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2,000 Exiled Expats Could Return to Thailand in July

7 groups to be first visitors allowed to enter, with and without quarantine

Suvarnabhumi Internationa Airport Bangkok Thailand BKK Arrivals Sign

More than 2,000 foreign expats trying to get back to their families will finally get their chance in July as Thailand reopens is borders to selected foreign visitors.

Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the government’s Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said Monday that seven groups have been proposed to be the first foreigners allowed into Thailand in three months starting as soon as July 1.

Four of the groups would need to go into 14-day quarantines while the second group would have to undergo strict testing, but no isolation.

Topping the list are the 2,000 foreigners – mostly men – married to Thais or holding permanent residency, although they may face quotas on how many can return each day.

Along with the expats, businesspeople and investors, skilled laborers and medical tourists all would be allowed to enter, but required to endure 14-day quarantines. Taweesin said about 700 investors, 22,000 laborers and 30,000 wellness visitors had preregistered trips to Thailand.

Those getting to skip quarantine would be guests invited by the government, businesspeople on short stays of five days or less and tourists exempted from quarantine by bilateral “travel bubble” agreements.

The announcement that travel-bubble tourists might not have to enter quarantine directly contradicts reports from last week that the CCSA had vetoed such an idea, saying, whether it be at a resort or remote island – isolation could not be avoided. Critics rightly pointed out that voids the entire point of travel bubbles.

All seven groups and the conditions under which they could enter all will be decided at Friday’s CCSA meeting.