Thailand tourism minister said he wanted to shorten quarantine for foreign visitors to make it more attractive to spend a vacation in Thailand amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Report says, citing
Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan said the proposal to cut mandatory quarantine from 14 to seven days is likely to go forward mid-November, given that none of the first batches of tourists arriving on “Special Tourism Visas” in October tested positive for the coronavirus.
Under the current arrangements, tourists must agree to be quarantined for 14 days and take COVID-19 tests before traveling freely around the country.
The program was approved last week by the government, which was expected to attract 1,200 tourists entering the country per month and generate more than 1.2 billion baht in revenue for the crippled tourism industry. Pipat said the program has already attracted 300 tourists, who will enter the country this October 1.
“It’s going to be the same standard as Thais returnees from overseas. They must take the COVID-19 test 72 hours before their departure to Thailand and spend 14 days in alternative state quarantine facilities. If the first batch of tourists is safe, we will allow the second batch of 300 tourists to enter the country this October 21.”
He also said the ministry would propose the government to permit as many as 10,000 foreign tourists to enter the country “per week” if the initial phase of reopening is successful.
“We will submit the results of the reopening to the Cabinet to consider allowing more than 300 tourists to enter the country per week,” Pipat said. “Health officials will deliberate the exact number, but we expect it to be as high as 10,000.”
Deputy head of the disease control department Thanarak Plipat said the shorter quarantine period is not as important as a strong outbreak control measures.
“We have to look at the bigger picture,” Thanarak said. “If we want to reduce the quarantine period, we must have additional conditions such as granting it only to tourists from the country where there is no new transmission in 100 days.”