Thailand currently requires all foreigners to enter Thailand to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Following several negative feedback from both the private sector and some officials of the government, the Ministry of Health announced that it is ready to reduce the quarantine period to 10.
If the reduction is successful, meaning the country does not observe a new wave of infections as a result of a shortened quarantine, it could be reduced even further to zero. This means that the Ministry is already confident that there is no need to isolate people in order to cut the risk of infection.
“The truth is, the Public Health Ministry is ready for the change, but other relevant agencies still have requested time to adjust. So, we have to wait and work together,” Minister Anutin Charnvirakul explained.
“The Department of Disease Control proposed reducing quarantine to 10 days to begin with… If we find a good method, it may be reduced to 5, 4, 3 days, or even none,” Minister Anutin added.
However, Anutin said that he is opposed to lifting all of the restrictions with regards to foreigner entry.
Praising Thailand’s ability in containing the virus, Mr. Anutin emphasized the importance of protecting the country from COVID-19 especially as neighboring Myanmar is experiencing a significant surge of infections of the virus.
As of today, Myanmar has a total of 41,008 cases. Of these, 21,144 cases resulted to recoveries and 1,005 cases resulted to deaths.
1,312 of these cases were recently recorded.
Thailand has currently closed its borders to Myanmar following recent cases of the COVID-19 involving Burmese workers that have crossed the border in Tak province.
The Health Minister reported last week that, after 3 Burmese drivers delivering goods to a warehouse tested positive for COVID-19, five more cases were recorded involving Burmese nationals. These involved a husband and wife and three relatives who are living in Thailand and have come into contact with two of the Burmese drivers.
Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn of the Tourism and Sports Ministry have earlier indicated that the government is open to relaxing quarantine rules if there are no cases recorded from the Special Tourist Visa program.
However, it is pending the approval of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
After a significant delay, the Special Tourist Visa kicked off with the arrival of 39 tourists from Shanghai in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. They have all entered the 14-day quarantine, and all have tested negative in their first COVID-19 test.
They will need to be tested again for COVID-19 before their quarantine ends.
In addition to the Special Tourist Visa program, the Kingdom has also started allowing yachts with tourists aboard to dock in Thailand. However, they will need to subject themselves, together with the crew, to adhere to quarantine procedures.
Instead of booking to Alternate Local State Quarantine facilities, they can quarantine themselves within their own yachts only for 14 days. They will also need to undergo three COVID-19 tests.
So far, CCSA spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin said that there are 60 vessels looking to dock into Thailand, representing possible revenues of THB2.1 million.