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Special Tourist Visa program leaves out those from high-risk Covid countries

Tanutam Thawan



Thailand’s Foreign Ministry is clarifying that the new Special Tourist Visa program will omit potential high-spend tourists from high-risk Covid countries from consideration. Tourism and Sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says prospective tourists need to check with the Public Health Ministry (via their Thai embassies) to see if their home countries are permitted to visit Thailand under the program.

Phiphat also says that decreasing the mandatory quarantine for these tourists is too soon, as the ministry is waiting to evaluate the first batch of travellers under this new visa to determine whether they can move forward with the 14-7-6 formula in regards to decreased quarantine periods (14 days, 7 days and 6 hours).

“The most important factor is that nobody in local communities will be happy to let foreign tourists visit their towns without quarantine.”

But he says that the tourists being allowed in under the special tourist visa only pose “minor risks as they have to fly in on approved flights to pre-designated locations”. He says more emphasis should be put on illegal border crossings bringing in possible infections.

Despite delays in the first batch of tourists entering under the visa, the Sports and Tourism Tourism Ministry says they expect 1,200 tourists to enter this month. Such delays were attributed to entry procedures being muddled a bit as the special visa is relatively new, being announced officially in the Royal Gazette on September 29.

Each tourist admitted under the STV, can stay up to 90 days with the option to extend the visa 2 times for 90 days thereafter. The programme targets “rich” tourists as they are expected to stay long-term, or over 2 weeks, due to the mandatory quarantine regulations specifying 2 weeks in an alternative state quarantine hotel.

Each tourist has to provide proof of payment at an Alternative State Quarantine facility, post-quarantine accommodation, health insurance policy with at least a US$100,000 (3 million baht) Covid-19 coverage, as well as a Thai health and accident insurance policy with at least 40,000 baht outpatient and 400,000 baht inpatient coverage.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times


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  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Interesting to know what those countries are …

    … odd that they’re not listed openly …

    • Avatar


      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      yes true. i was just told by thai embassy in germany that germans are not allowed to enter. high risk country.what are these criterias? only who statistik. would be stupid.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 5:02 pm

        AFAIK, it’s not the nationality but the country flown from.

        The problem for all countries allowing those from “low-risk” countries to enter are those transiting via other countries to get around the rules, particularly those with dual nationality.

        Australia found several overseas students playing the system, at a cost of up to AU$20,000 in flights, before tightening up the rules.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Here in Cambodia a Frenchman has just returned, on a $600 Eva air flight from Paris, paid $2000 deposit, and is stopping in a quarantine hotel for three nights, supplying health checks, and food costing $440.
    He has a business here, otherwise a tourist pays the same and deposits $3000.
    The insurance for 21 days is $80.
    I talked to his son.
    I just thought readers would like to know how the Cambodians are dealing with matters.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks.I live in Thailand and i want to come to Cambodia.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks for sharing, looks like much better option for winter break

    • Avatar

      Don R

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 2:01 pm

      Sounds risky. $150/night to stay in a hotel could be catastrophic if they decide to keep you in the hotel for 14 days or moer…

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      His son seems to have overlooked rather a lot:

      “Further note that, in the event one or more travelers test positive for COVID-19, all accompanying passengers will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at a location designated by Cambodian authorities. If all travelers test negative, health authorities will ask travelers to self-isolate for 14-days at their home under supervision of local authorities and health officials. Health authorities will then oversee another COVID-19 test on the 14th day of self-isolation.”

  3. Avatar

    DARIUSZ Franciszek NOWACKI

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    is Australia welcome?

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    … and he also seems unaware that “Cambodian Embassies are not issuing tourist visas at this time.

    The only applications being accepted are for diplomatic, official, and “sponsored” business-linked visas at this time.”

    I just thought readers might like to know how Cambodians are ACTUALLY dealing with matters …..

  5. Avatar


    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Just because I am from the US does not mean I have COVD! I have not seen my GF for over 7 months! If someone can prove they dont have COVID that should only matter! Test me every day if you want …

    Love Is Not Tourism!

  6. Avatar


    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    I don’t think any of the low-risk countries have large populations or people with money.

    Perhaps they could let beggers in and let them come free because all of the wealthy countries should not be on the low-risk list.

    Unless of course, they have a cheat-list of countries which will mean once the tourists arrive Thailand will perhaps once again after having many cases of the virus say they have very few.

    Why does Thailand not do the same as the rest of us and admit it is not possible to have millions of tourists visit their country until a vaccine is found?

    The UK normally has 39 million tourists per year but now knows that is not possible at the current time.

    Magic can not happen, we know Thailand needs tourists for 20% of the economy but they just admit the facts at the moment.

  7. Avatar


    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    We need link to high and low risk countries is it possble to find that ??

  8. Avatar


    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    That leaves only the Vatican & North Korea, unless I got a different news channel. According to the WHO there is Covid everywhere, except Thailand of course. With 2 tests, insurance and 14 days quarantine where is the problem? I start to believe they just don’t trust their own systems. Can’t blame them.

  9. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    Hot air… Chinese tourists are not allowed to travel abroad.
    Million of people are going to loose their job by year end… for a disease that kills just a bit more than the regular flu and for which no vaccine will provide a solution in the coming years (vaccine against virus are not effective – i.e. flu – HIV…).

  10. Avatar


    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 1:31 am

    There is not a country on earth that has not had Covid infections. Meaning, any person could have it so restricting people from certain countries seems ridiculous. If someone can pass the required covid tests, and is willing to do the 14 day quarantine, why limit access to certain countries?
    Another thing is that this article states that there is a health insurance policy with at least a US$100,000 (3 million baht) Covid-19 coverage required which is incorrect. It was reduced to B40k outpatient, B400k inpatient last week.

  11. Avatar

    James Harden

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Just forget about Thailand. They really don’t want anyone but Chinese there. They have become China’s Mexico. Such a shame.

  12. Avatar


    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Should show a picture of empty beaches. The “tourist” from China don’t visit the beaches, mostly only where the tour buses take them.

  13. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    “health insurance policy with at least a US$100,000 (3 million baht) Covid-19 coverage, as well as a Thai health and accident insurance policy with at least 40,000 baht outpatient and 400,000 baht inpatient coverage.”

    so I need 3 insurances??? I don’t get it

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