Thousands of foreigners to be allowed entry

Thousands of foreigners to be allowed entry

The new 3,000-square-metre terminal building at Don Mueang airport, built to serve tour groups. The government on Wednesday approved in principle the entry of specific categories of foreigners to revitalise the economy. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpatarasill)
The new 3,000-square-metre terminal building at Don Mueang airport, built to serve tour groups. The government on Wednesday approved in principle the entry of specific categories of foreigners to revitalise the economy. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpatarasill)

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has approved the entry of foreign business reps, specialists, diplomats, migrant workers, exhibitors, film crews, medical tourists and Thailand Elite card members.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said on Wednesday the centre approved their arrival in principle and relevant ministries would work out details before their visits would begin.

He said approvals include businesspeople and specialists under special arrangement, and diplomats. They would be taken to state quarantine facilities. The Foreign Ministry would finalise details for their visits.

The Labour Ministry would handle details for bringing in unskilled workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to meet the demand for labour.

This included 69,235 workers who already had work permits and visas and wanted to return to work in Thailand. Local employers planned to bring in another 42,168 workers who do not already have work permits or visas. They would be employed in the construction and food production sectors.

The companies demanding these workers would have to arrange for "organisational quarantine" at their own premises, where each room could accommodate more than one worker for cost effectiveness. Such quarantine facilities must meet disease control standards and be able to prevent migrant workers from  getting out during quarantine.

Conventional state quarantine, in which a room served only one person, would cost nearly 20,000 baht per person and that was not wanted by the companies, Dr Taweesilp said.

The CCSA also resolved to allow in foreign exhibitors. The number wanting entry to Thailand was growing, he said.

More than 6,000 foreign exhibitors had registered for entry to attend trade fairs from September to December. They would be taken to "alternative state quarantine" hotels and their trips and venues for business negotiations would be subject to disease control measures.

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau would handle disease control measures for these visitors, Dr Taweesilp said.

Foreign film crews would also go to alternative state quarantine. Medical and wellness tourists would be quarantined while receiving medical treatment, and later be able to visit local tourist destinations.

Addressing the 7,255 members of the Thailand Elite Card scheme who live in other countries, he said the Tourism and Sports Ministry planned to first welcome about 200 members back into the country.

Dr Taweesilp said the influx of people would stimulate the economy.


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