Even as Thailand faces renewed threats of a coronavirus outbreak and mask use plummets, some of the country’s institutions continue to barrel ahead with plans to reduce mandatory quarantine times from the world-standard 14 days and further reopen the borders to “moderate-risk” tourists.
The National Communicable Disease Committee on Thursday recommended cutting quarantine times to 10 days, said Public Health Ministry Anutin Charnvirakul.
The Disease Control Department will issue strict regulations on the new measures to monitor the quarantined for another four days after they complete the mandatory 10-day isolation.
Contact-tracing systems will be put in place and they must adhere to social distancing rules, avoid crowded places and wear face coverings, despite a ministry released the same day showing regular mask use in Thailand has fallen to 51.4 percent.
The meeting approved the national quarantine draft policy that covers the quarantine system and quarantine facilities to develop a mechanism on quarantine management in the national and provincial levels. Those, who defy the quarantine rules will be punished under the new regulations.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved a plan to reopen borders to travelers entering the country in yachts from low- mid risk countries.
They will be required to quarantine on board their vessels for 14 days, said government spokeswoman Trisulee Trisaranakul.
Foreign tourists and crew members, who will apply for the Special Tourist Visa to dock in Thailand, need to follow strict health measures, although how they will be monitored was left unsaid.
They must have proof of payment for docking facilities and must also have a health and accident insurance coverage that cover the period of their stay in Thailand, with a minimum 40,000 baht coverage for outpatient treatment and a minimum 400,000 baht coverage for inpatient treatment.
The insurance requirement is starkly different for other STV tourists, who must have the equivalent of 3.2 million baht in coverage. Again, n no reason was given for why the moneyed yacht owners were given special consideration.
Thailand on Thursday reported four new coronavirus cases in state quarantine, raising the total cases to 3,763. Currently, 134 coronavirus patients are being treated at hospitals.