The Tourism and Sports Ministry is planning to propose the reduction of the quarantine period to 7 days at the cabinet meeting next week if there is no report of positive Covid-19 found in inbound tourists during the country re-opening for limited arrivals in October.
Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told the Associated Press at a tourism event yesterday, September 24, that more details of the planned Special Tourist Visa (STV), that will officially welcome the first two groups of long-stay foreign tourists to the country from October 1, will be announced after the cabinet meeting next Tuesday.
If the first groups of 300 foreigners had completed the 14-day quarantine without any positive cases, the Ministry would plan to propose an increase in the number of arrival of tourists per week in November.
Additionally, shortening the length of the quarantine period to 7 days would possibly put in effect in mid-November if no positive cases were found after allowing more limited foreign tourists and the STV was operating smoothly, according to the Minister.
However, all arriving visitors would still have to complete two swab tests, a strip test, and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. More health personnel would also be prepared by private hospitals to support the testing process at airports and to take or perform tourists’ test at alternative state quarantine centers in order to reduce traffic gridlock around the airport terminal.
Phiphat told the Associated Thai press: “If the overall results of welcoming a potential group of tourists in the STV group in October is going well, then we would propose to the Thai cabinet to consider increasing the number of foreigners visiting Thailand since 300 tourists per week are not going to be enough to fill up the national business chain and help tourism operators.”
“We should consider increasing the number of limited tourists, but, at the same time, it also has to potentially comply with the capacity of the national healthcare workforce from the Public Health Ministry to prepare sufficient Covid-19 tests.”
“Today, Thailand is recognized internationally for its ability to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19. But in terms of economic growth, Thailand is plunging to the bottom comparing to other ASEAN countries. Therefore, it is our job to introduce tourism proposals to effectively recover the domestic economy as soon as possible,” Phiphat concluded.