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Thailand opens gates to foreigners but not for everyone

25 Jun 2020

According to the government, the first category of foreigners to be permitted into Thailand would consist of industry leaders, professional employees, consultants, citizens of Thai communities, teachers, students and patients who commit to quarantine.

On Wednesday, Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin elaborated on the government's plan to allow foreign nationals to return to the country. The proposal has been developed by a CCSA sub-committee.

Dr Taweesilp said most would have to endure quarantine 14 days after their arrival.

The spokesperson said that under the new rules around 50,000 foreigners are expected to visit the country.

These involve some 30,000 tourists projected to come for health tourism and wellness.

These involve about 15,400 professional professionals and experts; 2,000 instructors, teaching personnel and students; 2,000 Thai family or domestic foreigners in Thailand; and 700 business people and investors.

Members of this party have already enrolled for visits and have decided to endure 14 days of quarantine — they can arrive immediately.

Many who might arrive for medical and wellness tourism and consent to quarantine may arrive immediately as well.

The accepted community comprises business owners and customers who may pay brief fees, as well as government and civic organisations visitors.

They will be checked prior and after admission for Covid-19, will have health care, and will be supervised by medical staff. Leaders of this party will be welcomed in on July 1.

Tourists who would arrive under the travel bubble scheme could be allowed in on Aug 1 on condition that they are undergoing "Villa Quarantine," meaning they are staying in their accommodation and not travel.

Dr Taweesilp said the draft measures would be presented to the CCSA for consideration on Monday.

The arrivals had been planned to raise spending and revenue from tourism, he added.

While, all existing companies and operations will be permitted to reopen next Tuesday, including entertainment outlets and "soapy treatment" parlours that were suspended to monitor Covid-19 's expansion.

Dr Taweesilp said a CCSA subcommittee had drafted rules for the fifth stage of company resumption and operations "when there is total relaxation."

The proposed regulations should be introduced Monday to the CCSA for review, the spokesperson said.

Organizations and operations to restart this period have raised a strong risk of spreading illness, he added.

Their loss had an insignificant effect on the economy as a whole but because of it certain classes of people were in financial difficulty — including artists and singers, he said.

Dr Taweesilp said the schools were going to open absolutely. Restrictions on opening times will be lifted at malls.

Pubs, pubs, and karaoke shops will reopen, but at midnight, they will shut. 

Visitor groups will be capped at five people, and joining other groups will be prohibited. Activities of product advertising should be prohibited.

Video game establishments will reopen, but can't sell food or beverages.

According to Dr. Taweesilp, premises providing bath-sauna-massage facilities would reopen on the condition that clients and workers carry face masks and maintain social isolation even at "bathing period."

"At check-in, customers will use the Thaichana app, or manually register their visit in a book," he said.

Staff would be tested on Covid-19 and other related illnesses regularly.

The government will continue to include body temperature checking at both of these premises, usage of face masks, social distancing, daily washing, one-month security camera footage to promote disease detection, and use of the Thaichana app for check-in and check-out.

Surveillance systems will protect only public areas at wet-massage parlours, Dr Taweesilp added.

Source Bangkok Post