Foreign diplomats and followers arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province late last month. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Reopening the country to foreign visitors will not raise the risks of local Covid-19 transmission from imported infections, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC).
Responding to the cabinet's plan to allow long-stay foreign tourists to enter Thailand, Tanarak Plipat, deputy director-general of the DDC, said it would likely not bring in Covid-19 infections, since the visitors would have to a stay at state quarantine facilities for 14 days.
Regarding the case of a two-year-old Myanmar boy who tested positive after returning from Thailand, Dr Tanarak said Thailand was vigorously investigating this case. No special measures had been imposed in Ayutthaya province where the boy had stayed before returning to Myanmar, he said.
The deputy director-general urged businesses, particularly those based in the provinces adjacent to Myanmar, not to hire illegal migrant workers for now due to the spike in Covid-19 cases in Myanmar in recent weeks.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) deputy governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said tourists with a Special Tourist Visa (STV) recently authorised by the government must travel on chartered flights from overseas directly to their destinations in Thailand.
The TAT predicted that around 14,400 tourists will visit the country a year under the STV programme, generating revenue of about 12.36 billion baht per year.
Police units connected to tourism will coordinate with other agencies in preparing for the arrival of foreign tourists under the STV programme.
Foreign travellers who met the programme's criteria and passed Covid-19 screening as required by the Thai authorities were eligible for entry under the STV programme.
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charter : a boat, plane, or bus that is available for hire, especially for use by a group of people; to hire a boat, plane or bus - เครื่องบินเหมาลำ, การเช่าเหมาเรือ, เช่าเหมา
coordinate : to organise the different parts of a job or plan so that the people involved work together effectively - ประสานงานกัน
criteria : a standard that is used for judging something or for making a decision about something - บรรทัดฐาน
eligible : allowed by rules or laws to do something or to receive something - มีสิทธิ
measures (noun): actions taken to solve a particular problem - มาตรการ
migrant worker : someone who travels to another place or country in order to find work - คนงานต่างถิ่น
predict : to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
risky (adj): involving the possibility of danger, harm or failure - เสี่ยง, เสี่ยงอันตราย
screen : to find out information about people to see if they are suitable for something - สครีน, คัดเลือก, แยกออก, เลือกออก
spike : a sudden increase - การพุ่งพรวดขึ้น
state : government - รัฐ
vigorously (adverb): in a very active, determined or energetic way - อย่างคล่องแคล่ว, อย่างกระฉับกระเฉง