Thailand is moving slowly to reopen its borders with a new initiative that will allow international tourists to remain in the country for 90 days, extendable up to 270 days under a special tourist visa scheme (STV), which is expected to produce 12 billion baht per year.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the cabinet had in principle accepted the STV and was targeted at long-stay visitors who came with the goal of traveling widely across the country or visiting Thailand’s healthcare facilities, perceived to be among the best in the world. The strategy is scheduled to take place next month and run until next November.
Gen Prayut has described the scheme as a potential solution to the Covid-19 pandemic challenges. He would like to call on the people of Thailand to help this project for it will contribute to the economy. The PM said that upon arrival at a hospital or accredited alternative state quarantine (ASQ) hotel, those granted the special visa will be expected to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Owing to its effectiveness in getting the coronavirus under surveillance, long-staying travelers will be keen to return to Thailand and undergo quarantine, she stated. She clarified that only foreigners who wanted to undergo the necessary 14-day quarantine and cooperate with the country’s disease control measures would be given a special visa.
They will need to have evidence of their long-stay arrangements, such as paying for lodging or evidence of condominium ownership, where they can stay after finishing their quarantine, plus a Covid-19-free certificate and enough travel and health insurance. Ms Traisuree said the visa would last for 90 days and cost 2,000 baht but it could be extended twice, each for a further 90 days. Those interested would need to apply to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
The Immigration Bureau (IB) is planning in another development to sue a Twitter user who reported that most foreigners arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport were not quarantined. 10 Myanmar nationals were detained near the border in Mae Sot district in Tak province on Tuesday, all without travel papers. The seven men and three women were identified by cops, troops and immigration officers on patrol. Both tested the virus negative.