Long-term tourist visas approved
The government on Tuesday agreed to allow in foreign tourists who agree to 14-day quarantine and stay for at least 90 days, to help the economy.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said after the cabinet meeting that the government would issue special tourist visas for long-stay visitors. The most important condition would be a 14-day quarantine.
"Visitors can arrive for tourism or health services, and they can stay at alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas or at hospitals that function as quarantine facilities," he said.
"Our public health system is amongst the best in the world and people can have confidence in it."
Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul said of the plan, "The target is to welcome 100-300 visitors a week, or up to 1,200 people a month, and generate income of about 1 billion baht a month."
The 90-day special tourist visa could be extended twice, for 90 days each time. Long-stay visitors could begin arriving next month, Ms Traisulee said.
The finance permanent secretary said the country needed to generate income from visitors, especially those from the countries where coronavirus disease had not been spreading in past months - such as China, Taiwan and some countries in Europe.
Twenty Chinese provinces were free of Covid-19 and had a combined population of around 800 million. If only one percent of them, about 8 million people, visited Thailand they could support the tourism sector, he said.
Learn from listening
- alternative: something that is different from something else, especially from what is usual, and offering the possibility of choice - ทางเลือก
- cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
- confidence: being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - ความมั่นใจ
- income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้
- permanent secretary: a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry - ปลัดกระทรวง
- sector: a part of a country’s economic or business activity - ภาค (เศรษฐกิจ)