The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought so much havoc, not just in Thailand, but also in the entire world. It has shaken nearly the entire fabric of human existence.
While entire nations are reeling in and trying to restore some semblance of normalcy into people’s everyday lives, there is still the fact that things still cannot go back to the way they were for some time. The virus still lurks unseen in the air. Without a vaccine, things cannot go back to normal.
Fortunately, Thailand is already taking steps to reopen its borders to foreign tourism. These tourists, and the locals themselves, will have to start getting into terms with what is currently the “New Normal” in Thailand.
Take note, however, that these could change over time as the global situation improves, or if new medical advancements take shape that could make Thailand, and perhaps the whole world, safer.
Wristbands and Mobile Apps
In the final week of September, right after confirming the Special Tourist Visa, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that tourists will be fitted with specially made wristbands that will work together with a mobile app to provide a rudimentary tracking system.
As Thailand’s government is very much concerned about keeping the number of cases to an absolute minimum, these measures will most likely be in place for quite time as health authorities will want to be able to organize a swift medical response in case of a localized infection.
It can be quite uncomfortable knowing that you’re being tracked, but that’s the way it would be in the foreseeable future for tourists in Thailand.
Tourists coming in through the Special Tourist Visa are currently mandated to serve a 14-day quarantine. These will be facilitated by hotels serving as alternative state quarantine centers.
You read that right – you’ll be holed up in a hotel room or villa premises for 14 whole days. This is to make sure that you are safely shelled away just in case you pick up the virus on the way to Thailand. Highly unlikely, but the government is not taking any chances.
You’ll also be subjected to COVID-19 tests all throughout. Once you’re clear, you’re free to move to your final accommodation and start your holiday in Thailand.
Social Distancing and Face Masks
In most countries, social distancing is already a norm even during the start of the pandemic. The face mask is not a requirement in all countries, but, if you’re going to spend a vacation in Thailand in the future, the mask will be a ubiquitous feature.
You’ll have to get used to wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance away from other people. It wouldn’t matter if you agree or disagree with the procedure. Thailand’s safety protocols require it, and violation could get you deported out of the Kingdom quickly.
Despite all that’s happening, the future remains bright for Thailand. Aside from slowly opening up to foreign tourism, Thailand’s top medical institutes are also hard at work at creating potential vaccines for the virus and that work is showing great promise.