CCSA panel to approve visa scheme to allow foreign tourists into country
A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday will approve a Special Tourist Visa (STV) to draw foreign tourists, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul says.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Public Health and various other units were fully prepared for the STV, Ms Traisuree said.
Prior to travelling to Thailand, foreign visitors are required to have a Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before departure, buy Covid-19 health insurance, and sign a letter of consent agreeing to comply with the government's Covid-19 measures.
Foreign travellers with a STV must still be quarantined for 14 days, she said.
Asked about the tourism and sports minister's idea to reduce the quarantine period for foreign tourists to seven days, Ms Traisuree said the government had not considered the idea yet, confirming the government would start with a 14-day quarantine before considering easing lockdown measures gradually.
STV travellers must travel by charter plane and every flight carrying them must receive permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or CCSA operation centres, she said.
She said 1,200 STV travellers are expected to enter Thailand each month after the country reopens, bringing in more than 1.03 billion baht. In one year, the number of STV travellers will likely reach 14,400 people, generating tourism revenue of about 12.4 billion baht for the country, she said.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has ensured the enforcement of stringent aviation measures in airports and on domestic and international flights during Covid-19.
CAAT standard manager Klot Senalak said foreign visitors must present essential documents, such as a letter of confirmation issued by the Thai embassy or consulate at their country of origin, a letter that confirms their test for Covid-19, at least 72 hours prior to travel, is negative, and they must have a US$100,000 (3 million baht) Covid-19 insurance policy.
After their arrival, they must screen for Covid-19 symptoms and download an application to monitor their health. A 14-day quarantine is compulsory for all arrivals, he said.
During flights, passengers must wear face masks at all times. Airlines must provide sufficient alcohol-based hand gel. All cabin crew must wear personal protective equipment and rubber gloves throughout the journey, Mr Klot said.
Newspapers, magazines and leaflets will not be available on the plane. No products will be sold on board, he said.
Flights shorter than 120 minutes are prohibited from serving food and beverages. Longer flights can serve items in closed containers, he said.