this virus has already mutated, there are at least 3 variants of it circulating. IF you had immunity from 1 strain, would you be susceptible to the 2 others? Maybe he should ask his boss, assuming he’s telling the truth

  27. Avatar

    brinwadd

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    1200 tourists a month wont help most business in Thailand. Last year was averaging 3 million tourists per month according to govt stats? 3 flights a week suggest the governments has a specific origin in mind. https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1987315?

  28. Avatar

    Digby Strong

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Unfortunately, in the original Bangkok Post article, and this one, I might have missed it, but I saw no clarification as of whether the propose domestic “quarantine” is on top of, or instead of, the one upon arrival. if it’s “double-bubble”, I can’t see may rich, discerning, long-term tourists throwing their money at it.
    Still unsure if there’s an internationally-accepted definition of “quarantine”. For example, in Britain, it means self-regulated isolation. So I find it difficult to guess how the Thai authorities could enforce this, what evidence they could possibly require, and how they would authenticate the evidence sufficiently to outweigh the risks to the health of a Thai population which has already made huge sacrifices.

  29. Avatar

    KS

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    I see in another news paper that they excpect this will create a revenue of 1 billion baht each month. If you divide 1 000 000 000,- on 1200 people that is 833 000 baht each per month and you will need to stay 90 days, so that is 2,5 million baht for each “tourist” for a minimum 90 day stay.

  30. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    I think “the jury is out”. The Thai Government either don’t want or can’t handle tourists! The greatest tragedy here is for the ordinary Thai people. They just want to make a living, have a roof over their heads and be able to provide for their children’s futures. (We all want that….simply that). Every time I have been to Thailiand, I spent my money at a small hotel. I know the owner, one of them is a Thai. They employed local Thais which benefitted them and their families. I hired a motorbike from a local family business and I had street food from local families. Everything i spent went directly to the people. They are the ones who are suffering now. I don’t have Covid and neither do they. But governments are keeping us apart. If the Thai government and indeed my own can’t come up with a feasible plan, many ordinary people will suffer for nothing. This is a real test for elected representatives. If you fail us, then we will elect those who will not fail usand who offer a planned and sensible solution to resuming tourism. I do not expect the Thai Government to yield to pressure….but I do expect the Thai Government to yield to reason.

    • Avatar

      lou

      Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 4:38 pm

      you are talking about elected representatives ? whose ones ? I forgot….
      Government should better say ” we dont like and neither want Farangs in Thailand ” then would be clear and avoiding managements critics.

  31. Avatar

    Bubba

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    I think that the government should start enforcing a self-deportation plan. At the first sign of an illogical edict, the official would be driven in a tuk-tuk and placed it the cargo hold of the first departing flight. If there is any question of their sanity, let it be decided by a coin toss. Limit it to a maximum of 3 decisions; a 4th and you automatically deported, no questions asked!

  32. Avatar

    James S.

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    Hahahaha, this is better than a comedy show trying to watch the Thai government come up with a plan to allow tourists back to Thailand. They’ll still be doing this a year from now.

    Meanwhile, Thailand’s economy will collapse and millions will go hungry. Talk about burning the village to save it. Absolute insanity.

  33. Avatar

    Yabu

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    I wonder why Thailand does not follow the lead of countries such as Taiwan or Sweden, both of which did not lockdown.

  34. Avatar

    PJ

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Bottom line is if Thailand makes people jump through hoops in order to visit the country, the tourism related industries are going to fail . I will return when I no longer have to be inconvenienced by the Thai government in order to spend my tourism dollars.

  35. Avatar

    Maag

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Why not making 2 x 14 days quarantine before flying …..
    And of course 2 more quarantines in hotel after arrival …
    And other quarantine every 3 weeks during vacation !
    Grest idea no ?

  36. Avatar

    Richard

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 10:57 am

    If the Thai government are providing free quarantine accommodation what is the quality of this accommodation …answers please

  37. Avatar

    Kat

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Quarantine at home….but make sure inside that quarantine you visit an actual hospital for the mandatory tests, then bring all that paperwork through the city to the embassy. Within 72 hrs of departure.

    Exactly what kind of quarantine includes visiting hospital waiting rooms and embassies beforehand?

  38. Avatar

    Jase Reid

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    This just beggars belief. I can’t really be reading this. Who comes up with these pathetic ideas. And who is going to go?? In all honesty no many.

  39. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Someone Who Isn’t Me asked “Why does it look like Chinese trying to ban white people?”.

  40. Avatar

    Falang Man in Canaa

    Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    ROTFLMAO.

  41. Avatar

    Juampi

    Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    AND If I’m not mistaken there will be a list of countries that can apply for this visa.

  42. Avatar

    Rowan Jee

    Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 4:48 am

    Forget going!!! Who wants to go to a “Ghost-town” anyway?? Bonkers Bonkers Bonkers Bonkers… So out of touch!!

  43. Avatar

    Sitrafox

    Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    The fact is Beggars cant be choosers, and if these same people continue to call the shots on Thailand’s economic future then the country’s Tourism & Hospitality Industry will collapse.
    South Africa is reopening its borders from next month, with much simpler rules, and given the choice I know which destination I would choose if I have that much money to spend.

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