Thailand could halve its 14-day quarantine for foreign tourists starting in November to entice wealthy travelers to utilize the country’s new long-stay visa.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry said Friday that cutting mandatory “alternative state quarantine” to a week could happen if the first batch of visitors arriving by private jet or charter flight on the Special Tourist Visa doesn’t lead to a large number of imported cases.
After next Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, the government will announce more details of the special tourist visa (STV) that will allow long-stay visitors, the first international arrivals in almost six months, to enter the country by Oct 1, said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
Thailand reported 3 new coronavirus cases on Friday, all from travelers returned from overseas, with no change in the death toll. Total cases are 3,519 with 59 deaths.
A Tourism Ministry spokesman said if the two groups of 300 foreigners complete their 14-day quarantine on Oct. 15 and Oct. 21 without a positive case, then the ministry plans to propose an increase in the number of tourists per week by Nov. 1.
Tourists will still have to complete two swab tests, a strip test and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
The World Health Organization has standardized Covid-19 quarantine at 14 days and some government public-health officials as well as outside virologists have opined that even two weeks is not enough.
A look through the daily coronavirus reports from the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration shows a significant percent of positive cases are not found until well into the second week of quarantine.