Tourists to Undergo Four COVID-19 Tests – Public Health Ministry
Published: September 19, 2020 at 4:24 pm
New tourists will need to go through a total of four weeks of quarantine, one in their home and one in Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health said.
With tourists possibly starting to come in to Thailand by early October, the Public Health Ministry has released to the public the procedures to be followed by potential visitors to ensure continued safety from the COVID-19 and preventing a second outbreak.
The first step, Dr Chakrarat Pittayawonganon said, is a mandatory two week quarantine in their home nation. This is mandatory, and will include two COVID-19 tests – one at the start of the 14-day quarantine, and another near the end, preferably 72 hours before departure.
If they pass both tests, they will receive a certificate from their country’s health agency proving that they have tested negative for COVID-19. They will then be allowed to board their flight to Thailand for their 90-day holiday.
Dr. Chakranat is the director of the Department of Disease Control, an agency under the Ministry of Public Health.
In addition to a Health Certificate, tourists will also receive another certificate proving that they have underwent mandatory quarantine or self-isolation.
They will also need documents for travel insurance as well as proof of funds of a certain amount in their bank accounts.
After arriving in Thailand, they will undergo another 14-day quarantine, and two more tests as well.
According to Dr. Chakranat, his department will be providing crucial training not only to airport staff but to all businesses whose trade will put them into close contact with visiting foreigners from October 1st onwards.
Members of the general public as well as government employees can also take part in the training as well.
To keep the risk of new infections low, Dr. Chakranat said that tourists will be taken from low-risk countries first.
On September 15th, the government announced the Special Tourist Visa program that acts as a first step in reopening Thailand to foreign tourism.
The program is open to all foreigners who wish to stay in Thailand for the long-term. The initial limit to the visa is 90 days, which can be extended for two more times. Each extension will be 90 days, bringing the total number of days to 270 days.
According to the government, roughly 2,270 foreigners have already expressed interest in signing up for the Special Tourist Visa program. As a whole, they are expected to generate THB115 million in revenue.
These foreigners are reportedly from Myanmar, China, Japan and Kuwait.
To boost potential tourism revenues, the government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, have called on tour operators to start formulating marketing campaigns to bring tourists in back to the country.
Interested parties can contact overseas offices of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, or the state-controlled Thailand Longstay Co., to get more information about coming in to Thailand under the Special Tourist Visa.
According to Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, they are aiming for tourist arrivals of 100 per day, and a monthly limit of 1,200 tourists.
If the pilot project does not result into fresh outbreaks of the COVID-19, Minister Phiphat said that they will consider raising the quota in the near future.