Immigration Bureau assists tourists stranded on yachts
The Immigration Bureau (IB) is expediting the processing of travel documents of tourists aboard more than 10 foreign yachts stranded in international waters to allow them to enter Thailand.
Pol Maj Gen Achayon Kraithong, the IB's deputy commander, said more than 10 yachts off Thailand's coast have asked the IB for permission to let tourists, mostly from Singapore and Malaysia, come ashore in Thailand.
On Oct 28, the cabinet approved guidelines for reopening the country to foreign tourists and crews of foreign yachts under a special tourist visa (STV) scheme to restart the pandemic-battered tourism industry.
Pol Maj Gen Achayon said that the bureau was checking their travel documents and the yachts that get permission to enter will be allowed to dock in Phuket and Pattaya.
Foreign yachts that have not yet left ports in countries with low risk of Covid-19 transmission have to contact Thai embassies or consulates in those countries for permission to enter Thailand, Pol Maj Gen Achayon said.
The Foreign Ministry will then issue certificates of eligibility to the tourists to hand to immigration officers, he said.
Under the guidelines, foreign tourists and crew members of foreign yachts will be allowed to stay in the kingdom for up to 90 days. The visa is renewable twice, each time for up to 90 days.
They are also required to stay in quarantine for 14 days on their yachts before entering Thailand.