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Police to track tourists

Tourists enjoy Hua Hin beach. Photo by Pongpet Mekloy

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The Royal Thai Police is forming a special task force to track down tourists infected with Covid-19 as Thailand prepares to reopen to travellers.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) will be in charge of tracking tourists, according to a source.

The new Covid-19 Investigation Division will contain the spread of the virus, which might enter the country by way of foreign tourists or Thai returnees when the airspace is reopened.

Staff will be recruited from the Thai Marine Police Division, Highway Police and Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division which normally work with the tourism sector. 

"The nature of the Covid-19 Investigation Division will mainly involve tourist destinations and transport," said police.

Marine police usually oversee passenger ships along the Chao Phraya River but after joining the Covid-19 division, they will be asked to watch over tourists on the rivers and seas and record where they travel.

Meanwhile, the Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division can supply tourists with information to make sure they follow rules.

It is unclear how closely the authorities intend following tourists though to some extent they can rely on the help of online apps.

The deputy commander of the Highway Police said they may also set up checkpoints along roads to inspect tourists by measuring their temperature and noting their destinations.

The Tourist Police Subdivision said they will also propose the creation of an online application to track tourist movement.

He said the app will enable travellers to easily contact the police if they need help and that it can work alongside with another tracking tool, the Thai Chana platform.

Vocabulary:

airspace : the sky above a particular country that is considered to belong to that country - น่านฟ้า

checkpoint : a place where people have to stop so their vehicles and documents can be checked - ด่านตรวจ

destination : the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง

division (noun): one part of a large company or organisation - แผนก

marine : relating to the sea and creatures that live in it - เกี่ยวกับทะเล

oversee : to watch something in order to check that it works or happens in the way that it should - ตรวจตรา

propose : to suggest an idea for a group to consider - เสนอ

recruit : to get someone to work in a company or join an organisation - จ้างงาน

suppression : stopping an activity from happening, in this case, criminal activity  - การปราบปราม

tool (noun): a thing that helps you to do your job or to achieve something - เครื่องมือ

track down (verb): to try to follow and find someone or something - ตามรอย

tracking : following closely - ตาม, ตามรอย

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