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The Foreign Ministry of Thailand clarifies that the current Special Tourist Visa policy would neglect visitors from high-risk COVID countries. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, says prospective visitors ought to consult with the Ministry of Public Health (via their Thai embassies) to see whether their home countries are allowed under the scheme to visit Thailand.
Phiphat also notes that it is too early to decrease the required quarantine for these visitors since the Ministry is waiting to examine the first batch of travelers under this latest visa in order to decide if they will go on with the 14-7-6 model in terms of decreased quarantine duration (14 days, 7 days and 6 hours).
"The most significant aspect is that nobody would be able to see international visitors enter their towns without quarantine in local communities."
But he claims that the visitors permitted in under the special tourist visa just face "minor risks as they have to travel to pre-designated locations on licensed flights." He claims that more focus should be focused on unauthorized border crossings that trigger potential infections.
Facing delays in the visa entry of the first group of visitors, the Ministry of Sports and Tourism says they expect 1,200 visitors to arrive this month. These delays were due to rather muddled entry processes as the unique visa is relatively recent, being formally published on September 29 in the Royal Gazette.
Any visitor admitted to the STV can remain for up to 90 days, with the choice of extending the visa again for 90 days afterward. Because of the required quarantine laws stating 2 weeks in an alternate state quarantine hotel, the initiative targets "rich" visitors since they are supposed to remain long-term, even beyond 2 weeks.
Every visitor must have evidence of payment at an Alternate State Quarantine hospital, post-quarantine lodging, a health insurance policy with Covid-19 coverage of at least US$ 100,000 (3 million baht), as well as Thai health and emergency insurance policy with outpatient coverage of at least 40,000 baht and 400,000 baht.